Who are we? We are the Quantitative Evolutionary Microbiology Lab, led by Dr. Michael Manhart. Our lab wants to understand how evolution shapes the ecology and physiology of microbial communities.

We are an interdisciplinary group of 7 people — with backgrounds including microbiology, physics, evolutionary biology, bioengineering, and applied math — and we use a wide range of methods, including computational, theoretical, and experimental approaches.

We are based at Rutgers University in the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, which hosts 23 labs from across the life sciences. We are also active members of the Rutgers University Microbiome Program, which links microbiome scientists across the university through regular seminars, retreats, and collaborations.

What do we offer? As a Ph.D. student in our lab, you will develop and conduct research projects, present at local and international meetings, write papers, and apply for funding. Current major research directions in the lab include the evolution of microbial population dynamics and the effect of ecological interactions on adaptation in microbial communities, but the position will allow for significant flexibility in developing new directions in accordance with your interests and the broad goals of the lab.

Your research may involve any combination of computational, theoretical, and experimental components. We offer competitive stipends and outstanding benefits, including comprehensive health insurance. Ph.D. students in good standing can expect to receive full financial support for the duration of their Ph.D. (5-6 years).

Who are we looking for? We are looking for a Ph.D. student to start in the fall of 2024. You should have a strong interest in studying the fundamental biology of microbes using computational, theoretical, or experimental approaches. By fall of 2024, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a biological or quantitative discipline, including (but not limited to) biology, physics, chemistry, computer science, applied math, or engineering.

We strongly encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates, even if you don’t think you’re a perfect fit.

Where are we? Rutgers University is the eighth-oldest institution of higher education in the US and now one of the largest, with approximately 20,000 graduate students and over 8,000 faculty. Our center is based on the Piscataway/New Brunswick campus in New Jersey, within the New York metro area and one of the most culturally and naturally rich parts of the country. We have convenient connections to the NJ Transit and Amtrak rail networks as well as to Newark Liberty International Airport.

How to apply? Send an e-mail to Dr. Michael Manhart (mmanhart@rutgers.edu ) containing the following documents as a single PDF: 1. A cover letter containing: • A narrative summary of your education, research, and other work history, especially experiences you feel specifically prepared or motivated you for this position An explanation of why you are specifically interested in this position and what you hope to gain from it • Any other details that you consider important for evaluating your application • Where you learned about the position (e.g., e-mail from colleague, Twitter/Mastodon/Bluesky, Agristok website, etc.) 2. Your CV, including all education and previous research experience

3. Names and e-mail address for three references that know your previous educational and research experiences If our lab decides to sponsor your application, you must also apply to an affiliated Rutgers graduate program by the following due dates: Molecular Biosciences (December 1, 2023) Ecology and Evolution (December 1, 2023) Microbial Biology (December 15, 2023) Physics and Astronomy (January 1, 2024) Quantitative Biomedicine (January 15, 2024) Be sure to check any program-specific requirements (e.g., GRE exams) before applying.

When to apply? Please contact Dr. Michael Manhart by November 1, 2023 and apply by the above program due dates!

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