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Biosecurity Research Institute

Fellowship Opportunity

Transboundary Animal Disease Fellowship Program (3 positions available)

Location:  Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University

Campus:  Manhattan, Kansas                          Starting date:  August 2016


The Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) is accepting applications for three research fellowship positions in the Transboundary Animal Disease Workforce Development program.  Each two-year fellowship is designed to foster the development of research scientists to safely plan and execute research on transboundary animal diseases (TAD) in BSL-3, BSL-3Ag, and BSL-4 environments. This collaborative opportunity will leverage the expertise and resources of the Biosecurity Research Institute, Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC), and National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory (NEIDL) to train next generation PhD, DVM, and post-doctoral researchers to work in high and maximum-containment environments on a variety of TADs.  The academic and research experience available through this program will help address the critical need for a skilled workforce that will be required when the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) opens in Manhattan, Kansas.

The objective of this program is to support graduate degree seeking individuals, or individuals beginning their postdoctoral career.  The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated academic commitment and work history in an area closely related to transboundary animal disease research.  The search committee is seeking candidates with less than one year of postdoctoral experience and has limited high containment research experience.  

During the first year, fellows will enroll in an 18 credit hour High-Containment Agricultural Research program at Kansas State University and participate in traditional classroom activities as well as practical rotations. The program is designed to instill common biosafety, containment, research laboratory, animal handling and regulatory compliance skills and proficiencies required to conduct TAD research in high-containment research settings. 

In the final year, fellows will choose to work at either the BRI or PIADC to complete an independent research project under the guidance of an established researcher in the field of TADs.

In addition to the opportunities outlined above, participants will receive BSL-4 simulator training at the NEIDL for two weeks, and will be encouraged to apply to the PIADC 1 or 2 week training course.  Each fellow will also receive tuition assistance and an annual stipend while participating in the program. 

 Requires and Qualifications:

  • Enroll in the 18-Credit Hour Transboundary Animal Disease Fellowship Program at Kansas State University
    • Selected candidates will need to apply to a related Graduate, Ph.D. or DVM program at Kansas State University.  You do not need to be a current student to apply for the fellowship, but you must meet all graduate school qualifications, apply, and be admitted before beginning the fellowship
    • Or, possess an existing Ph.D. or DVM and be apply to the graduate program as a non-degree seeking student prior to beginning the fellowship 
  • Hold U.S. citizenship
  • Be able to pass a background check and select agent Security Risk Assessment (SRA) clearance
  • Possess superior interpersonal skills, excellent written and oral communication skills, the ability to work as a member of a team, have an excellent work ethic, and commitment to detail
  • Ability to work in BSL-3 laboratory space and work with large animals in BSL-3Ag research spaces 
  • Physical requirements include carrying equipment and instrumentation (up to 50 lbs.), walking (up to 2 miles per day), climbing (areas not easily accessible), standing (up to several hours) and moving heavy objects (25-100 lbs.)
  • At least average agility required in order to maneuver on a daily basis between containment research spaces and support spaces
  • Ability to wear personal protective equipment under extreme conditions of heat or cold, including but not limited to various respiratory protection devices, Tyvek, boots, gloves, etc.
  • Ability to work in a job with the potential for safety hazard exposures, chemical, and infectious disease exposure.  Protective vaccines will be offered as needed

The program is funded through a U.S. Department of Homeland Security award.  Successful applicants chosen to participate in the Transboundary Animal Disease Fellowship program are required to undergo a background check and maintain a favorable select agent Security Risk Assessment (SRA) clearance and registration as prescribed by the US National Select Agent Program.   Additionally, successful applicants are required to be U.S. citizens in order to participate in research fellowships.


  • Annual Stipend
  • Tuition Assistance
  • Travel Expenses
  • Research Material Assistance

How to Apply:

Please submit a complete application packet containing:

Please send all application materials by e-mail to johnwebster@bri.ksu.edu.  Application packets failing to contain all requested information will not be considered.

Complete application packets must be received by 11:59 p.m. central time on March 31, 2016. Screening of applications will begin April 12, 2016.  Notification of selection will occur on or before April 25, 2016.