Post doctoral Researcher in Microplastics

Job description

Posting Details

Classification Information

Classification TitlePost doctoral Researcher in MicroplasticsDivisionCollege of Liberal Arts and SciencesDepartmentEarth & Environmental Systems and BiologyFLSA StatusExempt (Overtime exemption status is determined at the time of hire based on the rate of pay)Work ScheduleIf Other (provide months)Full Time vs Part TimeFull TimeAppointmentTermIf Term, specify number of years2 yearsPrimary Function

The University of the South in Sewanee, TN is seeking an early career postdoctoral researcher (graduated from their PhD within the last 5 years) with knowledge in analytical chemistry, toxicology, or a related field to conduct research on freshwater microplastics within the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems and Department of Biology. The position is a fixed-term position of a period of 2 years, with possible extension depending on funding.

The objective of the project is to characterize the abundance and distribution of microplastics within the watershed of the Tennessee River system, including tributaries of the Tennessee River, groundwater, lakes and wetlands. A major research goal is to improve methodology for quantification of microplastics in freshwater ecosystems with the use of a Raman microscope. In addition, the candidate will begin examination of the prevalence of microplastics in the aquatic food chain. Additional research projects may be developed as time allows, particularly those that include mentoring Sewanee undergraduates in research experiences.

The candidate will also help establish a research relationship with the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute in Chattanooga with the goal of broad dissemination of research results from this project, as well as sharing other work about the impact of microplastics in aquatic environments. Experience in science communication or outreach is preferred.

Typical Duties & Responsibilities

- Conduct the specified program of research under the supervision and direction of the Principal Investigator.
- Attend and regularly present results at project progress meetings including both Sewanee faculty and Aquarium scientists.
- Mentor Sewanee undergraduate students in research projects as appropriate.
- Engage in the dissemination of the results of the research through presentations, publications, and public outreach.

Job Specifications/Position Qualifications (minimum)


The candidate must hold a PhD in biology, environmental chemistry, geology, or other closely related field. A documented completed degree is a prerequisite for employment.


We are primarily looking for applicants who have experience with aquatic contaminants.

The successful candidate should have excellent writing skills with experience of report writing or publications in high impact journals preferred. Experience in R statistics or other statistical packages is desirable but not essential. The candidate should be well organized and have excellent communication skills, with both the scientific community as well as the general public. Additionally, the candidate must have experience in conducting field work.

Special Instructions

Please submit your cover letter, CV, graduate transcripts (unofficial accepted), and contact details of three references* through the online application portal.

*Submit contact details of three references under Letter of Recommendation 1.

Work Environment

Physical Requirements and Work Conditions

The candidate must hold a valid drivers license and be prepared to work at both The University of the South in Sewanee, TN and the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, TN.

Physical RequirementsAny additional requirements specific to this position University Employment Information

University Information

The University of the South comprises a well-regarded College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a distinguished School of Theology. It is an institution of the Episcopal Church that welcomes individuals of all backgrounds. The University is located on a striking, 13,000-acre campus on Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau.

EEO Statement

The University of the South is an equal opportunity educational institution that is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus environment.

Employment PrescreeningEligibility for employment is contingent upon successful prescreeningNon-Discrimination Statement

The University of the South’s policy against discrimination, harassment, sexual misconduct, and retaliation is consistent with Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 34 CFR Part 106, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 34 CFR 104.7, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008. In addition to contacting the Title IX Coordinator, who is the compliance coordinator, persons with inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and 34 CFR Part 106 may contact the Regional Civil Rights Director, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region IV, 61 Forsyth Street S.W., Suite 19T70, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

    Documents Needed to ApplyRequired Documents
    1. Cover Letter
    2. Transcripts
    3. Letter of Recommendation 1
    4. CV
    Optional Documents
    1. Miscellaneous 1
    2. Miscellaneous 2




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    Job No:
    Posted: 9/20/2019
    Application Due: 1/23/2020
    Work Type: