Positions Available

Two positions are available:

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate in Evolutionary Genomics 2019
  • Graduate Student Positions Available Fall 2020

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Evolutionary Genomics 2019

I am looking for a postdoc with research interests at the intersection of evolutionary, quantitative, and functional genomics. My lab is in the Biological Sciences Department at Auburn University and our research interests are centered on evolutionary and functional genomics of sexual dimorphism.

This position is funded by an NSF CAREER award and I envision responsibility for projects related to this award as part of the position. However, trainees will have support for pursuing their own independent research interests and projects.

Our current research is focused on the role of hormone signaling in sex-differential gene expression, sexual conflict and sexual dimorphism of complex traits. Current students have projects focused on the innate immune response, stress, and the response to endocrine disruptors. My lab group uses Drosophila as a model system to investigate our questions. I also have ongoing collaborations on projects using the brown anole to investigate dimorphism in aging (https://www.schwartzlab-ecoevolutionarygenomics.org/), in comparative genomics of the innate immune response in acorn worms (http://metazoan.auburn.edu/halanych/lab/), and in the role of stress in variation in recombination (https://sites.google.com/site/lstevison/home).

My lab group also has a strong interest in teaching and outreach focused on diversity and inclusion in STEM, and we would love to bring someone in who is also interested in this aspect of our work. We participate in two summer REUs (Computational Biology and Collaborative Approaches among Scientists and Engineers) and sponsor summer research for high school students from regional underserved schools.

A strong background in evolutionary genomics, functional genomics, and/or quantitative genetics and science communication, organizational, and management skills are desired. The applicant should have a strong work ethic, and is expected to develop new ideas that promote current research and their own future independence. The post-doc will be expected to assist with training graduate and undergraduate students in the lab, develop synergistic projects, write grants, produce first authored papers, and contribute to co-authored papers. I hope that the post-doc will also have enthusiasm for participating in development of new teaching approaches (integrating our research into education at Auburn), our ongoing outreach and/or novel outreach projects.

Applicants will have:

-Strong written and oral communication skills

-A record of being a productive and creative member of a research team

-Have come proficiency or a strong interest in bioinformatics (we can provide training!)

-Produce high quality research (as evidenced by first authored publications)

-Work effectively and collegially with others

-Be respectful and supportive of students and peers

Other traits not required, but ideal:

-Ability to code in at least one programming language

-Experience with *nix and using an HPC

-Experience with best practices for analyzing RNA-seq data

-Some familiarity with statistical or quantitative genetics

-Molecular biology lab skills (e.g. RNA extraction and library preps)

Full support is available for one year, with up to two additional years possible pending satisfactory performance and available funds. Selected applicants will also benefit from funds to travel to national meetings annually, opportunities for mentoring experience and career development. Additional lab funds for independent projects are available with written proposals. Anticipated start date is August 2019.

The selected applicant would be joining a strong research community in the Southeastern US. Nearby universities/research facilities (within 2 hours) include UGA, Georgia Tech, Emory, Hudson Alpha, and UAB. The wider SE Community also includes UF, Clemson, UNC, and Duke with local area meetings annually to network within this community. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in an appropriate field. The candidate selected for this position must be able to meet eligibility requirements to work in the United States at the time the appointment is scheduled to begin and continue working legally for the proposed term of employment. Those from groups that are underrepresented in STEM are strongly encouraged to apply.

This announcement is informal in nature and candidates of interest will be asked to submit a formal application for complete consideration after initial screening. If interested, please send a cover letter/statement of interest with a list of relevant skills, a CV, including a list of peer-reviewed publications, and contact information for two references by email to Rita Graze at rmgraze (at) auburn (dot) edu  References will not be contacted unless the applicant is under serious consideration. Please note our mail system is limited to 25Mb messages. Please use  “Evolutionary Genomics Postdoc Position” in the subject line. Receipt of application will be confirmed within 3 days. Review of applications will begin May 1, 2019, and continue until a hire is in the works.

Graduate Student Positions Available Fall 2020

An undergraduate background in genetics, bioinformatics and/or molecular biology is required. Some research experience, at the undergraduate level or from a Master’s degree in a related field, is strongly preferred. Training in bioinformatics and/or statistics and experience with genomic techniques and analysis are highly desirable.

Please contact me at rmgraze (at) auburn (dot) edu by Dec. 15 2019 to begin the application process. Send a letter summarizing your prior research experience and any other relevant skills, include your research interests and career goals. Your research interests are very important to me, so please make sure to consider and address in your email what you would be interested in working on if you were to join our lab group as a graduate student.

Attach your CV/resume, unofficial transcripts with GPA, and unofficial GRE scores. GRE scores are optional, from the perspective of how I will evaluate your application, but are currently required as part of the application to our program.

To apply to the program: Prospective PhD students should formally apply to the graduate school (http://graduate.auburn.edu/prospective-students/application-instructions/) and the Department of Biological Sciences. The DBS offers regular support Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) with stipend, on a competitive basis.

Information on the graduate program in the Department of Biological Sciences may be found at:


All of the forms necessary for the DBS application process may be found at:


If you are looking for advice on writing personal statements, see below for a great blog post on the topic. Note this is for the GRFP application, but there is still a lot of useful information for graduate school application statements. Also, our statements also require that you note the faculty member who will potentially advise you: