Joining the Duke Metamaterials Group

We welcome interest in our group from prospective undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral associates, visiting scientists and researchers and other potential collaborators. The availability of graduate and postdoctoral positions will depend on the funding situation as well as the general applicant pool. Note that many funding opportunities in the metamaterials group are restricted to US citizens, so we particularly encourage potential US students and postdoctoral associates to apply. We are currently engaged in many exciting areas of research in the metamaterials and plasmonics areas, encompassing theory, numerical modeling and experiment.

Please note: Due to the overwhelming number of inquiries, we are unfortunately no longer able to provide a detailed response to your emails. The possibility of obtaining a position depends, as it does everywhere, on the availability of a position and the competitiveness of the applicant pool. Your email and CV will be reviewed and put on file. Even if you do not receive an acknowledgment, your email and interest in our group is of great importance to us! To better provide information on the availability of positions in our group and in the Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics, we will be updating this page to help guide your questions.

Undergraduate Students Duke Undergraduate students are always welcome to participate in our research program. Though fully funded positions are not always available, there are numerous other options. Undergraduate students with work-study eligibility are particularly encouraged to inquire about possible research assistantships. Undergraduate research projects for class credit are almost always accommodated, and can be used in conjunction with the Pratt Fellows or Graduation with Distinction programs. For more information on independent study projects offered by the ECE Department, please see Finally, we almost always welcome undergraduate volunteers looking to get some initial lab experience. Many of our undergraduate lab volunteers have ended up with either independent study projects or funded positions, as well as co-authors on scientific publications from our group!

Summer Interns Unfortunately, we have no funded summer or school year intern program for visiting graduate or MS students.

Graduate Students Graduate Research Assistants (RAs) are funded positions tied to government or industry grants. These positions are thus tied to funding cycles and can be difficult to project. If you believe our program interests you, our best advice is that you complete the graduate application process through the Duke graduate school. The details of the application process can be found at In your application statement, indicate your interest in metamaterials and in the group of Professor David R. Smith. The various requirements associated with the ECE department can be found at
NOTE: The particular type of research in which our group is engaged draws from both Electrical Engineering and Physics techniques. We particularly encourage those students having a background in Physics or Applied Physics to apply to our group. In addition, it is also possible for graduate students in the Physics Department at Duke to pursue their graduate research in our group. If you are applying to the Physics Department and are interested in metamaterials or plasmonics research, please note that interest in your statement when you apply.

Post-Doctoral Associate Positions Post-doctoral associates are full-time staff positions in the group, and usually have a targeted research goal based on the grant providing the funding. If you are a foreign researcher with a postdoctoral fellowship opportunity and wish to pursue research in our group, please see the Visiting Research notes below.

Visiting Researcher Positions Visiting Researchers and Scholars, including postdoctoral fellows, are those researchers whose funding is external (non-Duke). We welcome the opportunity to work with Visiting Researchers! If you have an assistantship or fellowship, please inquire as to possible projects of joint interest with our group. It should be noted that, due to government regulations, there is no simple mechanism by which we can "top up" or provide additional funds to supplement the grant of the researcher. Also, there is currently a severe space shortage in the main engineering building, so that we are unable to guarantee personal desk space in our group - space is currently prioritized for graduate student researchers and funded staff employees. However, we have so far been able to accommodate our visiting scholars and researchers, and expect to continue to do so for the near future.

Available Positions

Undergraduate Research

Always available.

Graduate Researchers

Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply through the Department.

Postdoctoral Researchers

No openings at this time.


No openings at this time.

Visiting Researchers

Visiting Researchers who have funding should contact Prof. Smith about current possibilities.