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Position description - Synthetic Biology

The College of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota announces one tenure-track position for Assistant Professor who will work as part of a research cluster in Synthetic Biology. The aim of this cluster hire is to promote a spectrum of approaches that address design and engineering of microbial systems using synthetic biology approaches.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The successful candidate will develop a strong, extramurally funded and collaborative research program that establishes new research areas that lead to the formation of a strong microbial systems and synthetic biology emphasis within the College and the BioTechnology Institute (BTI). Following recent hiring of new faculty in synthetic biology and ecology, this search will focus on a faculty member who can design microbial systems, including signaling pathways and metabolic networks.

The candidates will be selected, in part, on the basis of how well their research program interfaces and complements current faculty research in BTI and in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics (BMBB). BMBB is home not only to faculty in synthetic biology and biotechnology, but also molecular, metabolic, chemical, structural and systems biology. The research should augment current BMBB faculty research and provide opportunities for new collaborative research with faculty from different departments and programs at the U of M. In particular, BTI, which includes faculty from research units across the university, has provided a natural focal point for basic scientists to grow their research in more applied and synthetic directions. BTI recently launched a synthetic biology focus, which aims to investigate and engineer microbial systems for biotechnology applications. A cluster hire effort in Microbial Systems for Bioremediation of Water and Soil was successfully completed.

The successful candidate is expected to pursue a scholarly, innovative, and collaborative teaching program, advise undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students, and participate in professional service. This position provides opportunity for collaboration across multiple disciplines in the life, physical and engineering disciplines, and access to students in multiple graduate programs.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in biotechnology, microbiology, chemical engineering, plant biology, biochemistry, ecology, evolutionary biology or a related discipline, and appropriate post-doctoral experience
  • Strong publication record in disciplines related to the position
  • Potential to initiate and sustain a strong externally funded research program in synthetic biology with a focus on microbial systems
  • Ability to communicate effectively with multiple audiences
  • Track record of interacting creatively, collaboratively, and productively with other scientists
  • Evidence of commitment to teaching and student learning
  • Evidence of commitment to equity and diversity

Materials Required:

  • Letter of application/intent
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Names/Contact information for three professional references (letters of recommendation will be requested after the pool has been narrowed)
  • Statement of research (attach as Additional Document 1)
  • Statement of teaching (attach as Additional Document 2)


Evaluation of applications will begin September 15 and continue until the position is filled.


Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota, with its five campuses and 67,932 students, is one of the largest, most comprehensive universities in the United States, and ranks among the most prestigious research universities in the world. It is both a major research institution, with scholars of national and international reputation, and a state land-grant university, with a strong tradition of education and public engagement.

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus has extensive research facilities; including facilities and centers in genomics, high-performance computing, mass spectrometry and proteomics, NMR and biophysical spectroscopy, protein crystallography, imaging, bioproduction and bioprocessing. In addition, the campus is located in the heart of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, which is rich in cultural and natural attractions.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The University supports the work-life balance of its faculty and especially encourages applications from women and members of under-represented groups.

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  2. Visit the University of Minnesota Employment System at and search for Requisition Number: 193389