We're recruiting a postdoctoral researcher for Systems Biology of Energy-Limited Bacterial Cells
Update July 26, 2022: This position has been re-opened. Reviews will occur on a rolling basis and the position will remain open until filled. Apply here.
You’ll be the lead researcher on our new project investigating the systems biology of energy limited deep-sea bacteria. This project is part of our new funding from the Simons Foundation. Your work will provide a systems-level understanding of slow bacterial growth in laboratory conditions designed to mimic those found in deep sea sediments. You’ll work independently and alongside engineers to continue development of a novel application of chemostat-like cultivation devices that enable continuous energy-limitation. You’ll apply various ‘omic tools to characterize the systems biology of microbes experiencing perpetual energy limitation in these cultivation devices. You’ll lead the project and will have significant creative input on the project direction as you apply some combination of systems biology tools that might include: metabolomics, mRNA decay measurements, ribosome footprinting (Ribo-Seq), transposon insertion sequencing (TnSeq), proteomics, or other approaches you think are appropriate. The tools and analyses used will depend on your expertise, but the overarching vision for the project is to integrate data from several approaches to distinguish the systems biology of energy-limitation from energy-replete growth. This project has up to 3 years of funding that is contingent on evaluations of project progress and your continued scientific growth.
There is no one skillset or scientific background that will define who we hire. And we’re deliberately casting a wide net. We’re looking for someone creative and with broad expertise in microbiology. As a systems biologist, you’ll view bacterial cells as the functional units of biology and strive to uncover a holistic understanding of cell physiology. Thus, you might be an expert in one or more of the following: classic bacteriology (physiology, chemostat operation, flow cytometry), microbial ecology, molecular biology/genetics (macromolecular extractions and preparation, genetic system development), metabolomics, or ‘omic data analysis using state-of-the art tools (R, anvi’o, etc.). You might not have trained in marine microbiology or have a limited knowledge of deep-sea microbes. We encourage you to apply if you have systems biology experience outside of marine microbiology, including (but not limited to) the study of bacterial persistence or dormancy, industrial microbiology, bacterial symbiosis, or natural products discovery.
You can expect to grow in your lab skill toolbox, versatility, and ability to think about complex data in your time with us. You can expect us to be an inclusive group who’ll support you in your growth, rise to challenges with you, and grow alongside you. But you won’t have to do it all—heroics aren’t necessary! Yes, we want to publish top-notch science with you, but we also want to be kind, considerate, fair, flexible, and calm. We care about how you develop as a scientist and as a person. To this end, we use science-based intentional mentoring approaches to help you achieve your project and career vision. This includes biannual review guided by your individual development plan, assessment of your professional goals, and charting your growth toward them. You’ll have the opportunity to be involved in selecting an undergraduate researcher that will work alongside you under your mentorship to accomplish the project goals and help you develop your own mentorship voice.
Beyond our lab group, UArizona offers a variety of professional and career development programs and ways to connect with other folks at similar career stages through UArizona Postdoctoral Affairs and the UArizona Postdoctoral Association. If you’re hired into an academic faculty position from your position in our lab, the microbes, resources, and techniques you develop with us can go with you to seed your independent research career—no strings attached.
We’re looking for a researcher who gets excited about applying systems biology or functional genomic approaches to understand the links between genomes and their expression and the physiology of unusual microbes or microbial growth states. You’ll have defended your doctoral degree in microbiology or a closely related biological field before the end of 2022. You’ll demonstrate solid microbiology fundamentals rooted in excellent written and verbal communication and organization with a commitment to independent problem solving.
You’ll also provide clear evidence of supporting diversity in the sciences in your application. Research shows that the highest impact science occurs when people from varied backgrounds come together to solve problems. And we want a diverse team built from different backgrounds, experiences, and identities—including yours. If you identify as a member of a historically excluded group in the sciences—you are welcome here! We put in the work that goes into maintaining an inclusive, supportive place for you to do your best work and expect that you’ll contribute to that ideal, regardless of your background. Once you get here, we’ll support your continued efforts to develop your own voice promoting inclusive excellence in the sciences. Applicants that do not address this point in their cover letter will not be reviewed.
You’ll have your own way of learning and style of how you do science. We’re committed to accommodating your uniqueness. We value self-starters who are biased toward taking action on a project, even if it means stumbling a bit along the way. We appreciate people who have clear opinions and can commit to a direction, even when there is disagreement. We want people who see value in everyone being heard. We rigorously consider ideas—and challenge each other on them—but all remember that we’re here for the same purpose: to do top notch science together. That comes with direct feedback, openness to each other’s experiences, and willingness to show up for each other as well as for the work at hand.
We want you to have a sustainable, healthy relationship with your work and will work with you to determine how you can do that. We expect 40 hours of work a week most of the time. You can expect a mindful ramp-up period with time to learn. You can expect a team that listens. You can expect to feel safe giving and receiving direct feedback. You can expect to be counted on, and you can count on us.
PAY AND BENEFITS
This is a 1.0 FTE Postdoctoral Research Associate with an annual salary matching your level of experience starting at $60,000. Actual incurred relocation costs will be reimbursed up to $4,000.
UArizona postdoctoral benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; childcare cost reimbursement, sick and emergency childcare, parental leave; qualified tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members, among other benefits. See here for full details.
Sometimes, work can wait—we want you to lead an emotionally and physically healthy life outside of work. The position is based out of Tucson, Arizona—a unique location in a unique ecosystem. In the winter months, the desert floor offers ample opportunity for an active, outdoor lifestyle. In the summer months, the area boasts access to numerous mountain ranges to hike, climb, camp, or bike. If you want to stay indoors, Tucson is home to numerous museums, including the Tucson Museum of Art, the Children’s museum, and the Pima Air and Space Museum. Finally, when you get hungry, you’ll be in one of UNESCO’s Cities of Gastronomy.
HOW TO APPLY
Please prepare an application package that consists of a cover letter (2-page limit, 12 point font) and a copy of your Curriculum Vitae. The cover letter should highlight 1) your excitement about the specifics of the research as outlined above, 2) evidence of your commitment to inclusive excellence in the sciences (and how you’ll continue that work here), and 3) specifically how your scientific training is a good fit for the research described. The structure of this cover letter is up to you. Applications that do not clearly convey these three points will not be reviewed. Tell us your story. Propose an idea. Address some of the work we do. Introduce yourself as a colleague. Give it a deep think and take this at your speed. We’re giving you our full attention.
Keep it sharp, short, focused, and get across what matters to you. We’re accepting applications on a rolling basis until we find the right candidate. The target start date is on or before January 2023 with a bit of flexibility.
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