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University of Tennessee

Job Description

Post-Doctoral Research Associate – Center for Renewable Carbon (UTIA) - 2300000153 



Post-Doctoral Research Associate – Center for Renewable Carbon

Regular, Full-time, Exempt (monthly)


The position of a Postdoctoral Research Associate is open in the research group of Prof. Nicole Labbé in the Center for Renewable Carbon at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture in Knoxville, TN. The researcher will work on the development and evaluation of novel functional products from renewable lignocellulosic feedstocks. All candidates must have successfully defended and submitted their dissertation before employment date. The search starts immediately and continues until the position is filled.

The research project will focus on the following:

1) Developing sustainable biochemical fractionation processes to isolate and utilize plant biomass components, mainly hemicellulose.

2) Investigating the structure-function relationship between hemicellulosic oligosaccharides and prebiotic health supplements.

3) Developing therapeutic agents and functional feed additives from hemicellulosic oligosaccharides based on rigorous empirical evidence and through transdisciplinary collaborations.

This is a grant-funded position and is contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of funding.




Major Duties and Responsibilities:

·         The ideal postdoctoral research associate candidate will work on assigned research projects as well as lab management.

·         The postdoctoral research associate candidate must be knowledgeable and experienced in one or more of the following:

o   Plant biomass fractionation (organosolv, hydrothermal, alkaline pulping, ionic liquids)

o   Biochemical conversion of plant polysaccharides (enzymatic, microbiological)

o   Microbiological assays (in vitro and in vivo probiotic and gut bacterial proliferation)

o   Metabolomics (RNA/DNA extraction, RNA/DNA sequencing data analysis)

o   Basic biomolecular characterization (LC/MS, GC/MS, GPC)

·         Responsible for presenting and reporting research results and publishing scientific results in peer reviewed journals in a timely manner.

·         Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements.

·         Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.


Must have successfully defended and submitted dissertation by hire date; a Ph.D. degree in Biosystems Engineering, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Forestry, Natural Resources, Biology, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, or related fields.

·         An excellent track record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer reviewed journals.

·         The postdoctoral candidate must have strong verbal and writing skills.

·         The candidate must be willing to work independently and collaboratively with group members, and with experimental collaborators. The candidate must also be willing to mentor graduate students in the group from time to time.

·         Motivated and safety conscious.

·         Ability to set priorities, multi-task and adapt to ever changing needs with the proven ability to function well in a fast-paced environment.

·         Preference will be given for candidates with one or two years of post-doctoral research and grant writing experience.


The salary for this position is commensurate with experience and other qualifications. This is a regular, full-time, 12-month, non-tenure track staff position. The appointment is anticipated to begin July 15, 2023.

Application Process:

Please complete the on-line application ( for full consideration.  Applicants should include the following with their application: cover letter, curriculum vitae, Ph.D. transcript, and a list of at least three professional references (with current e-mail address and phone number). A review of all applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Primary Location: 

Knoxville, TN, USA


Center for Renewable Carbon, The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

The Institute & Location: 

The Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC) is an internationally recognized leader in the development of new and/or improved bioenergy sources, biorefinery processes, bioproducts, and biomaterials that coordinates the science, knowledge transfer, and trains the workforce required to develop a sustainable and economically viable bioeconomy. The CRC has 9 Faculty members, 16 post-doctoral fellows and administrative staff, and 7 GRAs. It also has state-of-the-art equipment for biomass fractionation, analytical characterization, organic chemistry, and material fabrication and characterization. Additional nanoscale and functional evaluation can be performed at the core facilities at the Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, in the University of Tennessee.

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville is the flagship educational institution in the State of Tennessee, and the Department of Chemistry is its oldest PhD granting Department.  We offer a long-standing tradition of excellence in chemical research and education, stretching from 1947, when the department granted the University’s first PhD degree, to the present.  We have people from diverse cultures providing an international business environment.  The city of Knoxville is a hidden gem with a beautiful and walkable downtown, a diverse music scene, active neighborhoods, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of outdoor and cultural activities. UTK is located within easy driving distance to Asheville, Nashville, Atlanta, and the Great Smoky Mountains; and a day’s drive to Memphis, Chicago and Washington D.C. Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a statistical area population of over 850,000 people. The Knoxville region houses many leading corporations, including Bush Brothers & Company, Discovery Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


  Research Professional 
Primary Location
  Center For Renewable Carbon 
Campus/Institute  Institute of Agriculture 
Job Posting
  May 31, 2023, 11:54:43 AM 

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