Environmental Nanotechnology & Emerging contaminants

Job Type
Job Rank
PhD student
Job Institution
Baylor University
Job Description

The Gao Lab at Baylor University, Department of Environmental Science, is looking for 2 highly motivated Ph.D. students starting in Spring 2025 who will be interested in researching 1) Designing nanomaterials for delivering nutrients to agricultural crop plants and 2) Assessing the risk of emerging contaminants, including engineered nanomaterials, microplastics and PFAS in agricultural environment.
1. Students with a background in Chemistry (Analytical, Physical), Environmental Science and Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, Chemical and Biological Engineering, or related fields are encouraged to apply. A master's degree is preferred, although exceptional students with a bachelor’s degree will also be considered.
2. Proficiency in English. International students are subject to the requirement by Baylor University - the English tests (TOEFL, 80 & above, IELTS, 6.5 & above). The proficiency in English will be further evaluated from application materials and a zoom interview.
3. Excellent scientific writing and communication skills (This will be evaluated via the application package & a Zoom interview)

What we provide:
· Competitive stipend (~ 26k USD/year) and benefits (tuition, health insurance fully covered)
· A supportive advisor that will guide your career goal either for academia or industry
· Multidisciplinary and multicultural research collaboration experience
· Outreach & Conference opportunities, at least once / year
· Chances to use the state-of-the-art instrumentations and research facilities, including the possibility to work in Synchrotron facilities.

Application method:
Please send the following information in 1 PDF file to Dr. Xiaoyu Gao at xiaoyu.gao@mail.mcgill.ca, with the title ' PhD application-your name'
1. Curriculum vitae
2. Transcripts (unofficial version at this stage is OK, although official version will be required at a later stage)
3. A cover letter that highlights your anticipated start day, your education, research experience and interests, and career goals (1-2 pages)
4. Contact information for 2 references
All students, especially those in the underrepresented groups, are encouraged to apply. Review of the applications will start on June 1st and continue until both positions are filled. Qualified students will be contacted for a Zoom interview. Successful candidates will be invited to apply via the Baylor University application system: grad.baylor.edu/apply/

About the PI:
Dr. Xiaoyu Gao is an incoming assistant professor at Baylor University, Department of Environmental Science (Starting August 2024). He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Chemistry at Nanjing University in 2014. In 2019, he pursued his Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Prof. Greg V. Lowry and Prof. Elizabeth A. Casman at Carnegie Mellon University Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University with Prof. Subhasis Ghoshal, where he started working closely with Ph.D. and MS students on independent research projects.
Dr. Gao’s work has focused on two areas. The first area is tracking emerging contaminants' fate, transport, and bioavailability in complex environmental media. The second research focus is designing engineered nanomaterials for sustainable agriculture and environmental remediation. Dr. Gao’s work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Nature Nanotechnology, ACS Nano, Environmental Science & Technology, Journal of Hazardous & Materials, etc. His publications have an H-index of 12 with over a thousand citations.

About Baylor University & the Department of Environmental Science:
Baylor University is classified as an R1 (very high research activities) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, a title given to the most prestigious research universities. It is ranked consistently as one of the top 100 universities by the US News’ best National University ranking. It is also the only private Christian University given the R1 title.
The Department of Environmental Science (https://environmentalscience.artsandsciences.baylor.edu/) is in the top quintile of environmental departments in the US (Academic Analytics), and one of the fast-growing departments at Baylor University. Here, we pursue high research excellence and a diverse, multicultural environment (students with different cultural/religious backgrounds are welcomed) in our department.