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Post Doctoral Researcher - Chemist/Chemical Engineering

UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute
Columbia, Maryland
Exceeds NRC stipends, benefits, and travel
Closing date
May 19, 2021
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At UL, we know why we come to work.

At Underwriters Laboratories, we know why we come to work.

We are endlessly curious and wake up every day with a common purpose: to make the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place. Underwriters Laboratories is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the UL public safety mission through the discovery and application of scientific knowledge. We conduct rigorous independent research and analyze safety data, convene experts worldwide to address risks, share knowledge through safety education and public outreach initiatives, and develop independent standards to guide safe commercialization of evolving technologies. Our work makes a meaningful contribution to society, and we are proud that our culture is centered on integrity, collaboration, inclusion and excellence.

About UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI):

UL FSRI is a division within UL’s not-profit parent organization, Underwriters Laboratories Inc. that is dedicated to advancing fire safety knowledge for a fire safe world. Working in partnership with the fire service, research departments and agencies, UL FSRI executes cutting-edge fire safety research and makes the results widely available to the global fire community. With a team of pioneering experts and access to UL’s leading infrastructure, equipment and vast knowledge and insights, UL FSRI disseminates research-driven insights through professional training and public education programs that focus on the changing dynamics of residential, commercial and industrial fires, and how both first responders and civilians can better keep themselves and their communities safe.

To learn more, visit:  and

What you’ll learn & achieve:

Working with fire researchers, applies chemistry principles to fire and materials research problems with the goal of improving fire safety. Assists in initiating the design, development, execution and implementation of fire safety research projects. Conducts sample preparation and analysis to provide accurate and timely analytical data following established methods, techniques, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and quality control protocols. Utilizes application of specialized methods, techniques and analyses. The work includes, but is not limited to the collection of samples, preparation of reagents, usage of standard analytical instrumentation and/or glassware, calculation of results, review of work, and entry of data into laboratory information management system (LIMS). Maintains substantial knowledge of state-of-the art principles and theories and contributes to scientific literature and conferences. Uses professional concepts and procedures to solve a wide range of scientific problems.


  1. Initiates, plans, designs and executes scientific research, experiments and related activities to ensure timely completion of projects. Evaluates and documents the results in formal reports and in peer-reviewed journal articles.
  2. Conducts analyses according to applicable standard operating procedures (SOPs). May optimize, expand, evaluate, select, adapt or develop standard methods or techniques in the laboratory. Ensures result data are accurately recorded and saved in a timely manner.
  3. Reviews existing SOPs and makes clerical and procedural recommendations for improvement. Creates SOPs for use in the laboratory in the designated format.
  4. Provides training regarding the principles, application, and limitations of analytical techniques.
  5. Adheres to all quality control requirements including the collection and preparation of samples, review of sample analyses. Documents corrective actions for out of control parameters. Assists in resolving all quality assurance issues.
  6. Trains other Scientists in proper use of equipment, analytical instrumentation maintenance, setup, and procedures.
  7. Responsible for minor instrument repairs.  Performs routine instrument maintenance and updates entries in maintenance logs.  Keeps work area neat and clean.
  8. Ensures that all data entered into the laboratory information management systems (LIMS) is submitted and archived in a timely and accurate manner.
  9. Demonstrates the ability to clearly articulate the laboratory’s standard practices as related to the referenced methods and the willingness to assist in other areas of the organization. Cross-trains on several different procedures/methods within the department and possibly other departments as directed.
  10. Stays ahead of changing technologies, in the field by reading journals, scientific publications, and attending academic conferences.
  11. Demonstrates potential for technical proficiency, scientific creativity, collaboration with others, and independent thought.
  12. Read and follow the Underwriters Laboratories Code of Conduct, and follow all laboratory safety, physical and digital security practices.
  13. Performs other duties as directed.

What makes you a great fit:

  • PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering
  • Demonstrated general knowledge of scientific process.
  • Demonstrated operational and practical experience with Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC), Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS), Attenuated Total Reflectance/Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR/IR), Solid-phase microextraction (SPME), benchtop and micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain academic and applied knowledge and skills.
  • Ability to collaborate with peers, and work directly with the research team members in order to complete a project from start to finish.
  • Excellent communication skills required.

What you’ll experience working at UL:

  • Mission: For Underwriters Laboratories, corporate and social responsibility isn’t new. Making the world a safer, more secure and sustainable place has been our business model for the last 125+ years and is deeply engrained in everything we do.
  • People: Ask any Underwriters Laboratories employee what they love most about working here, and you’ll almost always hear, “the people.” Going beyond what is possible is the standard at Underwriters Laboratories. We’re able to deliver the best because we employ the best.
  • Interesting work: Every day is different for us here as we eagerly anticipate the next innovation that our customers’ create. We’re inspired to take on the challenge that will transform how people live, work and play. And as a global company, in many roles, you will get international experience working with colleagues around the world.
  • Grow & achieve: We learn, work and grow together with targeted development, reward and recognition programs as well as our very own UL University that offers extensive training programs for employees at all stages, including a technical training track for applicable roles.

Learn More:

Working at Underwriters Laboratories is an exciting journey that twists and turns daily. We thrive in the twists and revel in the turns. This is our every day. This is our normal. Curious? To learn more about us and the work we do, visit

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