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Postdoctoral Scholar - Mihaljevic Lab

Northern Arizona University
Arizona, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Apr 26, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Research Administration
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Postdoctoral Scholar - Mihaljevic Lab

Location: SICCS
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Job ID: 606079
Full/Part Time: Full-Time

Workplace Culture

NAU is a community devoted to student success and sustained by an unshakable commitment to our shared mission, vision, and values. We—faculty, staff, and administrators—thrive by combining our efforts and working side by side to further NAU's culture of excellence.

Special Information

This is a postdoctoral appointment funded by external grant money. This position is subject to the availability of funding. The anticipated start date is flexible, but sooner than January 2023 is preferred. This position is funded for up to three years.

Complete applications will include the following:
  • a one- or two-page statement of research and career interests, AND
  • a curriculum vitae with the names and contact information of three references

Job Description

The Mihaljevic Lab at Northern Arizona University (NAU) is seeking applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar to support an NSF-funded project that examines how climate and disease interact to affect long-term rates of species extinction. The successful candidate will be excited to combine models of disease spread with data from laboratory experiments to answer key questions in this field.

The Postdoctoral Scholar will help to build mathematical models, conduct experiments, fit models to data, and will have the option to assist with field work, using a study system of Ambystoma tigrinum virus and its salamander host in Arizona. The chosen scholar will work in collaboration with Dr. Mihaljevic in the School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems, and will have the opportunity to develop collaborations with researchers in the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at NAU.

Primary mentor: Dr. Joseph Mihaljevic (

Essential Functions

Research & Publications - 70%
  • Work collaboratively with research team to collect data and design analyses to address primary research questions.
  • Conduct laboratory experiments and keep appropriate records of all research activities.
  • Conduct field research, if needed, to support the project.
  • Lead data analysis, modeling, coding, and synthesis efforts.
  • Design and implement research protocols and adapt new procedures, methods, and coding as appropriate to the project goals.
  • Prepare and deliver presentations of research findings.
  • Prepare and submit manuscripts for publication.
  • Read scientific literature, participate in scientific discussions with other members of the research team\ and lab, and attend lab and project meetings.
  • Other administrative and research tasks related to the project, including organizing and training others in project protocols.

Data Metrics - 20%
  • Collect, curate, synthesize, and analyze research data.
  • Maintain organized, open, and accessible records of data and computer code.
  • Perform data analysis and visualization and develop efficient data analysis pipelines and/or tools as appropriate to project goals.
  • Tabulate and display data for presentation in research conferences and for manuscript preparation; use graphics and statistical software to analyze and present data.

Grant Management - 5%
  • Works within the grant-specific project requirements.
  • Assists project PI with managing grant funds according to sponsor specifications.
  • Assists PI with writing annual project reports according to sponsor specifications.

Academic/Lab Liasion - 5%
  • Perform assigned lab duties to assist in the maintenance of equipment, supplies, reagents or the general operation of the lab, and various other duties or projects as assigned - as appropriate to project goals.
  • Promote an inclusive and welcoming work environment for all.

Minimum Qualifications

  • PhD in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Epidemiology, or related field.
  • Programming experience in R or C/C++.
  • Record of publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Any combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year-for-year basis.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience conducting laboratory experiments with vertebrate animals and pathogens.
  • Strong background in mathematical modeling and statistics, fitting mathematical models to various sources of data using frequentist and Bayesian methods.
  • Demonstrated experience in coding scientific algorithms in R, C, or C++ (or equivalent languages) using version control software (e.g., GitHub).
  • Experience conducting ecological field work in variable conditions.
  • Demonstrated background of mentoring undergraduate research technicians.
  • Interest and/or experience promoting STEM diversity and inclusion

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a research team and with individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
  • Leadership, coordination, and/or supervision skills.
  • Ability to take initiative and complete tasks without direct supervision.
  • Innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
  • Knowledge of innovative data analysis methodologies.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, as demonstrated by publications and presentations at professional meetings.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills.
  • Knowledge of using high performance computing environments.
  • Knowledge of quantitative techniques in disease ecology and epidemiology.
  • Molecular lab experience (e.g., qPCR for pathogen detection) is desirable.

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement

As of 12/10/21, the Safer Federal Workforce employee vaccination requirement is currently suspended pending the outcome of a federal court-issued injunction. This injunction has suspended the recent executive order issued by President Biden requiring all employees of federal contractors to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. For current status of the vaccine requirement and/or questions, please visit FAQs for Employee Vaccination Requirement.

Background Information

Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, an employment history verification and a degree verification (in some cases) prior to employment. You may also be required to complete a fingerprint background check. Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States. Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus as this campus has on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities. If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


Salary range begins at $54,779. Annual salary commensurate with candidate's qualifications and related experience.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.


Post-Doctoral Scholars are hired on a contract basis, renewable each fiscal year for a maximum of 4 renewals (5 years) according to terms of the Arizona Board of Regents' Conditions of Post-Doctoral Service. NAU offers an excellent benefit package to Post-Doctoral Scholars including generous health, dental and vision insurance; 10 days of vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified family members. New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date. Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits. Participation in NAU retirement plans is not available to Post-Doctoral Scholars. More information on benefits at NAU is available at the NAU HR benefits page.

Learning and Development

Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development. New employee on-boarding training includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days. If your position includes the supervision of a benefit-eligible employee, we offer the NAU Supervisors Academy for you to complete within your first 2 years.

Application Deadline

Applications received by April 30, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. will be given full consideration. Applications received after that date may be considered until the position is filled.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button on this page. You must submit your application by clicking on the "Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Human Resources website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-523-3312/TDD - 928-523-1006 or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.

To apply, visit

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