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USDA-ARS Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in Multispecies Biofilms

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

ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the Northeast Area (NEA) Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Beltsville, Maryland.

Research ProjectThis research project aims to generate scientific information on characterization, prevention, and mitigation of biofilms with foodborne bacterial pathogens in fresh produce processing and storage environments. Emphases are on metagenomic and metatranscriptomic characterization of multispecies biofilm formation involving foodborne pathogens, and on innovative technologies for mitigating multispecies biofilms. The participant will collaborate with other team members conducting independent research using advanced microbiological tools to characterize biofilm formation and mitigation. The participant will also contribute to other research projects aimed at improving fresh produce postharvest safety.

Participant activities include:

  • Collaborating with mentors and team leader in designing studies
  • Executing studies based on research plans and modifying research plans when necessary
  • Collecting and analyzing data to test hypotheses and to draw preliminary conclusions
  • Reporting research findings in close collaboration with a mentor and team leader

Learning ObjectivesThroughout the course of this research project, the participant will gain valuable experience by directly working with fresh produce industry to understand the food safety challenges facing fresh produce industry. The participant will develop technical skills and learn from experienced mentors.

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Xiangwu Nou ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: October 1, 2020.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The 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 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.