Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Salary Range
$60,509 - $62,952 /year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
RX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
8 hrs/day, Mon-Fri

#112725 Staff Research Associate

Extended Deadline: Fri 11/26/2021

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 and influenza before they will be allowed on campus or in a facility or office. For more information visit: Flu Vaccine Mandate / COVID Vaccine Policy

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 11/03/21 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 11/12/21. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


Physics is a prominent, highly-ranked, research-intensive department at UC San Diego, with 400+ employees, annual expenditures of roughly $30M, annual course enrollment in the 15-16K range, and over 140K square feet of space in 8 campus buildings. Research and instruction occurs over an unusually broad range of disciplinary areas, including: astrophysics & astronomy, atomic/molecular physics, biophysics, condensed matter physics, controlled fusion & plasma physics, elementary particle physics, nanoscience, and nonlinear dynamics.

Research activity occurs both on-campus and in multiple off-campus locations, including: U.S. National Laboratories such as Argonne, Lawrence Livermore, and LANL (Los Alamos National Lab); observatories throughout the world; Antarctica; and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Switzerland. Research collaborations frequently involve other U.S. and international universities, National Labs; research institutes such as The Scripps Research Institute and the Salk Institute; and/or companies such as SAIC and General Atomics. Sponsored research activities are funded by 40-50 different funding agencies, including NSF, NIH, DOE, DOD, and AFOSR.

Instruction occurs at multiple levels. The doctoral program has a flexible and broad-based curriculum which leads to a Ph.D. in Physics or a Ph.D. in Physics with a specialization in Biophysics. With nearly 600 Physics majors, the undergraduate major program is one of them most productive in the nation. Students may obtain B.S. degrees with optional specializations in Astrophysics, Biophysics, Computational Physics, Earth Sciences, or Materials Physics, or B.A. degrees with an optional specialization in Secondary Education. A special 5-year integrated program leading to a B.S./M.S. in Materials Physics is also available. Lower division courses allow students to satisfy their general education requirements and serve as foundational courses for students majoring in the sciences and engineering.

Under general supervision, the incumbent will be responsible for undertaking research projects in collaboration with the Principal Investigator (PI) making independent contributions to research and experiments regarding tissue culture of bacteria.

The incumbent will work independently to make determinations and design experiments using bacteria as a model system, which will include bacteria genetic manipulation, bacteria transformation of DNA and selection on the appropriate bacteria cell plates, preparing bacteria cell extracts for various biochemical analyses, immunofluorescence, live cell imaging and RNA analyses. In addition, the incumbent will grow established bacteria cell lines to generate protein extracts or nucleic acid (both DNA and RNA) or immunofluorescence or live-cell imaging samples. Bacteria cell work will also include standard tissue culture cell maintenance, transfection of plasmid DNA, and selection and cloning of the appropriate transformants on the selectable media.

Other duties include: read and abstract articles of value in the prosecution of broad research problems; analyze and interpret genetic screens. Incumbent will participate in writing and publishing manuscripts in international journals, and attend and present research results at laboratory meetings. Finally, incumbent will provide work direction to laboratory staff, undergraduate and graduate students in overseeing lab databases of strains, cell lines and reagents. Perform other duties as assigned.

  • Must be willing and able to work safely with BL2 level.
  • Must be willing and able to work safely with radioactive materials.
  • Flexible work schedule required. Willingness and ability to work occasional evenings and/weekends as required by the needs to the research project(s).


  • Strong theoretical and practical knowledge of physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology and genetics, including relevant laboratory techniques, acquired through a Bachelor's in Biology or related field OR an equivalent combination of education and laboratory experience. Master's or PhD preferred.

  • Proven ability to independently participate in the execution of research projects or portions of such projects, independently planning, organizing and performing experiments and selecting data for analysis.

  • Experience with experimental techniques including but not limited to working with various types of fluorescent microscopes, molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, sub-cloning to generate various forms of knockout and tagged genes.

  • Proven ability to independently utilize scientific literatures, online databases and other relevant resources to apply to research projects and execute experiments.Knowledge of PubMed or library literature search to identify relevant research papers, journals and books

  • Demonstrated ability to prepare and edit scientific papers, manuscripts, and lab data. Experience presenting research to formal audience.

  • Successful, positive interpersonal communication skills needed to interact well with others to facilitate communication about lab requirements, including the ability to discuss and understand day-to-day laboratory affairs, research plans, results and ideas with PI and other personnel in a constructive, professional and pleasant manner.

  • Familiarity with Apple and PC computers and associated word processing and spreadsheet software with awillingness and ability to update and increase skills and knowledge as needed.

  • Knowledge of MSDS's (Material Safety Data Sheets), & the hazard communication & Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Knowledge of laboratory safety precautions including appropriate clothing and shoes, safe handling of chemicals, use of protective items such as gloves and goggles. Knowledge of basic first aid procedures.

  • Proven ability to hire laboratory staff, undergraduate and graduate students. Skill to train others in various lab techniques and procedures (safety precautions, preparation of media, dishwashing, equipment usage. laboratory maintenance, etc.).

  • Proven experience and knowledge of proper handling, storage and disposal of chemicals, biochemicals, hazardous chemicals, and biohazardous materials including radioactive materials.

  • Demonstrated experience with yeast.

  • Experience in protein work including extract generation from bacteria cells, gel electrophoresis, western blots, immunoprecipitation (IP), co-IP for mass spec analyses, RNA or DNA isolation from bacteria cells, qRT/PCR, DNA cloning, and northern blots.

  • Demonstrated experience using a fluorescent microscope (i.e. confocal, deconvolution scopes, super-resolution).

  • Experience and ability in working with computer software analysis tools, such as AxioVisopm, Zen and Image J.

  • Skill to prepare and maintain with completeness and accuracy a variety of laboratory records, files and notebooks.


  • Background Check required.

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

The University of California 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:

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