Job Description

Payroll Title:
Salary Range
Commensurate with Experience
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
RX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, M-F

As a federally-funded institution, UC San Diego Health maintains a marijuana and drug free campus. New employees are subject to drug screening.

#112303 Staff Research Associate II

Filing Deadline: Mon 10/18/2021

For the safety and well-being of the entire university community, the University of California requires, with few exceptions, that all students, faculty and staff be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit:,-faculty-and-staff-issued-for-2021-2022.html

This is a UC San Diego Internal Recruitment open to UCSD and UCSD Health System Staff Only

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 10/14/2021 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 10/18/2021. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


The Department of Pediatrics is one of the largest departments within the School of Medicine with approximately 250 Faculty, 127 postdoctoral fellows (both MDs and PhDs) along with over 320 support staff (not including hospital staff). In addition, the Department has 68 clinical residents distributed across the Divisions. The missions of research, education and patient care are intertwined, and are integral to the goals of the department.

The Department manages a university-affiliated children's health system with the physicians and leadership of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Rady Children's Hospital, and Rady Children's Specialists of San Diego, a Medical Practice Foundation, unifying pediatric patient care, research, education and community service programs.

Under the supervision of the Principal Investigator, the Staff Research Associate 2 (SRA2) collaborates with senior management and outside research groups to ensure that Return to Learn (RTL) SARS-CoV-2 genetic screening and Next-Generation sequencing performance targets are met.

The incumbent is responsible for the overall management of the RTL sewage sample processing team including efficient project operation, logistics, organization, inventory, and waste management. Delegates tasks to other SRAs in wastewater group as needed. Orders reagents and consumables through Oracle Cloud Financials, liaising with vendors and financial administrators to secure cost-effective purchases. Communicates with vendor representatives and field service engineers to obtain regular equipment maintenance and repair, including repair of Next-Generation Sequencers. Manages inventory of collected environmental samples, tracks sample location, and prepares sample metadata files for upload to Laboratory Information System (LIMS) databases. Tags and schedules all laboratory waste for pick-up using UCSD’s EH&S Online Waste Tag Program (OTP).

The Staff Research Associate II leads integration and development of new technologies into lab, planning new project workflows, creating efficiency tools, and allocating staff to projects accordingly. Trains other Staff Research Associates, undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows on laboratory standard operating procedures (SOPs) and safety measures for RT-qPCR, shotgun metagenomics, shotgun metatranscriptomics, rRNA amplicon sequencing, and other high-throughput molecular and microbiological techniques. Stays up to date on relevant research and performs literature search to help guide development of high-throughput projects. Operates, optimizes, and troubleshoots new machinery and protocols such as automated liquid handlers, thermocyclers, extraction robots, electrophoresis equipment, and other high-throughput automated sample processors. Writes SOPs and creates data reporting tools using word processing software, Excel, Python, JavaScript, VBA, Bash, and existing bioinformatics tools. Reports and analyzes data in Excel, Jupyter Notebooks, Google Sheets, and EXCITE-Seq LIMS database.

The incumbent must have strong communication skills and be available to work nights and weekends as needed per the demands of the project.


  • Four years of related experience, education/training, OR a Bachelor’s degree in related area.

  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of cellular, molecular and genetic biology, with demonstrated ability to perform independent scientific inquiry.

  • Strong communications skills (both written and verbal) needed to interact professionally and effectively with stakeholders. Demonstrated ability to read, comprehend and discuss research materials and protocols.

  • Good organizational skills and ability to prioritize work. Ability to maintain confidentiality.

  • Organizational skills to order and maintain lab equipment and supplies.

  • Experience with biology techniques such as PCR, gel electrophoresis, sequence analysis, RT-qPCR, DNA/RNA isolation, and sequencing.

  • Micropipetting and dilutions experience.

  • Knowledge and experience in liquid handling automation and ability to develop validated protocols.

  • Ability to implement and troubleshoot protocols developed for high-throughput sequencing pipeline. Experience writing/editing protocols and manuscripts.

  • Demonstrated experience with database management of clones/samples, including data entry, manipulation and creation of data reports.

  • Experience and/or willingness to work in a BSL2+ laboratory processing SARS-CoV-2 positive wastewater and fecal samples.

  • Experience working with computer applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets, etc. Prior programming knowledge preferred.

  • Demonstrated ability to follow university Environmental Health and Safety requirements. Experienced in working and maintaining a sterile environment.

  • Enthusiasm for learning and a genuine interest in scientific research. Willingness and ability to learn new skills, research methods, and scientific principles.

  • Computer skills using a Macintosh.


  • Prior project management experience.
  • Experience working within a Pediatrics laboratory.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.
  • Incumbent must be available to work 8AM - 8PM, Monday-Sunday as needed.
  • Willing to work in a laboratory that collects, processes, stores, and assays biohazardous body fluids including SARS-CoV-2 contaminated wastewater.

Job offer is contingent on successful engagement in the UC COVID-19 Vaccination program (fully vaccinated with documented proof or approved exception/deferral).

UC San Diego Health is the only academic health system in the San Diego region, providing leading-edge care in patient care, biomedical research, education, and community service. Our facilities include two university hospitals, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Shiley Eye Institute, Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center, and several outpatient clinics. UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is a designated Level I Trauma Center and has the only Burn Center in the county. We invite you to join our dynamic team!

Applications/Resumes are accepted for current job openings only. For full consideration on any job, applications must be received prior to the initial closing date. If a job has an extended deadline, applications/resumes will be considered during the extension period; however, a job may be filled before the extended date is reached.

UC San Diego Health is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, gender identity or sexual orientation. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

UC San Diego is a smoke and tobacco free environment. Please visit for more information.

Application Instructions

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