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Assistant Research Professor - Engineering Science and Mechanics

The Pennsylvania State University is seeking an Assistant Research Professor. The successful candidate will lead microbial strain engineering projects by planning and developing molecular and synthetic biology tools to create materials proteins with improved performances. Technical projects may involve developing new molecular biology tools to improve fermentation capabilities, manipulating production in heterologous organisms, including bacteria and yeast, and designing protocols to produce material protein. The Assistant Research Professor will work with Professor Melik Demirel in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, and, in addition to these duties, the successful candidate will be expected to complete research and development tasks as assigned by the Principal Investigator (PI).


  • Assist with maintenance and inventory of lab supplies, as well as assist with reconciling expenses.

  • Produce and maintain lab protocols and reports, including experiment results and health and safety protocols.

  • Prepare and present research and technical results based on lab efforts.

  • Assist in writing grant proposals for lab funding.

  • Collaborate with other members of the lab, as well as with various agencies and departments at Penn State, to support ongoing research. This includes identifying and resolving research and development issues, designing and maintaining research equipment, ensuring all health and safety protocols are being followed in accordance with the latest guidelines, and discussing goals, action items, and outcomes for the lab.


The Assistant Research Professor should possess a terminal degree or its equivalent in an academic field related to their research. Alternatively, the Assistant Research Professor without a terminal degree should possess at least a master's degree or its equivalent in an academic field related to his/her teaching specialization, must have demonstrated ability as a researcher, and must have shown evidence of professional growth and scholarship in their discipline. Ph.D. degree is preferred.

The successful candidate will have in-depth knowledge of the engineering of microbial systems, including bacteria and yeast. At least two years of experience in synthetic biology and biotechnology is preferred. Experience with grant writing and compliance is a plus.

Additional Information:

U.S. citizenship is required. This is a non-tenure-line, term appointment, funded for one year from date of hire, with good possibility of renewal.

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity in society and nature, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission.

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