Post-Doctoral Research Chemist

CompanyUnited States Department of Agriculture
PositionPost-Doctoral Research Chemist
Job Type Contract
LocationNew Orleans, Louisiana
Posted Date11-Dec-2017
Experience Requirednone
Education RequiredDoctorate
Keyword(s)Textiles, nonwovens, organic synthesis, material science


Chemical Modification of Cotton


Chemist, GS-1320-11


Factor I- Research Assignment


A. Assigned Responsibility: This position is located in the Cotton Chemistry and Utilization Research Unit, Southern Regional Research Center, New Orleans, Louisiana. The Unit's mission is to protect cotton's share of the textile market through the development of new and improved products for more effective utilization of cotton. Through the application of chemistry, the incumbent will work in a team comprising a supervising scientist, Research Leader, other scientists, and support personnel to investigate systems for chemical modification of cotton to render performance characteristics such as flame resistance, moisture control and antibacterial effect for example.


B. Research Objectives and Methodology: Mainly using the principles of organic chemistry, the incumbent will design, synthesize, develop, and test new flame retardants, and flame-retardant cottons along with other systems for chemically modifying cotton for desired effects. Other useful properties of cotton will also be investigated such as moisture control and antibacterial treatments and others. Application of chemistries to cotton and processing, analyzing and evaluating the materials thus produced will be routine. Other disciplines as required will be applied.


C. Expected Results: The research is expected to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of cotton flame resistance. In addition, the work will identify new molecules and application systems for cotton flame resistance and other useful performance characteristics.


D. Knowledge Required: The incumbent must have thorough knowledge of the principles of organic, fiber, polymer or textile chemistries. Skill in chemical transformations, chemical and physical property analysis, and chemical structure determination. Ability to independently create novel chemical research approaches, plan experiments, execute experiments, draw conclusions, record data, summarize and communicate research results in oral and written form, and draft manuscripts suitable for publication in peer reviewed scientific journals. A PhD in chemistry, chemical engineering, textile science or related field is required.


E. Supervisory Responsibilities: The incumbent may provide intermittent technical guidance to graduate students and technical support staff.


Factor II- Supervision Received


A. Assigned Authority: The research problems are determined by the supervisor and discussed with the incumbent. The incumbent is expected to plan and conduct experiments; analyze, evaluate and interpret the results; and prepare reports of the results in the form of manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at scientific meetings.


B. Technical Guidance Received: Guidance will be provided by the supervisor and will consist primarily of defining research problems, guidance in planning experiments, and review and discussion of results within the context of team research goals. Colleagues and collaborators will be consulted as needed.


C. Review of Results: Results and manuscripts will be reviewed by the supervisor. In addition, appropriate colleagues will be chosen with whom to review and discuss results and manuscripts. Manuscripts will be submitted to the Research Leader for administrative review and approval.


D. General Supervision: The incumbent works under the supervision of the research leader, who is responsible for the overall leadership of the research project. The supervisor sets the overall objectives and resources available. The incumbent and supervisor, in consultation, develop the deadlines, projects, and work to be done. Incumbent plans and carries out the assignment: resolves most of the conflicts which arise, coordinates the work with others as necessary; and interprets policy on own initiative in terms of established objectives. The incumbent keeps the supervisor informed of progress, potentially controversial matters, or far-reaching implications. Completed work is reviewed by the supervisor and the Research Leader from an overall standpoint in terms of feasibility, compatibility with other work, or effectiveness in meeting requirements or expected results.


Factor III- Guidelines and Originality


A. Available Literature: There is an extensive body of literature on cotton flame resistance and chemical modification of cotton, but very little pertains to fiber reactive chemistry designed to give durable flame resistance and other performance properties to cotton.


B. Originality Required: The originality required is primarily in the development of a complete and adequate research design for the specific project based on sound professional judgment in selecting and adapting from available possible methodology and techniques that are those best suited to the immediate problem. The work involves a variety of rather complex procedures, whether established or modified, to conceptualize and prepare chemically modified materials and obtain needed analytical information and chemical properties for generally defined objectives. Incumbent will need to select methods and procedures which depend on the identity of the sample, its physical state and objectives. The precise experiments will depend on ongoing results. Assignments normally require modification or adaptation of established methods and procedures requiring frequent innovation. In planning and completing the work, the incumbent must produce data, analyze and interpret results, draw conclusions and report findings.


Contact Information

Business Name: United States Department of Agriculture