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USDA-ARS Chemist Research Associate Postdoctoral Fellowship

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A complete application consists of:
All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

Application Deadline

3/31/2023 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone


*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and LocationA postdoctoral research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Food Quality Lab (FQL) located in Beltsville, Maryland.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.
The Food Quality laboratory is part of the USDA’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC). BARC has fully equipped modern laboratories located on a 6,000 acre campus only 10 miles from Washington, D.C. There are hundreds of scientists conducting agricultural research at the Center. The University of Maryland at College Park, MD is located 3 miles from our research facility. In addition, the National Institutes of Health, American University, Joh Hopkins University, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County are in close proximity to our laboratory. This allows access to professional advice on scientific matters, to equipment, and availability to a full array of seminars, workshops, and conferences.

Research ProjectThis project addresses vegetable production and evaluation under controlled environment agriculture (CEA) conditions. Key objectives are to 1) investigate the effect of light and other conditions on the growth and nutritional profile of microgreens and baby greens; 2) develop and test novel biodegradable growth substrates including hydrogels for hydroponic production of vegetables; and 3) evaluate the effect of pre- and post-harvest light treatment on the quality and nutrition of fruits and vegetables. Major thrusts are integrating chemical, physiological, and engineering approaches to improve quality, nutrition, and safety of fresh produce.  

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: April 17, 2023.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe 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 ParticipationThe appointment is part-time (20 hours per week).

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR).

ORISE InformationThis 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.


The qualified candidate should have received a doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields (e.g. Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Food Science).
Preferred skills include:
  • Strong laboratory research skills, and ability and skills at equipment operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • Degree: Doctoral Degree.
  • Overall GPA: 3.00

Reference Code