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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Postdoctoral Researcher - Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Postdoctoral Researcher - Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology



CO - Golden


Position Type

Postdoc (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, is the nation's primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The Hybrid Processing Center at NREL has an opening for a full time Postdoctoral Researcher within the Synthetic Biology and Bioconversion group. The initial appointment is for one year, with possible renewal up to three years.

The Hybrid Processing Center is conducting research to improve biomass conversion to fuels, chemicals, and materials. Successful candidates will work on a collaborative project focusing on

metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for the production of renewable chemicals from biomass-derived sugars. In particular, focus will be placed on collaborating with a multi-disciplinary team for engineering non-model microbes to convert biomass-derived pentose and hexose sugars to organic acids as intermediates towards biofuel production. Moreover, the successful candidate will work with bioprocess engineers for scale-up activities in bioreactor cultivations to improve strain performance in an iterative fashion. This work will ultimately lead to industrially relevant strains and biofuel production processes.

The successful candidate will be able to:

  • work safely and independently in a laboratory setting

  • advise other researchers in the planning and execution of experimental work

  • communicate scientific results effectively, both written and oral

  • author peer-reviewed publications

  • work collaboratively in a large, multidisciplinary team of engineers, chemists, and biologists.


Basic Qualifications

Must be a recent, related PhD graduate within the last three years.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Research experience in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

  • Development and implementation of novel genetic tools

  • Demonstrated experience with metabolic engineering in non-model bacteria

  • Experience with systems biology methods

  • PhD degree in Biological Engineering, Molecular Biology, Chemical Engineering, or a closely related field

Preferred Qualifications

  • Development and deployment of CRISPR-based applications

  • Experience with engineering and cultivation of anaerobic microorganisms including ideally Clostridium species

  • Experience in fermenter cultivations


Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.

NREL is subject to Department of Energy (DOE) access restrictions. All candidates must be authorized to access the facility per DOE rules and guidance within a reasonable time frame for the specified position in order to be considered for an interview. DOE rules for site access during the interview process are the same regardless of whether the candidate is interviewed on-site, off-site, or via telephone or videoconference. Additionally, DOE contractor employees are prohibited from participating in certain Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRPs). If a candidate is currently participating in an FGTRP, they will be required to disclose their participation after receiving an offer of employment and may be required to disengage from participation in the FGTRP prior to commencing employment. Any offer of employment is conditional on the ability to obtain work authorization and to be granted access to NREL by the Department of Energy (DOE). We understand that COVID-19 may have caused delays or closures at offices, consulates, and embassies. However, NREL cannot make exceptions to work authorization and access requirements, and exceptions to these requirements are not being made for COVID-19 related delays.

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