USDA-ARS Research Molecular Biologist Postdoctoral Fellowship

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

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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.

Application Deadline
6/9/2023 12:18:01 PM Eastern Time Zone

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting will remain open until filled. 

ARS Office/Lab and Location: A postdoctoral research opportunity is available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Animal Disease Center (NADC), located in Ames, IA for a motivated scientist to join the Research Project entitled “Host Pathogen Interactions and Control Strategies for Bacterial Respiratory Pathogens in Cattle”. This fellowship will focus mainly on Mycoplasma mycoides cluster agents.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) mission involves problem-solving research in the widely diverse food and agricultural areas encompassing plant production and protection; animal production and protection; natural resources and sustainable agricultural systems; and nutrition; food safety; and quality. The programs are conducted in 46 of the 50 States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For ARS to maintain its standing as a premier scientific organization, major investments in computing, networking, and storage infrastructure are required. Training in data and information management are integral to the integrity, security, and accessibility of research findings, results, and outcomes within the ARS research enterprise. Nearly 2000 scientists and support staff conduct research within the ARS research enterprise.

Research ProjectThe selected applicant will work with a team of veterinarians, microbiologists, immunologists, bio-informaticians, and animal scientists investigating the pathogenesis of Mycoplasma mycoides cluster agents in ruminant species. The selected applicant will participate in in vivo studies to develop reliable animal models of disease in addition to characterizing virulence determinants that allow for bacterial colonization and persistence, with the goal of development of vaccines and diagnostics to mitigate the disease should it ever be introduced into the United States. Opportunities for international travel and collaboration are possible.

Learning ObjectivesThe participant will gain a better overall understanding of research through attendance of laboratory meetings, sharing and discussion of data with the research team, and reading of peer-reviewed papers in the respective field.

Mentor(s)If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact Dr. Eduardo Casas ( 

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: Spring/Summer 2023. 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 for an additional year (total of 2 years) upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant(s) will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The stipend for this opportunity is $64,009/year for the first year. A health insurance supplement will be provided along with a travel allowance for scientific and professional development activities.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR). 

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. However, this position requires a pre-employment check and a full background investigation. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

This is an equal opportunity program open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or covered veteran’s status. 

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 (e.g. Veterinary Medicine, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Genomics) by the anticipated appointment start date (Spring/Summer 2023). Degree must have been received within the last five years.

Preferred skills:

  • Experience in basic immunological, microbiological, and genomics techniques
  • Fluent technical writing in English for peer-reviewed publications
  • A strong background in microbiological techniques including procedures such as bacterial culture, isolation, and identification, and other procedures such as tissue culture, flow cytometry, ELISA, and western blotting
  • Experience with cellular biology skills, such as cell isolation and cellular function assay 
  • Experience with basic RNA and DNA isolation, PCR design and applications, and DNA and RNA sequencing techniques and large animal handling is a plus
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: LPR or U.S. Citizen
  • Degree: Currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree to be received by 5/31/2023 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (11 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).

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