Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Post Doctorate RA - Synthetic Biology in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311655

Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences

Division: Biological Sciences

Group: Biological System Science

Job Description

The Biological Sciences Division at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral scientist with expertise in synthetic biology and environmental science to conduct cutting-edge microbiome research in secure biosystems design for sustainable bioenergy crop production. The selected candidate will perform experiments to discover genetic determinants underpinning microbial fitness and persistence in plant rhizosphere environments as well as develop novel biocontainment strategies through genome remodeling and trait engineering. The research will integrate methods from high-throughput culturing, high-throughput genetics, multi-omics integration, soil microbiome science, and synthetic biology to characterize and engineer unstudied microbial hosts that colonize plant rhizospheres. This approach requires significant planning, organization, coordination, and communication. The candidate will be expected to perform high-throughput experiments, independently analyze and communicate research results to the principal investigator, lead manuscript writing, mentor research associates, and work closely with both PNNL staff and external collaborators in a multi-disciplinary environment. The candidate will encouraged to develop new research elements aligned with their interests and within the context of a broader biosystems design research program that includes collaboration between PNNL and other national laboratories, academic institutions, and industrial partners.

This is a full-time position anticipated to last 3 years (contingent on performance) starting in the spring of 2021. Applications shall be submitted online at When prompted to upload a résumé, please provide a single PDF file containing (1) a cover letter of 1 to 2 pages summarizing research interests and qualifications, including experience with synthetic biology approaches, a possible start date at PNNL, and (2) a CV listing past employment, education and research experiences, skills related to the qualifications listed below, publications, and contact information of three references.

Minimum Qualifications

Candidates must have received a PhD within the past five years (60 months) or within the next 8 months from an accredited college or university.

Preferred Qualifications

The preferred candidate (1) will have received a PhD in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, or a related engineering field from an accredited college or university; (2) will have demonstrated the ability to develop, lead, and safely execute research projects; (3) will have a strong publication record in a relevant scientific field and the proven ability to collaborate effectively on teams; (4) will possess excellent oral and written communication skills and strong interpersonal skills. A record of independent contributions to research programs, experience carrying experiments from design to manuscripts, and potential for project leadership roles is strongly desired. Relevant technical skills include genome engineering (lambda Red, CRISPR/Cas), multi-fragment DNA assembly (Golden Gate, Gibson Assembly), experience with DNA and RNA-based biosensors, high-throughput sequencing and analysis (Illumina, PacBio, Oxford Nanopore), transposon mutagenesis library generation and analysis, and cell density and fluorescence assays via microtiter plate reader and flow cytometry. Experience engineering & characterizing microbial phenotypes in complex environments (e.g. soil matrices) is of particular interest.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Directorate: Earth & Biological Sciences

Job Category: Post-Graduates and Post-Docs

Group: Biological Systems Science

Opening Date: 2021-02-11

Closing Date: 2021-02-25