Research Associate (Postdoc) – Chemistry, Lignocellulosic Conversion

Position Type

Location – University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.A.
Expected start date – Spring 2023.
Application deadline – Position open until filled.

Departmental Statement
The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC, is a cross-disciplinary and integrated research center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and led by the University of Wisconsin–Madison. With Michigan State University and other collaborators, GLBRC draws on the expertise of over 400 scientists to address today’s greatest challenges to produce transportation fuels and high-value chemicals while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

Within the DOE-funded Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) program, GLBRC collaborates with three other BRCs, each led by a DOE National Laboratory or a top university. Interactions between the centers help forge strong partnerships within the bioenergy research community in the U.S. and abroad, as well as with industry and government partners.

GLBRC is committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that welcomes and supports everyone. We believe that a diverse research community is a prerequisite to conducting the foundational innovation necessary to achieve our mission.  We strongly encourage applications from candidates who foster and promote these values.

Job description
Within GLBRC, our group studies how variation in the biomass feedstock and processing conditions impact the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to fuels and co-products. Specifically, our project uses metabolomics to identify soluble metabolites and cell-wall-bound phenolic compounds in wildtype and engineered plants and determine how those compounds change in biomass deconstruction and fractionation processes.

We seek a motivated candidate to join our lab to work on the synthesis of target compounds, characterization of biomass feedstocks, and perform targeted and non-targeted metabolomics on the solutions produced during the deconstruction and fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass.

Initial appointment is available for one year with strong potential for continuation depending upon funding and performance. Salary is commensurate with experience, in accordance with the NIH NRSA Stipend Level for Postdoctoral Trainees.

Professional & career development support
At GLBRC, we strive to provide a holistic and well-rounded experience to our postdoctoral trainees, and we recognize the importance of supporting their professional development needs to ensure their successful transition to the career of their choosing. To complement the scientific training received in their lab, postdocs at GLBRC can:

  • Attend and present at scientific research symposiums and/or conferences.
  • Access cross-discipline research environments and training opportunities within GLBRC and cross-BRCs.
  • Benefit from integrated career and professional development support (internal and external).
  • Take part in Outreach and Community Engagement opportunities.

Required degree
Ph.D. in chemistry, or related fields. Candidate must be within 2 years of PhD graduation to be eligible to apply.

Minimum requirements

  • Strong written and oral communication skills to collaborate and communicate effectively with a team of researchers from diverse scientific backgrounds.
  • Experience with organic synthesis and characterization techniques.

Desired qualifications

  • Experience with non-targeted metabolomics, isolation of natural products, and operation of analytical instruments (LC, GC, and NMR).

Required application materials
Send a cover letter (up to 2 pages) describing your interest(s) in this position and relevant skills, a CV, and the name and contact information of three professional references to the hiring supervisor, Steven D. Karlen (

Applicants will be interviewed electronically and possibly in person. Applications will be reviewed immediately and be considered until the position is filled.