Postdoctoral Scholar - Synthetic Biology Policy - EBRC

Postdoctoral Scholar - Synthetic Biology Policy - EBRC

UC Berkeley and the Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) are seeking postdoctoral scholars interested in science policy. Postdocs will leverage their previous training to work with EBRC programs and to conduct an individual research project.

EBRC is a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to bringing together an inclusive community committed to advancing engineering biology to address national and global needs. We showcase cutting-edge research in engineering biology, identify pressing challenges and opportunities in research and application, and articulate compelling research roadmaps and programs to address these challenges and opportunities.


Applications are being accepted for those interested in any of our four focus areas: Technical Research Roadmapping, Security, Education, and Policy & International Engagement. Roughly 75% time will be dedicated to projects in the selected focus area.

Technical Research Roadmapping: Working with EBRC’s Roadmapping Director, postdocs in this focus area will develop and curate technical content for updates to the EBRC research roadmap. A national-scale effort, postdocs will work closely with the EBRC membership by facilitating interactions with the working group, executing workshops and working meetings, and performing independent literature research to ensure the best expertise is brought to bear in material development.

Security & Synthetic Biology: Working directly with the Director of Security Engagements, postdocs will develop and deliver papers, briefings, and courses on the security considerations of engineering biology in academia and industry. The targets of these materials will range from undergraduates to government policy makers, so a strong ability to tailor communications to a specific audience is necessary for success. Postdocs will have the opportunity to interact with the national security community on issues relevant to synthetic biology

Synthetic Biology Education: Education-focused postdocs will work closely with the education working group and through independent research to understand the synthetic biology education landscape in the US. Currently, EBRC is focused on engagement at Grades 6 through 12, with the goal of developing/advancing and implementing standardized synthetic biology curricula. The postdoc will also work on the development of a roadmap for synthetic biology education and integration with the EBRC technical roadmap for engineering biology.

Policy & International Engagement (P&IE): Policy postdocs will work the P&IE working group on a wide range of policy topics. Our current efforts are on US developments in the bioeconomy and how EBRC’s research roadmap intersects with governmental decision making. Internationally, EBRC is focused on understanding the global bioeconomy, synthetic biology strategies in different countries, and multinational governance like the Convention on Biological Diversity.

All EBRC postdocs will spend 25% of their time on an independent science policy research project. Postdocs will work with the Executive Director to develop a science policy project of interest to the incumbent and consistent with EBRC’s mission and strategic goals. Strong projects will leverage the postdoc’s technical background, their policy area of interest, and EBRC’s access in the synthetic biology research community and the US government.

All postdoc appointments will be made through UC Berkeley and supervised by the EBRC Executive Director. In addition to the projects outlined above, postdocs will participate in EBRC core activities (annual meetings and retreats); have opportunities for relevant training in science policy; and meet government officials and policymakers through EBRC events and periodic trips to Washington, DC.

Basic Qualifications required at the time of application:

Ph.D or equivalent international degree or enrolled in Ph.D or equivalent international degree program

Additional Qualifications must be met by the start of the job:

PhD or equivalent international degree

Preferred Qualifications:

PhD in biology, synthetic biology, bioengineering or related field.

Salary: This is a full-time position. Salary is commensurate with experience.

How to apply:

To apply, please go to the following link:

Contact information for three references are required however, letters of reference are not required at this time. We will seek your permission before contacting your references. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality:

This position will be open until filled. The anticipated start date is flexible. The appointment is for a duration of one year with possibility of renewal based on performance and availability of funds. Please address inquiries to Douglas Friedman,

University of California Postdoctoral Scholars are exclusively represented by the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). The union’s (UAW 5810) website is Details concerning your benefits as a Postdoctoral Scholar are set forth in Article 3, "Benefits," of the UC-UAW Local 5810 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). A copy of the CBA between the University of California and the UAW is located at:

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:


Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - In your cover letter, please indicate the focus area(s) of interest as well as initial ideas for your independent project.

Reference requirements

  • 3 required (contact information only)

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