Join the Dowling Lab

We are always looking for motivated and curious scholars to join the Dowling Lab.

Undergraduate Research during the Academic Year

Who: Notre Dame undergraduate students in engineering, science, economics, and mathematics.

More Details: Are you interested in applying computing and statistics to address global environmental challenges? Are you considering a career that combines engineering/science, computing, and data analysis? For CBE undergraduate students, did you enjoy CBE 20258 Numerical and Statistical Analysis? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, consider joining the Dowling Lab as an undergraduate researcher!

We are happy to welcome motivated undergraduate researchers to every project listed in the "Research" tab of our website. Many of our projects are collaborative, which offers the opportunity to with multiple research groups at Notre Dame. This gives you, undergraduates at Notre Dame, great flexibility to customize a research experience that is best aligned with your interests and career goals.

How to Apply: Please send a brief email Prof. Dowling with your CV/resume. We'll schedule a time to meet to talk more about which research opportunities fit the best with your interests and career goals.

Undergraduate Research during the Summer

Who: Undergraduate students from U.S. and International Institutions including Notre Dame.

More Details: We are seeking multiple undergraduate students to spend a summer with the Dowling Lab through the NDnano Undergraduate Research Fellowship (NURF), the International Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (iSURE), Promotion of Discourse through Engineering Materials Opportunities for Students (PODEMOS), and similar programs at Notre Dame.

How to Apply: Please see the links above for available projects and instructions on how to apply to each program.

Ph.D. Students

Who: Motivated scholars seeking a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering with bachelor's and/or master's degrees in engineering, computer science, statistics, or mathematics.

More Details: We seek bright, excited, curious, and motivated Ph.D. students to join the Dowling Lab. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative. Students with research experience in computing, applied statistics, machine learning, chemical engineering, or related fields are strongly encouraged to consider joining our lab. The Notre Dame CBE program waives the application fee for U.S. citizens and permanent residents or those holding a degree from a U.S. institution. Learn more about the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Ph.D. program here: 

Like many chemical engineering departments across the U.S., our program does not directly admit students to individual research labs under normal circumstances. (Please email Prof. Dowling if you have external funding, want to transfer from another graduate program, or are in some other special circumstance.)  During each fall, new Ph.D. students attend research talks, read research articles, and meet with faculty and senior graduate students to learn more about the CBE research at Notre Dame. Then, in late fall, each new Ph.D. student sends their advisor preferences to the department chair, who assigns each Ph.D. student to a research lab in consultation with the faculty.

How to Apply: Apply to the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Ph.D. program here:

Prof. Dowling has served on the CBE Graduate Admissions Committee for a few years. Here are some tips on creating an excellent graduate school application:

  • Identify two to four research-active professors you would like to work with at Notre Dame in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Please note that my colleagues and I receive many emails from prospective students. You may not receive a response from everyone you contact. The application has a specific place to list the faculty you are interested in working with. (You do NOT need to contact any faculty for permission to list them in your application.) Then, in your personal statement, please explain your choices as part of your overall career plans.

  • You are welcome to send me a note if you are interested in joining the Dowling Lab or want to know more about our Ph.D. program at Notre Dame. Please send your CV and attach any peer-reviewed publications. Please keep the note short. Unless there is a special circumstance, I typically redirect students to this page and the links therein. 

  • Dowling Lab has been extremely popular during the past few years. Occasionally, there are not enough funded projects for everyone to join the lab. (Please email Prof. Dowling if you have external funding.) We strongly recommend you identify one or two other faculty whose research you are also interested in. The Dowling Lab is part of the larger Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Laboratory (CoMSEL). We have many exciting collaborative projects underway or in planning within CoMSEL.

  • Please note that several projects in our lab may have citizenship requirements from the funding source (e.g., Department of Energy). 

  • Highlight your previous research accomplishments, especially peer-reviewed publications, research awards, competitive fellowships, and presentations at internationally recognized scientific conferences in your CV/resume and personal statement.
  • Address any special circumstances (e.g., repeated classes, earning a degree in more semesters than typical, poor grades in the first few years of college that improved) in your personal statement. Graduate school is open-ended and challenging. Use your personal statement to share how you have worked hard and persevered when faced with adversity.
  • Please consider sharing in your personal statement if you are a first-generation college student or come from an underserved community. This helps the admissions committee nominate you for special scholarships or fellowships at Notre Dame. (This is especially important for US citizens and permanent residence.)

  • Find reference letter writers who will speak to your ability as a scholar and researcher.

Post-Doctoral Scholars

Who: Motivated scholars seeking new research opportunities with a Ph.D. in engineering, computer science, statistics, or mathematics.

More Details: This position broadly intersects optimization under uncertainty, machine learning, and uncertainty quantification, focusing on several molecular-to-system engineering applications in sustainable energy. Candidates are expected to a Ph.D. in engineering, statistics, mathematics, computer science, or a related field. Demonstrated skills and experience in computer programming, large-scale numerical optimization, design of experiments, Bayesian optimization, applied probability, and/or uncertainty quantification are preferred. Experience with modeling membrane separations and/or computer-aided molecular design is also a plus. This position includes extensive opportunities to interact with two dynamic, multi-disciplinary research communities at Notre Dame: the Computational Molecular Science and Engineering Laboratory (CoMSEL) and the Center for Informatics and Computational Sciences. The initial appointment is for one year, with funding in place for a mutually agreeable renewal for a second year.

How to Apply: Interested applicants should send a cover letter, detailed curriculum vitae, two representative publications, and a list of references to Prof. Alexander Dowling ( with subject "Postdoctoral Position at Notre Dame".