Share this Job

Postdoctoral Research Associate - Enzyme Engineering

Date: Feb 24, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10233 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest US Department of Energy 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 Synthetic Biology Group in the Biosciences Division ( of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has an opening for a biochemist to work as part of the multi-institutional Center for Plastics Innovation (CPI) Energy Frontier Research Center ( CPI is developing a comprehensive polymer plastics waste upcycling strategy that combines chemical and biocatalytic approaches to transform of complex plastics waste streams into high-value fuels, lubricants, monomers, and functional polymers.

In this position, you will work as part of an interdisciplinary team engineering enzymes for plastics deconstruction. You will be expected to integrate with technical support staff, as well as expert collaborators in polymer chemistry, computational and structural biology, and analytical chemistry at ORNL and at partner institutions. You will also design and execute laboratory experiments, analyze quantitative data, write, and communicate results to the scientific community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform research in enzyme biochemistry and engineering
  • Work with a diverse team of scientists
  • Interface directly with internal and external partners in various disciplines
  • Present research results at national scientific meetings
  • Publish scientific results in peer-reviewed journals in a timely manner
  • Participate in project planning and execution
  • Work with staff to develop new proposals
  • Maintain detailed and accurate records
  • Acquire and analyze data in keeping with project scheduling
  • Take a position of leadership for day-to-day laboratory operations while addressing ORNL's environmental health and safety requirements
  • Self-assess experimental research skill set and identify weakness and secure learning resources to address these issues
  • Ensure compliance with environmental, safety, health, and quality program requirements
  • Maintain strong dedication to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Ph.D. in biochemistry, bioengineering, chemical engineering, molecular biology, or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. degree more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with protein expression and mutagenesis
  • Experience with protein engineering (directed evolution or computational protein design) is desirable but not required
  • Experience generating and analyzing large datasets
  • Effective writing and presentation skills, demonstrated by a strong publication record from previous research
  • Desire to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Proven publication record


For additional information, contact Dr. Josh Michener (, This position is a temporary, full-time assignment for 24 months and can be extended for an additional 12 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.


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