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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Postdoctoral Researcher – Bio-based, compostable polymer design for packaging applications in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Postdoctoral Researcher – Bio-based, compostable polymer design for packaging applications



CO - Golden


Position Type

Postdoc (Fixed Term)


Hours Per Week



Job Description

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, is the nation's primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The NREL mission is to develop renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and practices, advance related science and engineering, and transfer knowledge and innovation to address the nation’s energy and environmental goals. A postdoctoral researcher role is available in NREL’s Renewable Resources and Enabling Sciences Center.

The successful candidate will work on a project to develop bio-based, compostable polymer materials for more sustainable packing applications. In particular, this position will focus on working with a computational materials design team screening and developing biobased monomers, synthesizing polymer samples, optimizing formulations, and characterizing polymer properties. Candidates will collaborate with a large, multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional team for novel material development to identify and overcome major technical hurdles to advance commercialization.

The successful candidate will be able to:

  • Work safely and independently in a laboratory setting

  • Plan and execute research in collaboration with other researchers

  • Synthesize and characterize polymer precursors and products.

  • Communicate scientific results effectively, both in written and oral formats

  • Author peer-reviewed publications, and

  • Work effectively in a large, multidisciplinary team of engineers and chemists.


Basic Qualifications

Must be a recent PhD graduate within the last three years.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Experience in polymer synthesis and characterization

  • In-depth experience with polymer characterization techniques (e.g. FTIR, NMR, TGA, DSC, DMA)

  • Troubleshooting and problem-solving skills and attention to detail

  • Ability to deliver high-quality results within aggressive timelines

  • Strong record of quality peer-reviewed publications.

  • Strong safety record and ability to follow complex standard operating procedures.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in bio-based polymer development

  • Experience in organic synthesis for monomer production


Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.


EEO Policy

NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.

NREL is subject to Department of Energy (DOE) access restrictions. All candidates must be authorized to access the facility per DOE rules and guidance within a reasonable time frame for the specified position in order to be considered for an interview. DOE rules for site access during the interview process are the same regardless of whether the candidate is interviewed on-site, off-site, or via telephone or videoconference. Additionally, DOE contractor employees are prohibited from participating in certain Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRPs). If a candidate is currently participating in an FGTRP, they will be required to disclose their participation after receiving an offer of employment and may be required to disengage from participation in the FGTRP prior to commencing employment. Any offer of employment is conditional on the ability to obtain work authorization and to be granted access to NREL by the Department of Energy (DOE). We understand that COVID-19 may have caused delays or closures at offices, consulates, and embassies. However, NREL cannot make exceptions to work authorization and access requirements, and exceptions to these requirements are not being made for COVID-19 related delays.

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