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Postdoctoral Fellow - Process Analytical Chemistry and Chemometrics
Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia
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Date Posted April 13, 2019
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Working Title

Postdoctoral Fellow - Process Analytical Chemistry and Chemometrics


Chemical & Life Science Engineering

Organizational Overview

At VCU, we Make it Real through learning, research, creativity, service and discovery — the hallmarks of the VCU experience. A premier, urban, public research university nationally recognized as one of the best employers for diversity, VCU is a great place to work. It’s a place of opportunity, where your success is supported and your career can thrive. VCU offers employees a generous leave package, career paths for advancement, competitive pay, and an opportunity to do mission-driven work.

Recruitment Pool

All Applicants

Anticipated Hiring Range



Monroe Park Campus

Position Type

Post Doc


Normal work days

Normal work hours

Job Category


Does this position provide patient or clinical services to the VCU Health System?


Does this position require a pre-placement medical assessment?


Is any portion of this position grant-funded?

Yes - Continuation of this position depends on funding of the grant.

Sensitive Position


Resource Critical


Description of the Job

A postdoctoral position is available at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering Department. VCU, in collaboration with MIT has received funding from DARPA to undertake a novel continuous process for the production of the antibiotic, Ciprofloxacin from starting materials through to formulated product. This project offers the unique opportunity to participate in a regulatory filing for the first ever continuous process from registered API starting materials to formulated product. The project will utilize the recently publicized Pharmacy on Demand platform developed at MIT to enable the first aNDA filing for such a continuous process. The final months of the project will involve transferring the process to a chosen contract manufacturing organization.

The research project will involve the process development, process analytical technologies, chemometrics, reaction engineering, process understanding and experimental protocols required to demonstrate understanding and control of the production process. This opportunity offers the post-doctoral scholar a unique training opportunity, which will be difficult to obtain elsewhere, namely using PAT and chemometrics across the chemistry, continuous crystallization, physical properties, and formulation technologies space, to develop a control strategy for a continuous process destined for a regulatory filing.

The successful applicant will need to be interested with mentoring and supporting graduate and undergraduate students and have the skills to do so, as well as work in collaboration with a larger and more diverse group of scientists working on the project.


Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences or related field

  • Expertise in modern analytical techniques including NMR, IR, CG. Knowledge of HPLC is particularly important for this position.

  • Expertise in PAT techniques such as NIR, Raman, on-line HPLC, React-IR and their application to control of processes.

  • Experience in creating process signatures from instrumental and/or equipment data.

  • The desire to be a leader in the laboratory, helping others who are less experienced, and ensuring the highest levels of laboratory safety are ensured.

  • Excellent communication skills are needed to ensure accuracy of reporting, including the ability to develop and justify original research proposals, compose manuscripts for publication, and verbally describe research efforts.

  • Demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams, displaying excellent interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to develop research plans for multiple individuals

  • An Entrepreneurial mindset

  • Generate conclusion reports, present data in team meetings & participate in writing of abstracts & publications

  • Conduct scientific work programs and make contributions both independently or as a member of a team with other R&D staff

  • Work through problems logically and apply innovative solutions

  • Maintain customer focus, motivate self, and demonstrate a high degree of urgency

  • Use scientific literature and database resources in the execution of project related work


Preferred Qualifications

  • Expertise in physical properties with online monitoring of continuous processes.

  • Expertise in modern analytical techniques including NMR, IR, CG.

  • Experience with development of control strategies for chemical or pharmaceutical processes

  • Expertise in the areas of crystallization, isolation, drying, and how physical properties of solids affect performance.

  • Ability to integrate PAT data with software controlled decision making to ensure product quality.

  • Ability to create process models from calculated and experimental data in order to predict and ensure product quality.

Job Open Date


Remove from posting on or before

Open Until Filled


Special Instructions to Applicants

In addition to the online application, send C.V., research summary, the names and contact information for 3 references, and publication list to: tdroper@vcu.edu

Additional Information

You will be joining the Pharmaceutical Engineering laboratory of Dr. Tom Roper who recently joined VCU as co-Director of Pharmaceutical Engineering after a 22 year career at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Roper held senior positions in the Pharmaceutical Development Division of GSK, including responsibilities for Process R&D and Analytical development for API in the US, and most recently was the Global Head of Exploratory Development Sciences.

The College of Engineering at VCU supports a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment. The candidate will demonstrate experience that shows their commitment to fostering such an environment.

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