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BIG Collaboration between NC State University and DTU funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation

Ph.D. Student and Postdoctoral Research Positions

Unlock your passion for sustainability, creativity and science by joining an exciting program called the Biocatalyst Interactions with Gases (BIG) Collaboration between North Carolina State University (NC State) and Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU) made possible through a five year 50 million DKK grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The BIG Collaboration involves 11 faculty co-investigators from across different departments at our two universities, includes faculty with joint appointment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and will support a team of 10-12 dedicated researchers throughout the project.

Depending on project needs, we will seek motivated, qualified Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers to join our international, interdisciplinary research team. You will become part of a high-energy, supportive, and inclusive work environment with many opportunities for professional development and global networking. See below for specific position postings.

About the Collaboration

The BIG Collaboration, initiated in September 2022, will conduct fundamental research on the interaction between enzyme-based biocatalysts and the gaseous substrates N2 and CO2 – the “universal feedstocks” of life – that play major roles in climate change, the bioeconomy and food security. This boundary-spanning multi-disciplinary collaboration will build fundamental understanding of electro-chemo-physical phenomena that govern chemical conversions at immobilized enzyme interfaces to unlock the biotechnological potential of essential gas molecule reactions. We envision that enhancing biocatalyst interactions with gases by minimizing reaction barriers near immobilized enzyme interfaces will lead to transformative innovations to help overcome global sustainability challenges by transforming abundant gas molecule feedstocks into valuable products. 

Outcomes and Impacts

The work on six interdependent tasks of the BIG Collaboration will result in numerous tangible outputs including Ph.D. theses, joint publications and conference presentations across departments and institutions, invention disclosures, newly developed methods and prototypes of new materials and reaction systems. The BIG Collaboration will host workshops and symposia with the academic and industrial community offering an invigorating space for learning, inspiration, advancing project outcomes to the next stage of development and opening career opportunities. Your contributions and commitment to our collaborative environment is foundational to the impact we will achieve!

Research Positions

Currently all positions are filled. If new positions open, they may be posted here. Contact the relevant co-PI listed for more information about specific positions. In general, for PhD positions, send your cover letter with statement of relevant background and interest, your CV with contact information, and contact information for three references directly to the relevant co-PI. For Postdoctoral positions, click the Job Code link to find more information and submit your application.

Ph.D. Student – Enzyme Immobilization

Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State University. This position is anchored in Dr. Sonja Salmon’s Textile Biocatalysis Research Team. Position filled.

Postdoctoral Researcher – Biomaterial Characterization  

Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University. This position is anchored in Dr. Flora Meilleur’s Structural Biology Team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory Neutron Scattering Division. Position filled.

Ph.D. Student – Enzymology and Kinetic Modelling  

Section for Protein Chemistry and Enzyme Technology, DTU Bioengineering, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet. This position is anchored in Dr. Peter Westh’s Interfacial Enzymology Team. Position filled.

Postdoctoral Researcher – Enzyme Electrocatalysis  

Department, College, North Carolina State University. This position is anchored in Dr. Doug Call’s Research Team. Position filled.

Postdoctoral Researcher – Electron Microscopy  

Department of Physics, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet. This position is anchored in Dr. Stig Helveg’s Center for Visualizing Catalytic Processes (VISION) Team. Position filled.

Postdoctoral Researcher – Microbiology  

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University. This position is anchored in Dr. Amy Grunden’s Microbial Physiology Team. Position filled.

Ph.D. Student – Chemical Engineering  

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, College of Engineering, North Carolina State University. This position is anchored in Dr. Fanxing Li’s Sustainable Energy Research Team. Position filled.

Situated in the Piedmont region midway between the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic coast and located in Raleigh, North Carolina, NC State is the largest university in North Carolina, with more than 36,000 students and 9,000 faculty and staff members. National rankings consistently rate Raleigh and its surrounding region among the best places in the country to live and work, with a highly educated workforce, moderate weather, reasonable cost of living, and a welcoming environment. Each year, NC State adds $6.5 billion to the statewide economy, equivalent to creating more than 90,000 new jobs. We Think and Do through interdisciplinary partnerships and collaborations to create a stronger NC State, and better North Carolina and world.

Facts and Comparisons

Postdoctoral researchers and graduate students have many opportunities for professional development through established programs offered by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and The Graduate School.

NC State University is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, NC State University welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation or genetic information.

Founded in 1829 with the mission of creating societal benefit, DTU is a top international technical university where education and innovation are built on a foundation of world-class research. DTU is at the academic and multidisciplinary forefront of the technical and the natural sciences with new initiatives in a number of engineering disciplines, including sustainable energy technology and life science. Learn more about About Danmarks Tekniske Universitet.

Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, ORNL’s campus is just one hour away from the national park. Within a day’s drive of all major cities on the East Coast, ORNL provides proximity to the great outdoors and urban centers with diverse cultural attractions. ORNL is a world-leader in nano and neutron sciences and home to the Spallation Neutron Source, High Flux Isotope Reactor and Center for Nano Materials Sciences  user facilities. Thirty world-class neutron scattering instruments are available and more than 3,000 researchers from around the world travel each year to use the powerful neutron sources, to solve some of the most challenging scientific questions and spur innovation. Explore Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


For further information on specific openings, open the individual job postings linked above, or directly contact the relevant co-PI by email. Positions will remain open until they are filled, at which time a specific job posting will no longer accept applications.