JOB OPENING: Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Researcher in Comparative Biomechanics (filled)

POSTDOCTORAL JOB OPENING: Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Researcher in Comparative Biomechanics

This position has been filled.

The Patek Lab at Duke University leads a five-university interdisciplinary research team devoted to establishing the principles of extremely fast movement in small systems.  Grounded in the extraordinary abilities of animals, plants, and fungi that generate the fastest movements on the planet and exceed current engineering capabilities, this team utilizes multiple approaches to extract fundamental and translatable interdisciplinary principles.


You will perform comparative biomechanics research on extremely fast, small biological systems with exceptional access to interdisciplinary researchers who work collaboratively to couple these biomechanics analyses with mathematical modeling, materials testing, and engineering analysis and synthesis.  You will help lead the team’s interchanges and interdisciplinary communication to successfully push the envelope of biological knowledge and translatable physics-based principles. 


  • Join an exciting, dynamic, and highly functioning interdisciplinary team that has been running for five years.  Immediately leverage biological experiments into cutting edge interdisciplinary collaborations and publications. 
  • Access cutting-edge high-speed imaging cameras (Photron Fastcam SA-X and SA-Z models), dynamic materials testing (Electropuls Instron), high resolution light microscopy, confocal microscopy, SEM, ESEM, CLSM, and microCT facilities, multi-material maker facilities, acoustic test chamber, and tropical and temperate saltwater aquarium facilities. 
  • Travel to collaborator labs for an even broader range of high tech capabilities and expertise.
  • Become part of a diverse and inclusive team, home lab, and university with outstanding job benefits in a culturally diverse and affordable geographic region.


Education:  Ph.D. in Biology, Physics, Materials Science, or Engineering is required.

Skills: A journal publication record is required to demonstrate existing skills in completing and publishing research projects.  You must be comfortable working with live organisms and have previous experience in mechanical analysis including either materials testing or digital image analysis.  Experience in evolutionary analysis, including evolutionary biomechanics, is considered a strong asset.

Characteristics:  A strong interest in the physical principles of biological movement is essential.  Patek Lab postdocs establish and lead their projects - vision and drive for research project leadership is key.  A passion for working across disciplines, creativeness, self-sufficiency and motivation in your work and what you can bring to the fast-paced, interdisciplinary team are all important.


  • Lead a postdoctoral research project on small, fast biological systems.
  • Integrate biological experimental research with team interdisciplinary themes and efforts.
  • Communicate research through team meetings, conference presentations, and journal publications.
  • Participate centrally in team leadership for communicating and guiding interdisciplinary research.
  • Supervise projects involving undergraduates and graduate students.
  • Contribute to lab animal care, acquisition, and general lab operations.


Applications are currently being accepted and will be evaluated on a rolling basis with the goal of hiring as soon as possible.  The position is available immediately, although the start date is negotiable.  The position is based on current funding for a two year position. The initial appointment will be for 12 months with the possibility for renewal contingent on performance and continuing funding availability for up to 2 years.  Salary starts at $52,704. Contact Prof. Patek via email for additional information.

The job application must be submitted to Academic Jobs Online using this link (do not email applications to Prof. Patek) and should include:

  1. Cover letter including information about specific research interests in this position, how previous research provides a strong foundation for this position, how this research connects to career goals, and aspects of the Patek Lab’s research program that are of particular interest.
  2. C.V.
  3. List of three references including contact information and the basis of the relationship to the candidate. Letters of recommendation will be requested later in the review process.

Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunities without regard to an individual’s age, color, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. We value diversity in all of its many facets and meanings.

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