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Associate Specialist 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 highly motivated and qualified lab specialist to synthesize small molecule model systems and corresponding polymers for creating a thermal contracting polymer platform [e.g. Nature Chemistry, 2013, 5, 1035]. Successful completion can lead to technological exploration in soft robotics, thermal waste harvesting and enabling the development of zero expansion electronic packaging materials.

The Specialist will be expected to stay abreast of recent developments in the field, develop research ideas and write research papers in a timely manner. It is also his/her responsibility to maintain some of the lab instruments and ensure compliance with environmental, health and safety requirements.

A master’s degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Polymer Science or a related field prior to starting the position with five to ten years of experience demonstrating expertise in relevant specialty is required. A Ph.D. degree is highly desirable. An appointee should have a record of academic accomplishments including published or in-press research in the field and a demonstrated record of University and/or public service. The successful candidate will have demonstrated strong written and verbal communication skills as well as accredited mentoring skills to mentor graduate and undergraduate students who will work on relevant projects. Travel to user facilities at the National Laboratories will be required; the selected candidate must have the ability to carry out this travel. Highly self-motivated individuals who have demonstrated the ability to conduct scientific research independently and successfully are highly desirable.

The candidates should have experience in the following two key technical areas:
• Extensive research experience in organic synthesis is a must, and knowledge in polymer synthesis is a plus.
• Be well versed in spectroscopic characterization techniques. Some knowledge in polymer characterization such as thermal analysis can be beneficial 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 through the AP 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 of 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

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)