Postdoctoral Research Associate - Fungal Systems Biology

Date: Jun 22, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12943 



Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest US Department of Energy (DOE) science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver solutions to compelling problems in energy and security. Our capabilities span a broad range of scientific and engineering disciplines, enabling the Laboratory to explore fundamental science challenges and to carry out the research needed to accelerate the delivery of solutions to the marketplace.


The Integrative Microbiomics Group in the Biosciences Division ( of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has an opening for a mycologist or plant pathologist to work as part of Plant Microbe Interfaces (PMI) Science Focus Area ( PMI is funded by DOE’s Biological and Environmental Research (BER) with the goal to gain a deeper understanding of the diversity and functioning of mutually beneficial interactions between plants and microbes in the rhizosphere.


In this position, you will work as part of an interdisciplinary team to understand the roles of fungal secondary metabolites in community establishment. You will be expected to integrate with technical support staff, as well as scientist in integrative microbiomics, synthetic biology, and the bioanalytical mass spectrometry groups at ORNL and partner institutions. You will design and execute laboratory experiments, analyze quantitative data, write, and communicate results to the scientific community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Design, conduct and interpret laboratory experiments that lead to scientific publications.

  • Perform cutting edge research utilizing fungal isolates, tissue cultured plant and state-of-the-art LC-MS/MS metabolomics.

  • Have an interested in performing fungal genetic engineering. 

  • Present research results at national scientific meetings.

  • Publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner. 

Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in mycology, microbiology, fungal biology, plant pathology, fungal genetics, molecular biology, or a related field is required.

  • Demonstrated expertise with isolating fungi from field samples (leaves, roots, soil, etc) and maintaining axenic cultures of fungi and plant tissue cultures.

  • Demonstrated record of experience with bioinformatics and statistical analysis software tools and a track record of primary contributions to peer-reviewed publications.

  • Applicants cannot have received the most recent degree more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment.  


Preferred Qualifications:

  • At least two years in isolating, culturing, and experimenting with various fungal species.

  • Experience with extraction of metabolites, mass spectrometry, generating and analyzing large datasets.

  • Excellent written and oral presentation skills.

  • Motivated self-starter with ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team.


For additional information, contact Dr. Tomás Allen Rush ( This position is a temporary, full-time assignment for 24-36 months, contingent on successful performance and continued funding.


You should apply directly through the ORNL careers website. Applications cannot be accepted through email or any other means.


UT-Battelle is an inclusive environment where diversity is valued and individuals and teams inspire one another to contribute fully to the organization's success. ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.


Special Requirements:

Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding.


Please submit three letters of reference when applying to this position. You may upload these directly to your application or have them sent to with the position title and number referenced in the subject line.


Instructions to upload documents to your candidate profile:

  • Login to your account via

  • View Profile

  • Under the My Documents section, select Add a Document


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include the following: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.


If you have difficulty using the online application system or need an accommodation to apply due to a disability, please email: or call 1.866.963.9545.




This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville