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Materials Chemistry, Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Apply Now Job Number: FAC447
Work Type: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Location: Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Categories: Sciences

Job Title

Materials Chemistry, Postdoctoral Research Assistant



University Expectation

MTSU seeks candidates committed to innovative teaching and meaningful service. We also seek to attract culturally and academically diverse faculty who value working with diverse students.


Salary is commensurate with education and experience.

Job Summary/Basic Function

The Department of Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University invites applicants for a postdoctoral research assistant position (#I46010) for a grant funded by the Department of Energy. This is a one-year temporary appointment with a possible renewal of one additional year, depending on the selected candidate's continued interest, performance, and funding. The start date for the position is as early as January 1, 2024.

The project aims to synthesize and characterize high-quality quantum dot samples and develop and optimize a mass spectrometry-based method for analyzing ligands on QD surfaces. The role of this position is to work closely with a cross-disciplinary team led by Drs. P. Greg Van Patten and Mengliang Zhang, in collaboration with groups at Michigan State and Stony Brook, to provide high-purity and quality materials and investigate the surface chemistry of QD. The successful candidate must deeply understand colloidal nanocrystals' growth and surface chemistry, write scientific manuscripts and conference contributions, and help with undergraduate and graduate student supervision.

The project employs novel, state-of-the-art methods for analyzing surface capping ligands on semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) to understand how vibronic-excitonic coupling impacts photophysical response and solar energy conversion. The successful candidate will be interested in contributing to synthesizing and characterizing luminescent QDs and developing professional and technical skills for future positions in academic or non-academic settings. The successful candidates should desire to work in a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and cross-departmental team environment of professional staff, students, faculty, and administrators.

Required Education

A terminal degree in chemistry, physical science, material science, or a closely related field is required by the appointment date.

Other Desirables

Applicants with research experience in high-quality, luminescent QD synthesis and those with experience characterizing QD with traditional spectroscopic and microscopic methods such as optical spectroscopy, NMR, TEM, powder XRD, DLS, etc., will receive special consideration. In addition, those with the ability and desire to learn and develop new synthetic and analytical methods and those with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including writing scientific manuscripts and delivering oral presentations, will receive special consideration.

Documents Needed to Apply

To successfully apply, applicants must include the following documents as separate attachments at the time of online application submittal: a cover letter; a curriculum vitae, which includes academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and a publication list; and a research statement. In addition, applicants must submit unofficial transcripts for their conferred doctorate degree.

All documents submitted (including unofficial transcripts) must be in English or include a translation.

Special Instruction to Applicants 

For more information about serving as a faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University, please visit our faculty recruitment webpage at

If you need help applying, please contact Mitzi Dunkley, Faculty Recruitment Specialist, at (615) 898-5128. If you have position-specific questions, please contact Mengliang Zhang at

MTSU offers a comprehensive benefits package, including but not limited to the following:  

  • Sick Leave
  • Vacation Leave for Administrative/Classified Staff/12-month Faculty
  • 13 paid University holidays
  • Medical, dental, vision, and life insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Optional 401K and 403B Deferred Compensation Plans
  • Educational benefits for the employee and their spouse and dependents
Click here for additional information. 


MTSU is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer that values diversity in all its forms. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Proof of U.S. citizenship or eligibility for U.S. employment is required before employment (Immigration Control Act of 1986). Clery Act crime statistics for MTSU are available at or by contacting MTSU Public Safety at (615) 898-2424.

MTSU is a Tobacco & Drug-Free campus.

This position requires a criminal background check. Therefore, you must provide information about your criminal history to be considered.

For individuals requiring reasonable accommodation to apply: In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation to apply for a position with MTSU, please call 615-898-2929 or email

Application Review Date: 11/22/2023

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