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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Please send a CV and Research Summary to Prof. Tim Cernak ( (do not apply to this posting, if you would like to be considered you must email your materials). 

Job Summary

The Cernak Lab at the University of Michigan has partnered with Janssen Pharmaceuticals to develop cutting-edge chemical synthesis strategies for drug discovery. The successful candidate will join a dynamic and energized team of synthetic chemists and computational specialists at the University of Michigan hunting for new reactions at the interface of chemistry and data science. The current position aims to develop new chemical coupling reactions that will be impactful to medicinal chemistry and beyond. Results and experiments will be developed in partnership with a team of scientists at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a world-leader in drug discovery, and the postdoc may travel to Janssen sites to foster the collaboration. New reactions developed will be published in high impact journals, optimized for use in advanced robotic and machine learning platforms, and applied to real-world drug discovery challenges. The University of Michigan is a world-leading research institute, ranked #1 in research funding among US public universities. The resources exist within the Cernak and Janssen labs to achieve scientific discoveries of the highest caliber, and we aim to publish your results in top scientific journals.  

To learn more about Janssen, see: To learn more about the Cernak Lab at the University of Michigan, see:


The successful candidate will have a PhD with a demonstrated record of achievement in chemical synthesis, such as reaction methodology, total synthesis, medicinal chemistry, or catalysis. Your role will be to develop novel coupling reactions for use in drug discovery, and applications in automated synthesis. The ability to discover and optimize new chemical reactions is critical to success, and a solid foundation in HPLC, MS, NMR, TLC analysis is required. Your labmates will be synthetic chemists and computer scientists developing a shared vision to invent and apply chemical reactions using modern robotics. A background in automation, high-throughput experimentation, or basic coding is beneficial, but not required. Successful applicants will be asked to show proof that they can legally work in the US.

Required Qualifications*

A PhD in Chemistry with a strong background in chemical synthesis or catalysis. The successful candidate should have a record of publication in high impact journals.  Please include a three-page Research Summary in your application to highlight your scientific achievements.

Desired Qualifications*

A strong background in modern chemical synthesis (i.e. reaction planning and execution, product purification and analysis) is required. Skills in automation, high-throughput HPLC-MS, or basic programming in Python are desirable

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.