USDA-ARS Animal Disease Research Postdoctoral Fellowship

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Reference Code
How to Apply

A complete application consists of:

  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted. All transcripts must be in English or include an official English translation. Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume/CV, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list
  • Two educational or professional recommendations

All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

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Application Deadline
12/23/2020 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline.

ARS Office/Lab and LocationA research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the Animal Disease Research Unit located in Pullman, Washington.

Research ProjectThe USDA-ARS Animal Disease Research Unit performs research on infectious diseases of agricultural animals to provide solutions to problems that have significant economic impact on livestock industries of the United States. For that, ADRU conducts research in multiple projects, including the development of an effective strategy to control malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). The current goal of the project is to construct new vectors to deliver antigens to be tested as MCF vaccine candidates. The project has a training opportunity where a participant will use a combination of advanced molecular biology techniques for construction of new vaccine vectors and perform animal trials to test the safety and efficacy of new vaccine candidates.

Under the guidance of a mentor, participant activities will include:

  • Learning about genetic engineering techniques
  • Performing laboratory and animal research on vaccine development
  • Receiving mentoring in scientific writing
  • Presentation of research results at scientific conferences.

Learning ObjectivesThe participant will develop and expand his/her professional knowledge of molecular biology, immunology and vaccinology by performing hands-on experiments using genetic manipulation of viral vectors and vaccine trials in different animal species. The participant will have the opportunity of publishing scientific articles describing 1) the construction, characterization, and immunogenicity of new vaccine vectors; and 2) safety and efficacy of selected vaccine candidates in protecting susceptible species from MCF. Moreover, this project will enhance the participant's capability to independently design, plan, and implement sophisticated approaches to solve livestock problems, which will give them expertise that can be used in different but related research fields.

Mentor(s): The mentors for this opportunity are Stephen White (Stephen.white@usda.ars) and Cristina Cunha ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: January 15, 2021.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for two years, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields.

Preferred skills:

  • Strong background on molecular biology, cell biology and virology, with experience on genome recombination techniques, gene cloning, protein expression and purification, molecular analysis and quantification assays, cell culture and maintenance; virus growth and titration.
  • Animal care and use skills and willingness to work with animals
  • Fluent technical writing in English for peer-reviewed publications and presentation at major scientific meetings
Eligibility Requirements
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (14 )