Science Policy Postdocs

EBRC & UC Berkeley | Academic | Emeryville, CA | More →

The Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) and UC Berkeley are seeking postdoctoral scholars interested in science policy. Postdocs will leverage their previous training to work with EBRC programs and to conduct an individual research project.

EBRC is a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to bringing together an inclusive community committed to advancing engineering biology to address national and global needs. We showcase cutting-edge research in engineering biology, identify pressing challenges and opportunities in research and application, and articulate compelling research roadmaps and programs to address these challenges and opportunities.

Applications are being accepted for those with interest in the bioeconomy and related technical and policy influences and impacts, and those interested in any of our four focus areas: Technical Research Roadmapping, Security, Education & Workforce Development, and Policy & International Engagement. Applicants with particular knowledge, experience, and/or expertise in one of the five Application and Impact Sectors (i.e., Environment Biotechnology & Climate, Food & Agriculture, Energy, Health & Medicine, Industrial Biotechnology) and/or the four Technical Themes (i.e., Data Science, Engineering DNA, Host Engineering, Biomolecular Engineering) described in EBRC’s Engineering Biology: A Research Roadmap for the Next-Generation Bioeconomy (2019), are encouraged.  Roughly 75% of the postdoc’s time will be dedicated to EBRC projects related to bioeconomy and/or in the focus areas.

Special Opportunity – Bioeconomy Assessment, Influence, and Impact:

The EBRC postdoctoral scholar(s) will contribute to an analysis of the bioeconomy landscape in the US and opportunities and strategies to strengthen and grow the engineering biology sector of the economy. The postdoc will conduct interviews and reviews of literature and data to assess the capacity, participation, and potential impact of engineering biology tools, technologies, products, and people to influence production and consumption of a variety of resources. The postdoc can expect to gain significant experience in science policy analysis, writing, and communication.

EBRC Focus Areas:

Technical Research Roadmapping: Working with EBRC’s Roadmapping Director, postdocs in this focus area will develop and curate technical content EBRC’s research roadmaps. A national-scale effort, postdocs will engage with the EBRC membership and other subject matter experts by facilitating interactions with the working group, executing workshops and working meetings, and performing independent literature research to ensure the best expertise is brought to bear in material development. Postdocs will gain experience in effective engagement and project management with the research community and focus on advancing research programs and opportunities across engineering biology.

Security & Synthetic Biology: The postdoc will develop and deliver papers, briefings, and course materials on security and engineering biology. EBRC approaches this topic bidirectionally asking both how advances in engineering biology affect the security landscape and how changes in security policy can influence engineering biology research and development practices. The postdoc will engage with stakeholders ranging from undergraduates to senior government policy makers, so a strong ability to tailor communications to a specific audience is necessary for success. The postdoc will have the opportunity to interact with the national security and policy communities on issues relevant to synthetic biology.

Synthetic Biology Education: The postdoc will work closely with the Education working group and through independent research to understand and advance the synthetic/engineering biology education landscape and workforce pipeline in the US, with a focus on increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Currently, EBRC is focused on developing projects, programs, and resources for students and educators to strengthen engineering biology curricula, interest, and engagement. The postdoc will also engage in a landscaping effort to understand the needs and challenges for the engineering biology workforce pipeline towards the development of a roadmap for engineering biology education and integration with the EBRC technical roadmaps for engineering biology.

Policy & International Engagement: The postdoc will work with the Policy & International Engagement working group on a wide range of topics not covered in the other three working groups. Efforts typically focus on US developments in the bioeconomy and how EBRC can effectively inform governmental decision making. This focus area is generally the focal point for preparing responses to formal RFIs. Internationally, EBRC is focused on understanding and engaging with the global bioeconomy, synthetic biology strategies in different countries, and multinational governance like the Convention on Biological Diversity.

All EBRC postdocs will spend roughly 25% of their time working with Doug Friedman (EBRC President) on an agreed-upon individual science policy research project. Postdocs will develop their project based on a topic of interest and be consistent with EBRC’s overall mission and strategic goals. Strong projects will leverage the postdoc’s technical background, their policy area of interest, and EBRC’s network and relationships in the synthetic biology research community and throughout the US government.

The EBRC Science Policy Postdoc is intended as a full time, one year appointment, made through UC Berkeley. Postdocs will be an integral part of the EBRC Team and will have the opportunity to learn and make significant contributions during their appointment. In addition to the independent and focus area projects outlined above, postdocs will participate in EBRC core activities (annual meetings and retreats); contribute to EBRC cross-cutting efforts regarding responsible innovation and diversity, equity, and inclusion; have opportunities for relevant training in science policy; and meet government officials and policymakers through EBRC events and, when possible, periodic trips to Washington, DC.

Those interested are encouraged to send their CV and a Cover Letter as a single PDF to EBRC’s Executive Director India Hook-Barnard ( and copy In your cover letter, please indicate the focus area(s) of interest as well as initial ideas for your independent project.


Diversity statement: EBRC is interested in candidates who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education and the engineering biology field through their work.

Family friendly statement: UC Berkeley has an excellent benefits package as well as a number of policies and programs to support employees as they balance work and family.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. It is the policy of the University not to engage in discrimination against or harassment of any person employed or seeking employment with the University of California on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), genetic information (including family medical history), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: