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USDA-ARS Postgraduate Research Opportunity for Adding Value to Sugar Manufacture Byproducts

*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and LocationA postgraduate research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

Research ProjectThe selected participant will be part of a research team to conduct basic and applied studies on utilization of sugar manufacture byproducts. Examples of byproducts are sugar cane bagasse, sugar beet pulp, clarifier sludge or filter cake, sugar streams of low quality. The research areas include, but are not limited to: thermochemical, physiochemical, or microbial conversions to chemicals, fuels, or materials. Under the guidance of a mentor, the participant will be conducting research experiments, perform chemical and physical analyses, tabulate and evaluate data, perform statistical tests, write internal technical reports of the results, and potentially use process design software. 

Learning ObjectivesThe participant will learn research techniques and approaches used in both basic and applied research that focuses on product and process development/improvements. The participant will be exposed to the latest innovations in area of research. The participant will interact will highly trained professional staff on a routine basis. This opportunity will serve participants well and will prepare them for a career in a research and product development environment.

Mentor(s)The mentors(s) for this opportunity is Thomas Klasson ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: November 2023.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time.

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. The current stipend for this opportunity is equal to $37,696 - $69,107 per year plus a health insurance stipend of $452 per month.

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR).

ORISE InformationThis program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process, please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.



The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields or be currently pursuing the degree with completion by the appointment start date.

Preferred Skills/Experience:

  • Experience with applied science, pilot-scale equipment, novel experimental setups.