If there are any available positions within Biology, they will be listed below.

Open Positions

Postdoctoral Associate, Patek Lab

Application period closes: Friday, January 22, 2021

Join an interdisciplinary team examining the evolution and scaling of muscle and elastic systems. Based at the Patek Lab in the Biology department at Duke University, and collaborating closely with the Physics of Soft Matter Lab in the Physics Department at Harvey Mudd College, the broad goal of this research is to establish the principles by which biological systems navigate physics-based limits and transitions through scaling and evolutionary processes. 

  • Ph.D. in Biology or related field 
  • journal publication record 
  •  experience working with live organisms, ideally in the field 
  •  previous experience in at least one of the following areas: comparative biomechanics, comparative physiology, or phylogenetic evolutionary analysis  

The candidate should demonstrate: 

  • Interest in physiological and mechanical principles of biological movement in an rigorous evolutionary framework 
  • Ability to lead productive research initiatives with creativity, self-sufficiency and motivation 
  • Interest in conducting marine fieldwork 
  • Interest in integrating biomechanical and physiological data with mathematical modeling and phylogenetic comparative analyses 
  • Commitment to mentor and collaborate with students in the Physics of Soft Matter Lab at Harvey Mudd College (led by Prof. Mark Ilton). Option to spend summers guiding the group, with support provided to develop mentoring, leadership and scientific management skills. 
  • Commitment to engage broader communities in research and develop broader impact skills through working with high school teachers and implementing structural changes in academic research to enhance inclusiveness through the Muser program. 

Become part of a diverse and inclusive research team and university, with outstanding job benefits in a culturally diverse and affordable geographic region. The position is available immediately with the start date ideally no later than late spring or early summer 2021. The position is based on funding for a three 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 3 years. Salary starts at $52,704. Contact Prof. Patek via email for additional information and questions about the position. The job application must be submitted to Academic Jobs Online, Job Number 17817, and should include: 

  • Cover letter including your specific research interests in this position, how your previous research provides a strong foundation for this position, and how this position connects to your career goals. 
  • C.V. 
  • 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 is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Lab Manager - Patek Lab

Application period closes: Friday, January 22, 2021

Associate in Research (Duke Job Code 3820)

The Patek Lab in the Biology department at Duke University is searching for a full-time lab manager, starting late spring or early summer 2021. This is a supportive technical and administrative role for the Patek Lab’s research program in the areas of comparative biomechanics, evolution, and marine research. This position is suitable for individuals needing additional research experience before applying to graduate school or other further careers in research science.  It is not suitable as a single “gap year” for students continuing to medical school; a minimum of a two year commitment is required for pre-medical students.

Learn more about the Patek Lab's research here:

The position includes many of the following responsibilities, training, and research experience:

  • Train, run, maintain, and organize staffing of aquarium system.
  • Care for research organisms.
  • Receive training and then maintain, manage, and perform:
  • high speed imaging, digital data acquisition, materials testing,
  • 3D printing, microCT scanning, including 3D rendering and reconstruction.
  • Assist with ongoing research projects and grant writing, including data collection, analysis, figure generation, writing, and R coding.
  • Perform fieldwork at the Duke Marine Lab, including collecting specimens and coordinating research.
  • Maintain computers, data management systems, and coordinate with Duke’s IT.
  • Calibrate and maintain microbalance and other sensors/test systems.
  • Organize and schedule lab meetings.
  • Coordinate Dr. Patek’s schedule, the lab’s staffing schedule, and lab meetings.
  • Clean and organize lab rooms and facilities.

If you are interested in applying, please upload your materials to Academic Jobs Online, Job number 17772.  Please include a cover letter detailing your specific interests in the job responsibilities and training, your interest in the research conducted by the Patek Lab, and include any relevance to your career goals. Include your CV/resume, unofficial transcript and the names/contact info for three references.  

The salary level begins at $35568 and will be adjusted according to prior experience and training in the job responsibilities and research area.

Inquiries about the position should be sent to Prof. S. Patek,