Hiring Guidelines

Physics Division Scientific Position Search Guidelines for Career and Career Track positions

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Last reviewed: July 12, 2012

Opening the Search

Obtain Approval: Searches must be approved by the Physics Division Director before positions can be opened in HR or advertisement sent out.

Form a Search Committee: The Physics Division Director will appoint a search committee to recruit a qualified and diverse pool of applicants and select the best candidate for the position. The search committee will have a chair who is responsible for organizing the search. For Staff appointments the committee will consist of at least four Staff Scientists/Senior Scientists/Faculty Scientists, including staff from the group seeking the appointment as well as staff from the Division at large. For Divisional Fellow searches the committee will consist of at least four Senior Scientists/Faculty Senior Scientists.

Position Description and Advertisement: The search committee will create a Position Description document, as well as an advertisement for the position. This Position Description and advertisement will be reviewed by the Physics Division Staff Committee (PDSC) and an HR representative prior to posting.

Post the Position: Open positions must be posted on the Current Job Opportunities Web Page, see the LBL RPM for details. Positions will also be posted at institutions selected to recruit a diverse candidate pool. Advertisements must be placed in either print journals (e.g. CERN Courier or Physics Today) or widely used professional employment web sites, or both, as deemed appropriate by the search committee. The search committee should also send out letters/emails to the physics community alerting them to the open position and soliciting suggestions for qualified candidates. Widespread advertising for Career and Career Track positions is required.

Notify the Physics Division Scientific Staff: The Physics Division Scientific Staff will be notified by e-mail of all new career and career-track position searches, which will provide a link to the job posting and a list of search committee members. The Scientific Staff will be encouraged to provide names of qualified candidates to the search committee.

Selection of Candidates

Review of the candidate pool: To evaluate the candidates, the search committee will use the letters of recommendation from the application file, but may also solicit additional letters of reference from respected members of the physics community. If additional information is sought during the review process, the solicitation letter template will be provided with the other documentation of the search. Confidentiality is to be respected in a manner consistent with the Laboratory Policy. The candidate pool may consist of both internal and external applicants. All applicants (internal and external) will be evaluated in the same manner.

Short List Selection: The search committee chair will make an interim report to the PDSC and the Division Director once the short list of candidates is complete. The PDSC will review the short list and the selection procedure used to ensure consistency and conformity with Laboratory and Division policies and goals.

Interviewing: It is highly desirable that at least two members of the search committee interview every one of the short list candidates. Identifying a subset of the Scientific Staff who can interview all candidates is desirable. Short list candidates will give a presentation of their research that is open to the Division, and the Scientific Staff will be invited to interview them and provide written or oral feedback to the search committee. All external candidates who are interviewed are required to complete the official LBNL application.

Advice to the Division Director

Committee Reports: Once the search is complete, the search committee chair will present a written report to the PDSC. That report will include a brief synopsis of the search procedure, and a summary of the qualifications of the top candidate(s). All the material associated with the top candidate(s) application will be provided to the PDSC. Based on this material, the PDSC will write a brief report evaluating the search and its conclusion. Both the search committee report and the PDSC report will be sent to the Division Director.

Divisional Vote: Depending on the level of the appointment, different levels of the Scientific Staff will be provided the opportunity to vote on Career and Career Track appointments:

  • Senior Scientists and tenured Faculty Scientists will be provided the opportunity to vote on all career or career track appointments and promotions.
  • Divisional Fellows and untenured Faculty Scientists will be provided the opportunity to vote on Staff Scientist and Divisional Fellow appointments.
  • Staff Scientists will be provided the opportunity to vote on Staff Scientist appointments.
  • The search committee and the PDSC reports will be made available to the voting portion of the Scientific Staff at least one week prior to the vote. A Scientific Staff meeting to discuss the appointment will be held prior to closing the vote. The results of this vote will be included with the committee reports to advise the Division Director on making the appointment, and in the appointment case forwarded to the Laboratory Staff Committee for final approval of Divisional Fellow and Senior Staff appointments.

    Completion of Checklist

    The following checklist has to be completed and provided to the PDSC and the division director upon finalizing the search. If some items have not been fulfilled, a written explanation has to accompany the report.


  • Approval for position description and ad from PDSC and HR
  • Position widely advertised
  • Scientific Staff notified of position
  • Short list approved by PDSC
  • At least two members of search committee interviewed every on of the short list candidates
  • Search committee report approved by PDSC
  • S&E Suitable Search Checklist used to verify that the hiring package is complete