Job ID: 184630

Postdoctoral Fellow

Cornell University

  • Apr. 27, 2022
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Plant Biology
  • Cornell University
    Ithaca, NY
  • May 10, 2022
  • Available immediately
  • Post-Doc
  • Physics - Condensed Matter/Low Temperature
    Mathematics/Applied Mathematics
    Materials Sciences/Polymer Sciences
    Food Sciences/Technology/Toxicology
    Environmental Sciences/Ecology/Forestry
    Botany/Plant Sciences
    Biology - Molecular
    Biology - Microbiology
    Biology - Computational
    Biology - Cell Biology
    Biology - Biostatistics
    Biology - Genetics
    Biology - General

The Cornell Engineered Living Materials Institute (ELMI) is seeking applicants for postdoctoral fellowships. Fellows will work with faculty affiliates to pursue their own original proposed research that aligns with ELMI objectives.

The ELMI is a bold new initiative at Cornell that reimagines a world in which materials are grown to address societal needs currently, insufficiently met, by engineering materials (metals, polymers, ceramics, semiconductors, and glasses). We will utilize what biology is best at – growth, self-organization, multi-functionality, and harnessing alternative energy sources – to design materials, devices, and structures that are both more functional and more environmentally friendly than our current approaches. Achieving such a vision will require scientific, engineering, and design innovation. The field of Engineered Living Materials is multidisciplinary; applicants with expertise in all relevant disciplines (engineering, biological sciences, architecture, etc) are encouraged to apply.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: biologically-enabled transducers and controllers, engineering biology for extreme environments (e.g. radiation, low gravity), multispecies symbiosis, autonomous air quality modulation, and directing biological growth for multifunctional structures. Microbial, fungi, plant-based, and hybrid approaches are all welcome. Experimental, computational, and theory-based approaches are also welcome. Out-of-the box approaches are encouraged.

The fellowship term is two years. The second year is contingent on performance and mutual agreement between the fellow, the advisers, and the ELMI. There is a base salary of $54K and a research budget of $15K per year. We expect that the fellows will have the option of transitioning to a sponsored grant for subsequent years.

All fellows will have access to Cornell’s Office of Postdoctoral Studies, which provides career services, including CV and resume writing, interview preparation, workshops designed specifically for postdocs including a postdoc leadership program, and social activities.

Applications will be evaluated based on the quality and originality of the proposed research, alignment with the ELMI vision, quality of the applicant past performance assessed through CV and reference letters, and potential to facilitate collaboration among faculty affiliates. Applicants are strongly encouraged to speak with their intended primary research advisor prior to submitting an application. ELMI faculty affiliates and application instructions are given below.  General inquiries can be directed to Meredith Silberstein, the current ELMI director, at

Primary Faculty Affiliates:

Buz Barstow

Ilana Brito

Laura Gunn

Maria Harrison

Christopher Hernandez


Sarah Kreps

Sijin Li

Alyosha Molnar

Adrienne Roeder

Jenny Sabin


Robert Shepherd

Meredith Silberstein

Rong Yang

Jingjie Yeo


Application packages must include:

Personal statement – discussing past research and career goals (1 page maximum, 11-point font minimum, single spaced)

Research statement – proposed research of fellowship period (2 pages maximum including figures, 11-point font minimum, single spaced)

Faculty of interest statement - which faculty you would like to work with and how it will enable your research vision (1/2 page max)

CV – (3 pages maximum)

List of 3 referees – include email, phone, and affiliation

Applications should be submitted by May 10th, 2022 via email to

  • Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

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