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Postdoctoral Scholar
School of Forestry, Northern Arizona University
Position Close date: 
Monday, September 20, 2021

Special Information

This is a postdoctoral appointment funded by external grant money. This position is subject to the availability of funding. The incumbent is not eligible for Service Professional non-renewal notice, or Classified Staff layoff or recall status. This is a full-time position located at the NAU campus in Flagstaff, AZ.

Immigration Suppt/Sponsorship

NAU will not provide any U.S. immigration support or sponsorship for this position.

Job Description

Northern Arizona University invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher to work on a project on the epigenomics of disease resistance. This project brings together existing and new genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic resources to build a powerful platform for the study of epigenomic regulation of immune responses in long-generation tree species. This project will investigate the White Pine Blister Rust (WPBR) - sugar pine pathosystem to understand the role of DNA methylation in regulating trans-generational immune response. White pine blister rust (WPBR) caused by Cronartium ribicola is a devastating fungal disease causing greateconomic and ecological loss in five-needle pines in North America. The postdoctoral researcher will be based at Dr. De La Torre’s Forest Genomics lab at Northern Arizona University (NAU) and will collaborate with Dr. Wegrzyn’s Plant Computational Genomics lab at University of Connecticut.

Job description

Analyze and interpret RNA-seq data using bioinformatic tools
Analyze and interpret DNA methylation data using bioinformatic tools
Summarize research results for distribution/communication to the scientific community through peer-review publications in high-impact factor journals and conference presentations.
Train undergraduate students in molecular techniques to extract RNA/DNA and preparation of libraries for sequencing
Maintain an efficient and constant communication with students and faculty at the NAU Forest Genomics Lab.

Minimum Qualifications

PhD degree in Biology, Genetics, Bioinformatics, or related field of study.
Proficiency in Perl or Python, and R
Proficiency with Linux and high performance computing.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience with bioinformatic tools related to several of the following topics in plant genomics: RNA-Seq, comparative genomics, association genetics, systems biology, and methylation analysis.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

Molecular lab experience is desirable.
Strong statistical background.
Ability to travel once a year for sample collection or to attend conferences
Good communication skills
Ability to promote a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment

Background Information

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check.

Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States.

Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities.

If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


The budgeted salary amount is $54,779.

Commensurate with experience.

**The starting salary will be determined by the qualifications of the selected applicant balanced with departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.


Post-Doctoral Scholars are hired on a contract basis, renewable each fiscal year for a maximum of 4 renewals (5 years) according to terms of the Arizona Board of Regents' Conditions of Post-Doctoral Service.

NAU offers an excellent benefit package to Post-Doctoral Scholars including generous health, dental and vision insurance; 10 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date. Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits. Participation in NAU retirement plans is not available to Post-Doctoral Scholars. More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU HR benefits page.

Learning and Development

Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development. New employee on-boarding training includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days. If your position includes the supervision of a benefit-eligible employee, we offer the NAU Supervisors Academy for you to complete within your first 2 years.

Application Deadline

September 20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button on this page. You must submit your application by clicking on the "Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Human Resources website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

Complete applications should include the following:

1-2 page research statement (past and future interests),
Github or similar of previous scripts/code (recommended),
two publication samples,
unofficial copy of transcripts, AND;
Contact information for 3 professional references
If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-523-3312/TDD - 928-523-1006 or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

How to apply: 
Search for Post Doctoral Scholar and you will find Job ID 605586 at