No experience necessary. Passion required.

Open Positions

 

I am currently accepting applications for PDF positions. Multiple positions available at all levels.

Click on each title to learn more!

Molecular Biology

This position is open to individuals holding a PhD in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, proteomics or a related discipline.

Analytical Chemistry

This position is open to individuals holding a PhD in analytical chemistry or synthetic organic or inorganic chemistry with analytical chemistry expertise.

Computational Chemistry

These are expected to start April-June 2020. Position is open to individuals holding a PhD in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a related discipline.

Synthetic Chemistry, Natural Product Chemistry

These are expected to start April-June 2020. Position is open to individuals holding a PhD in chemistry or a related discipline.

I am also currently looking for new students! Multiple positions available at all levels.

Grad Students For Sep. 2020

Candidates can be interested in synthetic or computational chemsitry with some experience in either field required. A publication record is not required. Special encouragement is given for those with non-traditional backgrounds. ***Generic emails will not be answered.

Undergraduate Volunteers

If you are interested, please send an email to Dr. Trant and include your resumé/CV and a copy (a screenshot is fine, official is definitely not required) of your high school or university transcript along with a short self-introduction and the reason why you are interested!

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Generic Emails of the form “I can haz phd doing science with you?”

I had to put this up, link to it from my website, and try to help people looking for a position.

As the lab group is getting established and as we are building a limited reputation (and as the USA continues to make it increasingly challenging for talented students to pursue studies there) I am receiving a lot more applications for grad school and post doc positions. Generally I get three or four a day. As I take, at absolute most, 3 or 4 grad students a year and a similar number of new PDFs the odds are not in the favour of the applicants. This is definitely not unique to me and is pretty common for almost any prof at a research university. But I want to speak from my experience as it might be slightly different from others: it is harder for me to tell if a student is serious or not becasue of the breadth of the research program. I need computational and synthetic chemists. I need biologists. I need engineers. I probably will need entirely different skills in my group in the future. So it isn’t immeidately obvious if someone is “in-field” or not. But I share the same sentiment common among my colleagues: I only want team members who are excited to be here working with me and excited to be on my program. Those letters stand out. They get me interested. They make up for weaker CVs. This is because I was that student too. I had  no pubs from my undergrad when I applied for my PhD (though I stayed at my home institution with a supervisor who knew me). When I applied for PDFs I had a weak publication record, far weaker than almost all the applicants to my group. I don’t expect a slew of CNS, JACS and ACIE articles. That tells me more about who you worked for than what you did. And I don’t care who you worked for. I care what you can do with me. 

So, I don’t expect an incoming PhD student to have a background in synthetic carbohydrate chem (though that would be awesome) or to be an all star computational chemist with Schrodinger (ditto). But I do expect them to be super interested in becoming those things. I can’t teach passion. I can’t teach drive. Everything else, you can learn. So I want to see that the applicant really seems excited about what we do! We sure are. What does this mean? It doesn’t mean dropping the title of a recent paper in a different font mid-way through the email. I know you didn’t read it. Normally cause if you did, and you saw anything else we did, you would realize that it isn’t our core focus. Especially as nothing else in the email seems geared towards my group. If you want to work with me, then something grabbed your interest. Something we did, several things probably, got you interested. Write about that. “But that takes time!” you say. “The response rate is so low I need to send out tons of these!” I would argue the response rate is so low BECAUSE you are sending out a ton of letters. Each the same as the other: and the Dear Professor [No Name] ones are particularly damning. If I don’t see my name I don’t read it. That was wasted time looking me up. And I am not the only one doing that. It might surprise the applicant, but most professors are not idiots. We see through this. And we get so many applications we can be choosy about who we respond to. Showing interest in us helps.

We have been doing this a whole lot longer than you have been writing letters. And I am really junior. My colleagues have been doing this a LOT longer. 

Send out fewer customized letters. After all, you are looking to spend 4-6 years with a prof working with them. That is a huge commitment! Make sure you want to work with them before you reach out. And then, when you do, your letter will stand out among the dozens we receive weekly. And you have a much better chance of actually coming over and doing research with us!

I look forward to hearing why you want to work with the awesome team of scientists I have the honour to lead.

Molecular Biology

This position is open to individuals holding a PhD in molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, proteomics or a related discipline. The position is one year renewable indefinitely depending on performance. This is a leadership position with the opportunity to be highly involved in group, project, and budget management as well as directing the cell and molecular biology subprogram within the Trant research group. The individual will be working very closely with our highly talented collaborators in the deparment of biomedical sciences here at UWindsor, and with our external collaborators across Canada and around the world. The initial focus of the position is to establish the baculovirus expression system in the Trant lab to support a number of projects. There is also a current focus on microbiology, enzymatic engineering, and whole cell fermentation to obtain new natural products from both yeast and bacterial cell lines. The group is equipped with a cell culture suite and has shared access to all the standard instrumentation required to conduct genetic engineering of cell lines, cell culture, and fermentation science. We collaborate closely with research groups that conduct in vivo studies in mouse and zebrafish models, and work in this area is possible according to the interests of the candidate. The position will involve supporting grant writing and working closely with the PI, Dr. John Trant. The position is also designed t oobtain rapid publication of multiple ongoing projects as well as establishing new projects within the group. The position will potentially also involve establishing new 3-d printed models of ex vivo constructs to study disease using the drugs designed and made by the group: the Trant Team is currently acquiring a state-of-the-art 3-D bioprinting suite. This is a leadership position within the group and the preferred candidate would either have held a leadership role during their PhD or have some postdoctoral experience.

Analytical Chemistry

This position is open to individuals holding a PhD in analytical chemistry or synthetic organic or inorganic chemistry with analytical chemistry expertise. The position will revolve around designing new methodologies to analyze nutraceticals and nutraceutical formulations, with a special focus on cannabinoids initially. This will involve microformualtion as well as HPLC, GC, DLS, DSC, TGA and NMR analysis of materials. It can also involve develping non-chromatographic separation strategies for complex mixtures. There will also be the potential to work with chemical engineers, materials scientists, and toxicologists on translating technology and developing new methods. The candidates will also, depending on interest and focus, be able to work with other members of the Trant Team on our research projects in whisky and wine science, cancer and autoimmune disease treatment, and supramolecular chemistry as their interests lead them. The industrial partners we are working with on these projects are fast-growing science and research and development-focused companies that would likely be looking to bring the expertise in-house following the fellowship while maintaining links with the University.

Computational Chemistry

These are expected to start April-June 2020. Position is open to individuals holding a PhD in chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, or a related discipline. The successful candidate will have expertise in computational modelling of molecules. Preference for individuals with molecular modelling, molecular dynamics simulation experience in proteins and peptides. Ideally some experience with docking, QM/MM analysis using combinations of GROMACS, AMBER, Rosetta, Autodock Vina, the Schrodinger Suite, and Gaussian. Experience in bioinformatics is a large benefit but not necessary. The project will focus on an academic-research collaboration examining mechanism of action of small molecules with known and unknown protein targets. The candidates will also have the opportunity to work with structural biologists on crystallization, or with molecular biologists on protein expression and biophysics measurements. The candidates can also work in wet-lab synthetic chemistry or molecular biology associated with the project as they wish although this is not necessary.

Synthetic Chemistry, Natural Product Chemistry

These are expected to start April-June 2020. Position is open to individuals holding a PhD in chemistry or a related discipline. The successful candidate(s) will have expertise in either total synthesis, methodology development, medicinal chemsitry, or natural product isolation and identification chemistry. Preference will be given for individuals with experience in structural determination and/or process chemistry experience. Ideally the candidate will have experience with scale-up chemistry and non-chromatographic separation science (although HPLC experience is an asset). A strong understanding of organic mechanism and asymmetric synthesis is an asset. Science will involve developing new scalable synthetic and purification routes for complex materials. Individuals will be required to work closely with the biological, analytical and computational teams, and previous experience in an interdisciplinary environment, or a strong interest in developing this experience will be preferred (and will likely make you happier in the position).