Postdoctoral Research Associate I

What we're looking for

We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate I with a background in trace gas instrumentation and scientific programming to join an interdisciplinary team developing soil gas sensors for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We are looking for a key member to join our NSF-funded Signals in the Soil (SitS) project, "SitS: Sniffing the Soil Volatilome: Decoding Microbial Interactions in Soil Systems using Subsurface Sensors," to evaluate soil VOC sensors against high-resolution chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) in controlled and complex soil systems. This is an interdisciplinary research project, and the candidate need not be familiar with all of the relevant methods.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate I will collaborate in person and remotely with the disciplinary diverse project team including Jordan Krechmer (mass spectrometrist, Aerodyne Research, Inc.), David Hagan (experimental atmospheric chemist, QuantAQ, Inc.), and Malak Tfaily (environmental metabolomics, University of Arizona). The postdoc position, offered through the University of Arizona (UArizona), is based in the greater Boston area at Aerodyne Research, Inc. (ARI), in Billerica, MA. The project involves field work at the UArizona Biosphere 2 in the second year. Broader impacts activities at the iconic Biosphere 2 provides ample opportunities for mentoring, outreach, and public engagement.

A postdoctoral mentoring plan is in place for this position, with the overarching goal to help the postdoc cultivate skills in research, teaching, and mentorship. All project PIs are committed to fostering career development through close interaction, constructive assessment, providing options for integrative interactions among collaborators, and support. The postdoc will be involved in all aspects of project planning and implementation.

The postdoc will gain experience working in industry, start-up, and academic environments, and be exposed to multiple different career paths therein.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, vision, and life insurance; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been recognized for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona and relocation services, please click here.

As a cost-saving measure related to the impact of COVID-19, Furlough and Furlough-Based Salary Programs have been approved by the Arizona Board of Regents. All new hires subject to the programs will be notified in accordance with adopted Furlough and Furlough-Based Salary Programs guidelines and will be required to comply with all measures. To learn more about the programs and whether this position is affected, please visit hr.arizona.edu/FY-2020-2021-Furlough-Program.

Preference for this opening will be given to those who apply by September 30th, 2021.


  • Conduct experiments evaluating VOC sensors under controlled and complex soil conditions
  • Collect and analyze VOC sensor and high-resolution chemical ionization mass spectrometry data
  • Train algorithms to interpret VOC sensor signals
  • Publication of novel experimental results
  • Strong programming ability, as well as experience in troubleshooting and fixing instrumentation and experimentation problems
  • The position requires an ability to work effectively in a team


Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Engineering, Analytical Chemistry, Atmospheric Sciences, Ecosystem Science, Biogeochemistry, Biology, or Related Field
  • This position requires a background in advanced analytical instrumentation and data interpretation

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with mass spectrometry, sensors, and machine learning
  • Prior demonstrated success in laboratory or field studies of atmospheric chemistry
  • Familiarity with concepts and techniques in atmospheric chemistry, soil and rhizosphere science, microbiology, genomics, and/or sensors are desirable, but not required.


Yes, full benefits. Please see the UA link for more details.


This position is offered through the University of Arizona, but will take place in the Greater Boston Area.

Recruitment Process + Next Steps

How to Apply

Please apply via the link at the University of Arizona official job posting:

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As an Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.