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Postdoctoral Associate

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date published:


Job Summary

The Shirts Research Group at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences encourages applications for a Postdoctoral Associate. The successful applicant will help develop guidelines, based on fundamental physical principles, by which short nonbiological heteropolymers with sequence specificity can fold into secondary structure elements. They will also help study what governs the relative stability between these allowed secondary structural elements. These initial studies will pave the way for more extensive and realistic modeling of the proposed heteropolymers, working with our experimental collaborators. This research effort is intended to build tools and theories for crafting human-engineered foldameric materials with a much larger range of properties and functions that occur in naturally occurring biological heteropolymers such as proteins.

Who We Are

The Shirts Research Group (, designs and characterizes new materials at the nanoscale through the use of theory and computation, with a focus on control of properties through non-covalent interactions and conformational heterogeneity. We work to design pharmaceuticals, functional membranes for separations and energy applications, and biological-nonbiological interfaces, in conjunction with experimentalists and industrial partners. We are especially interested in the development of computational tools that can fundamentally change molecular design by making searches through chemical and configurations space much more predictive, reliable and efficient. 

The Shirts group is located in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, a dynamic, fast-growing, top 15 chemical engineering school with a range of potential collaborators and strong connections to numerous other departments on campus. The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is the flagship campus of the University of Colorado system and one of the top public research universities in the US. Boulder, often ranked as one of the most livable cities in the US, is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is adjacent to the major metropolitan area of Denver.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

The successful applicant in this position will formulate hypotheses about what molecular interactions lead to a thermodynamically stable secondary structure. They will adapt existing and write new molecular modeling code to test these hypotheses, as well as propose experiments for collaborators to perform these hypotheses. They will work, usually in collaboration with other researchers on the project, to publish high-quality publications based on these studies. 

What You Should Know

Position runs for one year with the possibility of renewal, depending on the availability of funds. The start date for this position can be negotiable.

What We Can Offer

Competitive salary commensurate with experience, with a range of University benefits.


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be Collaborative. Be Groundbreaking. Be Boulder.

What We Require

Ph.D. in chemistry, chemical engineering, physics or related field.

What You Will Need

Strong skills and experience in statistical mechanics and molecular simulation.

What We Would Like You To Have

Competitive candidates will have a track record of scientific success in graduate study, creative and innovative thinking, experience working on teams, excellent writing skills, scientific programming expertise, as well as a strong publication record. Other qualifications that may be useful include expertise with Python and protein design algorithms.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume/CV
  2. Cover Letter
  3. List of references
    • During the application process you will need to enter contact information for three references who will be contacted to provide letters of recommendation and additional materials, if needed, as the search progresses.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email:

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.