Join Us


I strive to maintain a vibrant, collegial, diverse, and energetic research group. If you are interested in joining my team as a collaborator, visiting scientist, postdoctoral scientist, or student, then below are some frequently asked questions that I ask you to examine and ponder before contacting me.

1) Are you willing to form new research collaborations?

Absolutely, particularly if you have research expertise in a complementary field. For example, I am often approached by research groups with expertise in pharmacology, biology, or metabolism that are interested in studying a natural product, either as a pure compound or as a characterized extract. If you are interested in exploring such a relationship, simply email your request. However, please note that I do not have funding to support external collaborations. Rather, I enjoy working together to win support to fund ideas of mutual interest.

2) Do you accept visiting scientists?

Yes, with several caveats. If you are interested in joining my group as a visiting scientist, you should email your request and ideas. In general, the visitor must be able to stay for a minimum of 12 months to make the experience worthwhile for both of us. Unfortunately, I am unable to provide funds for visiting scientists. Also, if you are not an American citizen, you will have to obtain the proper visa to work in the United States.

3) Are you accepting postdoctoral scientists? 

When positions become available in my group, I typically place advertisements in several places, including the website of the American Society of Pharmacognosy. If you are interested in joining my group as a postdoctoral scientist, you should email me directly. In doing so, please outline your interests and skills and how these may match the expertise and needs of my research group.

4) Are you accepting graduate students? 

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has graduate programs for students interested in either the Ph.D. or M.S. degrees, and more details can be found on the Department’s webpage. If you are accepted into the program, then during your first semester, you are required to interview several professors in search for a good fit, both for the professor’s needs and the student’s interest. To be completely clear, I cannot accept you into my laboratory until after your first semester in the program. Typically, I accept one to three students per year, depending on resources.

5) Are you accepting students interested in pursuing undergraduate research?

UNCG photo by David Wilson - 3/30/10 - Portrait of Nick Oberlies in the woods.

A few undergraduates join my group each year. In general, preference is given to students early in their careers, particularly after they have completed two semesters of Organic Chemistry. Preference is also given to those who can make a long term commitment to research, especially those that can conduct research over the summers. To be completely clear, I do not pay undergraduate researchers. In some circumstances (and after showing significant progress and potential) I will work with the undergraduate to find modest research support via grants; these are competitive programs for the most exceptional students. If you are interested in joining my group, you should fill out an application in the office of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

6) Are you accepting post-baccalaureate students interesting in research? 

This is a difficult question to answer. Post-baccalaureate students who want to experience a rigorous research environment and who are planning on going into research for their careers are welcome to apply (see point 5). However, if you are simply looking for a short term engagement to “beef up” your application to professional schools, then my lab is probably not the place for you.

7) Are you accepting high school students?

I am happy to talk with any one about science, especially students. However, I am sorry, but high school students are not able to join my group. There are too many safety issues associated with such a situation in my opinion. Once you have a year or two of college under your belt, feel free to contact me.