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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Microbial Ecology & Metagenomics

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Date: Jan 12, 2019

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 320 


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 Biosciences Division ( within ORNL seeks a postdoctoral research associate in the area of microbial ecology and metagenomics. You will join international and interdisciplinary teams of investigators passionate about understanding the ecology of plant associated and soil microbial communities as well as their responses to various anthropogenically induced changes (climate, contaminants, land use, etc) in multiple systems. We focus on projects using metagenome information to understand microbial interactions with Poplus tree species as part of ORNLs long term Plant Microbe Interfaces (PMI) Scientific Focus Area (

We believe you will have the flexibility to explore your interests within the broad scope of microbiology and metagenomics.


  • Design, conduct, analyze and interpret laboratory and field based research
  • Lead and contribute to the development of scientific manuscripts and proposals
  • Perform research utilizing a full range of state-of-the-art equipment/facilities for microbiology, molecular biology, ecosystem ecology, and genomics, in a professional environment with excellent technical support

Basic Qualifications Required:

  • Ph.D. degree in microbiology, ecology, molecular biology, or related fields.
  • Demonstrated expertise in both modern molecular ecology methods such as metagenome analyses, quantitative PCR, rRNA community sequence analyses, and ecosystem analyses for characterizing soil nutrient cycling.
  • Demonstrated record of expertise in informatics approaches for microbiome and metagenomics studies and a track record of primary contributions to peer-reviewed publications.

Qualifications Preferred:

  • A successful history of interdisciplinary, integrative, and creative research in the discipline of microbial ecology
  • Familiarity with software tools for next generation DNA sequence analysis of rRNA and metagenomic microbial datasets
  • The ability to program and script in R, Python or other languages to customize analyses is preferred


Appointments will initially be for 24 months with a possibility of an extension of up to 12 months. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and availability of funding. 

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.

Benefits at ORNL:  UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options. Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.   


Relocation:  Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details.


For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at

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