Join us

Applying to the Ou Lab

The Ou Lab is committed to understanding the functional and evolutionary consequences of transposable elements (TEs) in plant species. Functioning as a highly interactive and collaborative team, our approach integrates software engineering, comparative genomics, and molecular genetics, extending across the diverse settings of dry labs, wet labs, greenhouses, and fieldwork. Comprising a diverse and inclusive assembly of highly motivated postdocs, graduate students, undergraduate students, and interns, our team is tapping into the multifaceted aspects of this research goal. Lab members will work closely with me to identify a research topic, set up goals, develop research hypotheses and tools, generate and analyze data, write papers, and present work. At the later stage of the training, members are expected to be more independent. Beyond the scientific pursuits within the laboratory, concerted efforts are made to align each member's research with their career objectives and to identify opportunities that further these goals.

Postdoctoral Scholars

The Ou Lab at the Ohio State University invites recent Ph.D. graduates to apply for a 2 to 3-year postdoctoral scholar position. The scholar will have the opportunity to pursue a tailored research topic, focusing on the function, evolution, or identification of transposable elements, informed by their previous research experience. Potential projects may use long-read sequencing, high-performance computing, a fully-equipped molecular lab, and well-supplied plant growth facilities. 

Ideal Candidates Will Possess:

To apply, please email me a letter of interest and your current CV to

Graduate Students


Graduate students interested in transposable element studies are welcome to join the Ou Lab via the Department of Molecular Genetics (MolGen), the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) Graduate Program, or the Cellular, Molecular and Biochemical Sciences Program (CMBP) at the Ohio State University. These programs offer in-depth studies of many fascinating biological processes and phenomena in both major model and non-model organisms. MolGen, MCDB, and CMBP currently offer Ph.D. degrees exclusively, with no GRE requirement for admission. Successful candidates will be fully funded by fellowships, teaching assistantships, or research assistantships throughout their course of study. Prospective students must first gain admission to either MolGen, MCDB, or CMBP and then participate in rotations across three different labs during their first year. While I can't give you direct admission due to policies, you are highly encouraged to communicate your research interest. More detailed admission information can be found on the Admissions page of the respective programs. 

After admission 

The Ou Lab provides several windows for lab rotations. Should you be interested in a rotation segment within our lab, kindly email me with a description of your research interests and your current CV. We can then arrange a time to meet in person for more in-depth discussions. After completing three rotations, please communicate your intention to join the lab, and we can explore the next steps together.

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students in their first or second year from various departments and programs are invited to explore opportunities within the Ou Lab. If you find yourself intrigued by any facet of our research on transposable elements, I am all ears! Recognizing that these early years are a critical time for career exploration, we offer a trial period that allows you to explore and discover your interests without immediate long-term commitments. Outperforming students will have opportunities to present their work at conferences and contribute to major research papers. Feel free to contact me at to discuss how you can become part of the Ou Lab.

Funding opportunities

MolGen Research Award & Scholarship Opportunities - undergrads and graduate students - do not require permanent residency or citizenship. 

OSU Undergraduate Research Funding Opportunities - various requirements and deadlines

Pelotonia Scholars for cancer research - undergrads, graduate students, and postdocs - do not require permanent residency or citizenship. 

OSU President’s Postdoctoral Scholars Program (PPSP) - postdocs - does not require permanent residency or citizenship. 

USDA ARS NIFA Fellowship - predoctoral and postdoctoral - requires permanent residency or citizenship

NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP) - predoctoral - requires permanent residency or citizenship. 

NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship - requires permanent residency or citizenship. 

HHMI Gilliam Fellows Program - promotes gender, racial, and ethnic diversity - requires permanent residency or citizenship.

HHMI Hanna H. Gray Fellows Program - postdocs - promotes gender, racial, and ethnic diversity - does not require permanent residency or citizenship.


The Ou Lab is situated on the fifth floor of the Aronoff Laboratory Building at OSU's central campus in Columbus, Ohio. The lab is fully equipped with basic molecular biology tools and shares the floor with several other plant labs and common labs. The lab has easy access to the Biological Sciences Greenhouse and additional plant growth facilities on the west campus (~5 min away by free buses running 24/7) and the Waterman Farm (3 miles away). 

We have access to over 30,000 CPUs, 500 NVIDIA GPUs, and petabytes of secure storage through the Ohio Supercomputer Center and the Unity cluster. The Ou Lab houses a dedicated supercomputer with 256 CPU threads, 512 GB memory, 153 TB raid6 storage, and a 24-GB A5000 GPU for various computing needs. Our other equipment includes a Nanopore P2 high-throughput long-read sequencer and a reach-in growth chamber that allows C4 plant growth under temperatures from -10C to 44C. We have close collaborations with other research teams to probe into the function and evolution of transposable elements in various plant species.

The Aronoff Laboratory at Ohio State (Google Streetview)

OSU bird's eye view

Map to OSU