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Post Doctoral Fellow - Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences

Clemson University
214 Poole Ag, Clemson, SC

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Job Details

Post Doctoral Fellow - Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences

214 Poole Ag, Clemson, SC
Open Date:
Mar 4, 2024

The Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences (FNPS) at Clemson University seeks to fill one postdoctoral position starting in late spring 2024. The postdoctoral candidate will be housed in FNPS and directed by Prof. William Scott Whiteside (PI; FNPS) with support from Dr. Sneh Bangar (Co-PI; FNPS) and Dr. Zhaoxu Meng (Co-PI; Mechanical Engineering). This position is funded by the Clemson R-Initiatives (CU FELLOWS) to work on a specific current project, "Valorization of Sweet Potato Waste: Biocomposites for Sustainable Packaging Applications. " The preferred candidate should have a strong background in Food Sciences, specifically in Food Packaging & Biopolymer modification. This position will include active participation in writing grant proposals and attracting funding for further research in the area. Furthermore, the position will include many opportunities to connect with other partners and industries.


The postdoc will complete experimental and computational research with the following aims: Aim 1: Training to standardize the extraction method for starch and cellulose nanocrystals from Industrial food waste and characterize them.; Aim 2: Strive to understand the compatibility between starch and cellulose nanocrystals and develop nanocomposite films using these materials; and 3: Understand the application of nanocomposite films in food packaging to extend food product shelf life, as well as explore the potential of biopolymer-based paper coatings with improved barrier properties. Through these objectives, we aim to establish a foundation for further large-scale studies (specifically compatibility between biopolymers) on biopolymer-based nanocomposite films for food packaging materials. The postdoc will receive laboratory training and will assume general responsibility for scientific operations in the lab. Clemson University is gaining recognition as a prominent national leader in the field of biopolymer packaging. FNPS has a long-standing reputation for innovative research and development of sustainable packaging solutions. This project also strongly aligns with CU's strategic initiatives, including improving the sustainability and quality of natural resources and promoting public-private partnerships.


About the Department of Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences
The Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences (FNPS) Department awards two undergraduate degrees (B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition and B.S. in Packaging Sciences) and three graduate degrees (M.S. in Food, Nutrition and Culinary Sciences, M.S. in Packaging Science, and Ph.D. in Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences). The Department is made up of 28 faculty, over 500 undergraduates, and approximately 50 graduate students. For more information about the department, go to:

About Clemson University
South Carolina’s highest-ranked national university is located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounded by Lake Hartwell and the Clemson Experimental Forest. It is home to nearly 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Clemson University has the highest Carnegie research designation (Very High, R1) and is committed to building a community of inclusive excellence where faculty scholars are dedicated to working and teaching in a multicultural environment ( The ClemsonForward Strategic Plan focuses on advancing its doctoral programs and strengthening research and scholarly impact while preserving the signature undergraduate experience that is at the heart of Clemson University. Learn more about the university at

  • A PhD degree in Food Science, Packaging Science, or a related field by the time of application.
  • Applicant must also have a demonstrated record of publication in peer-reviewed journals. Experience in grant writing would be given preference.
  • Evidence of strong communication skills, experience in working with diverse colleagues, and management are highly valued in ranking applicants.
  • A prior knowledge and experience in biopolymers, their production/modification, and food and paper packaging applications.
  • Practical abilities to work in a variety of labs, build new experimental setups, and conduct research independently.

Application Instructions:

Applications must include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, research statement, teaching statement, unofficial graduate transcripts, and three letters of reference addressing research competence.

Applications must be completed through interfolio at the following link:

Applications submitted by 3/15/24 will receive full consideration but this position will remain open until filled.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:
Clemson University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, pregnancy, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information. Clemson University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and encourages applications from minorities and women.


Working at Clemson University

Clemson is a dynamic research university located in Upstate South Carolina at the center of the booming I-85 corridor between Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga. One of the nation’s most selective public research universities according to U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Clemson University is the school of choice among top students in South Carolina and is increasingly competitive for the best students in the region and the nation. More than 17,100 students select from 70 undergraduate and 100 graduate degree programs through five academic colleges: Agriculture, Forestry and Life SciencesArchitecture, Arts and HumanitiesBusiness and Behavioral ScienceEngineering and Science; and Health, Education and Human Development.

Clemson’s transformation into a leading research institution — currently attracting in excess of $140 million in externally funded research and sponsored program awards per year — is based upon an academic plan that identifies eight emphasis areas in which the University has opportunities to increase education and research, to align with South Carolina’s economic development needs and to draw upon faculty strengths. Emphasis areas include automotive and transportation technology, advanced materials, biotechnology and biomedical sciences, leadership and entrepreneurship, sustainable environment, information and communication technology, family and community living, and general education.

Major economic development initiatives that have emerged from the academic plan include the Clemson International Center for Automotive Research — a 250-acre campus in Greenville, which has generated more than $225 million in public and private commitments in just four years; an advanced materials initiative at the Clemson Research Park, which includes a new LEED Silver-certified facility; and the South Carolina Health Sciences Collaborative — an initiative of the state’s three research universities and major health-care systems.

As the state’s land-grant university, Clemson reaches out to citizens, communities and businesses all over South Carolina. The Public Service Activities division includes the county-based Cooperative Extension Service, five off-campus research and education centers through the Clemson University Experiment Station and critical regulatory responsibilities for plant and animal health.

The University boasts a 1,400-acre campus on the shores of Lake Hartwell within view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Surrounding the campus are 18,000 acres of University farms and woodlands devoted to research. A warm campus environment, great weather and recreational activities offered by proximity to both the natural surroundings and large cities are part of the Clemson Experience.


Points of interest at Clemson include the following:

The Clemson Conference Center and Inn is a state-of-the-art facility for symposia, meetings, seminars and special events. The complex includes the Madren Continuing Education and Conference Center, the Walker Golf Course and the Martin Inn.

The South Carolina Botanical Garden, a 295-acre public garden, features several thousand varieties of ornamental plants and a unique collection of nature-based sculptures.

The Robert Howell Brooks Center for the Performing Arts brings an exciting array of concert, theater, dance, comedy and other live performances to the community.

The Robert Campbell Geology Museum at the Botanical Garden displays meteorites, minerals, dinosaur fossils and the largest faceted-stone collection in the Southeast.

The T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena is a showplace for livestock activities in the state and has hosted horse and livestock shows, rodeos, sales, 4-H activities, educational programs, and industrial and agricultural exhibitions.

Fort Hill, the home of John C. Calhoun and later of his son-in-law, University founder Thomas Green Clemson, is a registered National Historic Landmark located in the center of campus.

The Class of 1944 Visitors Center is the front door to Clemson — a friendly place to get tours, information, assistance and an introduction to this beautiful, historic university and community.

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