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Post Doctoral Fellowships, Cost-Effective Use of Bioenergy for C02 Conversion, Canada First Research Excellence Fund

Job ID: 13489

Updated: July 27, 2017

Location: Main Campus

Position Description

Can We Cost-effectively Use Bioenergy for CO2 Conversion?

In 2016, the University of Calgary was awarded $75 million, over seven years, from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) for its initiative entitled: Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low Carbon Unconventional Resources. The goal of this research is to dramatically reduce the impact of energy extraction and energy use on the environment.

One of the CFREF themes focuses on bioenergy and includes the air capture of carbon dioxide, organic photovoltaics, production of algal biomass, conversion of biomass to methane and other products, and life cycle assessment. For this theme, we are currently recruiting 2 Postdoctoral Fellows.

Successful candidates will join a multidisciplinary team of materials chemists, microbial ecologists, bioand chemical engineers, currently consisting of 5 principal investigators and >10 postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and undergraduates.

We seek applications from qualified candidates within 1-4 years of their PhD degree. The required qualifications are as follows:

  • (1 PDF large area organic photovoltaics): PhD in chemistry, physics or materials science with an emphasis on organic electronics and/or solar cells. The ability to fabricate and test organic solar cell devices. Experience with large area module fabrication is desired. The successful candidate will be expected to optimized small area organic solar cells, establish protocols for large area films and module fabrication, and oversee integration of the photovoltaic with algal growth. More information: Greg Welch (
  • (1 PDF algal cultivation): PhD in algal biotechnology with an emphasis on optical approaches to determine photosyntetic yields/productivity. The successful candidate will develop optical approaches (e.g. hyperspectral imaging, chemometrics) to assay and optimize photobioreactor performance. More information: Marc Strous (

In addition, each candidate will be required to work within a team environment and so excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a diverse group of interdisciplinary researchers is a must.

In assembling the CFREF research teams, aggressive diversity and equity targets are in place and so applications from under-represented groups are especially encouraged.

Postdoctoral positions offer a stipend of $55,000 CAD/year for 2 years, including benefits, travel and computer allowance, and operating budgets. Postdoctoral fellows will be expected to apply for major funding opportunities they are eligible for (e.g. NSERC, Killam, AITF, Banting).

Applications should consist of a current CV, a list of 2-3 referees with contact information and a cover letter indicating which area you are interested in and what your availability is. The search will continue until the team is assembled.

To be eligible as a Postdoctoral scholar at the University of Calgary, the candidate must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent within the five (5) years immediately preceding the appointment. Please review the Eligibility page for more information prior to applying for this position.

Background information

Welch G (2016) Synthesis, Self-Assembly, and Solar Cell Performance of N-Annulated Perylene Diimide Non-Fullerene Acceptor. Chemistry of Materials. 28:19, 7098-7109.

Strous M (2017). Robust, high-productivity phototrophic carbon capture at high pH and alkalinity using natural microbial communities. Biotech Biofuels 10: 84. doi 10.1186/s13068-017-0769-1.

De la Hoz-Siegler H (2016) Use of highly alkaline conditions to improve cost-effectiveness of algal biotechnology. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 100:4, 1611-1622.

Shimizu G (2010) Direct Observation and Quantification of CO2 Binding Within an Amine-Functionalized Nanoporous Solid. 330:6004, 650-653

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. In this connection, at the time of your application, please answer the following question: Are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? (Yes/No)

Additional Information

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Postdoc Careers website.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone.

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.


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