USDA-ARS Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in Vector Biology

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

Connect with ORISE...on the GO!  Download the new ORISE GO mobile app in the Apple or Google Play Store to help you stay engaged, connected, and informed during your ORISE experience and beyond!

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
  • Two educational or professional recommendations

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

Application Deadline
8/19/2021 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications may be 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), National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research located in Peoria, Illinois.

Research Project: The Crop Bioprotection Research Unit conducts research on biocontrol agents for controlling plant diseases and pests of agricultural and medical significance. Throughout the course of this appointment, the selected participant will conduct research within the mosquito research program and will participate in collaborative research to discover new environmentally-friendly biopesticides for mosquito control. The appointment will include designing and conducting field and laboratory experiments, data management, and preparation of scientific manuscripts for submission to peer reviewed journals.

Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will be involved in the following activities: 

  • Maintaining mosquito laboratory colonies.
  • Setting up and maintaining field and laboratory experiments.
  • Identification and processing of field-collected mosquito populations.
  • Preparing test solutions, culture media, and reagents.
  • Identifying mosquitoes, microbes, and plant compounds using a variety of molecular, microbiological and chemical ecology techniques. 
  • Maintaining proper labeling, handling, storage, use and disposal of solutions, biohazard and hazardous waste, and microbiological cultures.
  • Documenting and recording accurate data using laboratory information management system.

Learning Objectives: Participation in this program will provide the opportunity to:

  • Learn how to design experiments, formulate and test hypotheses and conduct field and laboratory studies
  • Learn how to analyze data using a variety of statistical packages
  • Conduct independent and collaborative research
  • Prepare scientific manuscripts
  • Network with colleagues

Mentor(s)The mentor for this opportunity is Ephantus Muturi ( If you have questions about the nature of the research support activities please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: August 1, 2021.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE InformationThis 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 must have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Degree must have been received within the past five years. 

Preferred skills:

  • Experience working with mosquitoes
  • Experience in various molecular biology skills such as DNA/RNA isolation, polymerase chain reaction, preparation of DNA/RNA libraries, and sequencing
  • Experience in operation of Gas-Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), HPLC, and Flash chromatography equipment
  • Strong written and oral communication skills 
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Doctoral Degree received within the last 60 month(s).
  • Discipline(s):
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (8 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).