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Job Description

  Thank you for your interest in employment with the Desert Research Institute.  We want your  application process to go smoothly and quickly.  We ask that you keep in mind the following when completing your application:

  • Once you start the application process you cannot save your work. Please ensure you have all required attachment(s) available to complete your application before you begin the process.
  • Required attachments are listed below on the posting. Your application will not be considered without the required attachments.
  • Please see the application instructions under each posting for information on submittal deadlines.

If you need assistance or have questions regarding the application process, contact Human Resources Hotline at (775) 673-7431 or [email protected] DescriptionThe Desert Research Institute (DRI) is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Researcher in Atmospheric Science, Hydrologic Science, or Earth and Ecosystem Science. The area of specialization is open; however, we are seeking a candidate to catalyze new and creative research programs that intersect and complement existing expertise at DRI.  Experience conducting research using a variety of approaches (e.g., models, data mining, fieldwork, laboratory experiments), and experience working with the public, and state and federal agencies are preferred but not required. This posting may be used for multiple hires.  A combination of technical and interpersonal communication skills is required. After reviewing existing research expertise at DRI, the candidate should highlight in their cover letter how their research program would not only complement, but also extend the research portfolio of the Institution. The incumbent may choose to work at either the Reno or Las Vegas, NV campus.Organizational SummaryThe Desert Research Institute (DRI) is a recognized world leader in basic and applied environmental research. Committed to scientific excellence and integrity, DRI faculty, students who work alongside them, and staff have developed scientific knowledge and innovative technologies in research projects around the globe.Since 1959, DRI’s research has advanced scientific knowledge on topics ranging from humans’ impact on the environment to the environment’s impact on humans. DRI’s impactful science and inspiring solutions support Nevada’s diverse economy, provide science-based educational opportunities, and inform policymakers, business leaders, and community members. With campuses in Las Vegas and Reno, DRI serves as the non-profit research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE).Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. from an accredited institution in a related field.
  • Experience publishing in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with faculty, researchers and/or students beyond your advisor’s research group.
  • Potential to secure external research funding.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience communicating results with stakeholders;
  • Interest in developing a research program;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop oral/poster presentations and write peer-reviewed papers with limited supervision;
  • Experience participating in the development of research proposals;
  • Field-based, lab, and/or other applied research experience.

Possible Additional Conditions of Employment Depending on Project

  • U.S. Citizenship, may be required, depending on existing funding source
  • Driver’s license for projects requiring travel
  • Background check depending on project access requirements
  • Lifting requirements for field work
  • Willingness to work in harsh field environments

Promotion Potential and Career ProgressionPostdocs and early career faculty are provided with considerable support and mentoring to give them every opportunity to be successful in a research career. A DRI postdoctoral research position has long served as the first step to a successful research career at DRI and at other institutions. Postdoctoral researchers hired from this posting may be eligible for promotion to regular faculty (Assistant Research Professor) upon the successful completion of their postdoc. To support the postdoc in working towards this goal, the DRI division the postdoc is hired under will provide professional development support for the incumbent to begin to develop their own research program as a postdoc. DRI postdocs are eligible to serve as PIs on research grants, and the incumbent will be encouraged to collaborate with colleagues across DRI and at other institutions. Promotion from Postdoctoral Researcher to Assistant Research Professor can occur when the Postdoctoral Researcher demonstrates the ability to develop and sustain their own funding. The incumbent will also have the opportunity to participate in both formal and informal early career mentoring programs provided by DRI Human Resources.DRI faculty are supported through competitive grants and contracts with external funding agencies, and faculty therefore have access to considerable administrative support and an Institute-wide entrepreneurial approach to maintaining success in developing funding programs. DRI has been successful in using this model to create scientific breakthroughs and applied science solutions to some of the most challenging problems facing the nation and the world for over 60 years.DRI is a research-focused institution and teaching and advising of graduate students is not required but is possible through the Graduate Schools at the University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Compensation and BenefitsThe minimum annual starting salary for the Postdoctoral Researcher is $60,000. Final salary is commensurate with experience and education. DRI offers a benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, and life insurance, 12 paid holidays, educational benefits, the option to participate in a flexible spending account or health savings account, and a retirement plan that is beyond compare. Postdocs receive a 6.2% retirement contribution match, 15 annual leave days, and a beginning balance of 15 sick leave days. You are 100% vested in the retirement plan on your first day. Additionally, there is no state income tax in Nevada and no social security deduction. This position is eligible for relocation assistance. A summary of postdoc benefits can be found HERE.  Additional information can be found at, Equity, and InclusionDRI is deeply committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive workforce and recognizes that encouraging a diverse culture strengthens problem solving skills and creativity and increases productivity. Additionally, an inclusive and diverse environment improves the workplace culture and encourages employee engagement. DRI also takes measures consistent with Title IX to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its students, faculty and staff. Additional information can be found at DRI's Diversity and Inclusion Webpage.ExemptYesFull-Time Equivalent 100.0%Required Attachment(s)Please upload the following documents in the specified section:

  • A cover letter detailing how your experience and professional qualifications prepare you to succeed at DRI and identify your area(s) of research interest.
  • A current curriculum vita.
  • Contact information for three professional references who will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant permission.

Qualified individuals are encouraged to apply immediately and provide all required attachments to receive full consideration. This posting may be used for multiple hires.  Lists of eligible candidates will be established and hiring may occur early in the recruiting process. Recruitment will close without notice.SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR INTERNAL NSHE CANDIDATESDRI employees or employees within the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) MUST use the “Browse Jobs” report within Workday to find and apply for jobs at DRI and other NSHE Institutions. Once you log into Workday, type "Browse Jobs" in the search box which will navigate to the internal job posting site. Locate this specific job posting by typing the job requisition number, “R0140894” in the search box.For more detailed information about DRI and DRI faculty, research projects, and publications, please visit us at For questions regarding this position or assistance with your application, please email [email protected] or call the recruiting office at 775-673-7431.Posting Close DateNote to ApplicantApplicants should fully describe their qualifications and experience with specific reference to each of the minimum and preferred qualifications. The search committee will use this information during the initial review of application materials.  References will be contacted at the appropriate phase of the recruitment process based on applicant notification and permission.Newly hired faculty and postdoctoral fellows must assure that their official transcript is submitted to the Human Resources Office within 30 calendar days from the effective date of employment.  Academic degrees must have been awarded by regionally accredited institutions.This position may require a criminal background check to be conducted on the candidate(s) selected for hire.As part of the hiring process, applicants for positions in the Nevada System of Higher Education may be required to demonstrate the ability to perform job-related tasks.DRI employs only U.S. citizens and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. DRI only sponsors aliens applying for research faculty or postdoctoral fellow positions (J-1 or H-1B Visas).All applicants hired by the Desert Research Institute are subject to E-Verify.