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Postdoctoral Scholar in Organic and Polymer Synthesis

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With more than 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration and professional development. With bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.

Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design, and supports the economic development of Merced and the region.

In Fall 2016, UC Merced broke ground on a $1.3 billion public-private partnership that is unprecedented in higher education. The Merced 2020 Project will nearly double the physical capacity of the campus by 2020, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. UC Merced is also building the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building in the heart of Merced.

The Functional Nanomaterial Research Laboratory directed by Dr. Jennifer Lu, is looking for a motivated and qualified postdoctoral scholar to synthesize model systems and corresponding polymers for creating a new low-energy driven stimuli-responsive material platform [e.g. Nature Chemistry, 2013, 5, 1035] that is highly efficient and robust.

The candidate is expected to stay abreast of recent publications in the field of stimuli-responsive materials, develop research ideas and write research papers. The postdoctoral scholar will be expected to assist with mentoring graduate students and undergraduate students who will work on the project. The postdoctoral scholar is also responsible for maintaining spectroscopic equipment and reinforce lab hygiene. Travel to user facilities at the National Laboratories will be required. This is a two year project with appointments being year-to-year based on continuation of funding and satisfactory performance.

Qualifications: Applicants must have obtained a PhD in chemistry, polymer science or a related field. Strong written and verbal communication skills are required. Highly self-motivated individuals who have demonstrated the ability to conduct scientific research successfully and work independently are desirable.

The candidates should have experience in the following two key areas:
1) extensive experience in organic synthesis is a must, and knowledge in polymer synthesis is a plus.
2) Be well versed in the use of a variety of spectroscopic techniques to determine material composition. Some knowledge in material property characterization such as mechanical properties and thermal expansion coefficient is valuable to the project.

Interested applicants are required to submit 1) a cover letter 2) curriculum vitae and 3) a list of three references with contact information including mailing address, phone number and e-mail address; this will be submitted through the Recruit system.

Salary is based on the University of California Academic Salary Scales. Review of applications will begin immediately. Position is open until filled with a final closing date June 30, 2018. Starting dates are negotiable.

The University of California, Merced is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer with a strong institutional commitment to the achievement of diversity among its faculty, students and staff. The University is supportive of dual career couples.

Please contact Jennifer Lu at for additional information.

Job location

Merced, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)