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Graduate Research Associate

Position Description
Multiple MS, PhD, and Postdoc Positions are available in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, also known as Virginia Tech (VT), which ranks #47 in the U.S. These positions will be funded by wastewater treatment-focused research projects led by Dr. Zhiwu (Drew) Wang. His research group information can be found at

Potential research topics include:
1) Hydrothermal liquification wastewater treatment (in Blacksburg Campus)
2) Thermal hydrolysis-enhanced anaerobic digestion (in Northern Virginia Campus)
3) Continuous flow aerobic granulation technology (in Northern Virginia Campus)
4) Partial denitrification anammox (in Northern Virginia Campus)
5) Per- and Polyfluorinated Substances (PFAS) monitoring and removal during municipal wastewater treatment (in Blacksburg Campus)

1) MS or PhD applicants must have (or must earn prior to the application deadline) a Bachelor or MS degree in chemical engineering, biological systems engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, or a closely related field. Postdoc applicants must have a PhD degree awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of this appointment with a minimum of one year of eligibility remaining.
2) Demonstrated excellent scientific writing and communication skills (e.g., peer-reviewed publications, competitions, etc.).
3) For international students, TOEFL score is required. For admission, we expect a minimum TOEFL score of 90 (IBT) or IELTS score of 6.5 for admission. GRE may be waived.

To apply:
Please email Dr. Zhiwu (Drew) Wang at A full application as a single PDF document package must include (1) A statement of research addressing how your background fit in the position description and candidate qualification described above (1-page limit), (2) an update CV with a full list of publications (if any), (3) all official transcripts, (4) TOEFL or IELTS score(s) (for international candidates), and (5) contact information of three references. Please include “2024 Graduate Research Assistantship” + “Your Name” as your email subject.

The starting stipend levels for MS, PhD, and Postdoc candidates are approximately $2,680, $2,810, and $4,463 per month, respectively. This is in addition to the coverage of other benefits such as tuition, medical insurance, etc.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Virginia Tech

September , 2022


Job Title: Postdoctoral Research Associate

Research area: Advanced Bioprocessing

Department: Biological Systems Engineering

University: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Location: Blacksburg, VA


Job Description:

The position is immediately available. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. The initial appointment will be for one year with possibility for extension based on performance. The successful candidate will closely work with Dr. Zhiwu (Drew) Wang on delivering both federal and industrial projects on the topics of advanced bioprocesses for resource recovery and pollutant removal. The successful candidate will also have opportunities to be involved in grant writings, graduate student mentoring, and project leading.


Specific job responsibilities include:

  • Conducting lab and field experiments (80%)
  • Writing project reports and research papers (10%)
  • Coordinating meetings with sponsors (10%)


Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in Chemical/Environmental/Biological Engineering, or a related field.
  • Excellent writing skill and productive publication record.
  • The Ph.D. degree should have been awarded no more than four years prior to the effective date of this appointment with a minimum of one year of eligibility remaining.


Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Research experience in bioreactor design and operation.
  2. Self-motivated to lead research endeavor.
  3. Good human skill to interact with external collaborators.
  4. Desire to publish high quality research articles.


How to apply? Qualified applicants must electronically submit an online application, including a statement of research explaining how your background fits in the aforementioned expectations, a resume/curriculum vitae, and a list of 3 professional references to:


Applicant screening will continue until the position is filled. Virginia Tech is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty and strongly encourages applications from women and minorities.


Applicants may contact Dr. Zhiwu (Drew) Wang at with any questions about this position. Please include “Postdoctoral Research Associate” + “Your Name” as your email subject. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled. Interested candidates should send an enquiry email only once. Best fit potential candidates will receive the responses and video conference interviews will follow.