Job Description

Payroll Title:
PSYCHIATRY/Pre-Clinical Research
Hiring Pay Scale
$20.67 - $24.30 / Hour
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
TX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Monday- Friday

#123025 Behavioral Laboratory Assistant

Initial Review Date: Tue 5/30/2023

UC San Diego values equity, diversity, and inclusion. If you are interested in being part of our team, possess the needed licensure and certifications, and feel that you have most of the qualifications and/or transferable skills for a job opening, we strongly encourage you to apply.

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 05/17/2023 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 05/30/2023. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


UCSD Department of Psychiatry is one of the most innovative and productive academic departments in the country, offering challenging career opportunities in the diverse areas of advanced educational programs, cutting-edge research, and state-of-the-art clinical services. The department is committed to offering a dynamic learning environment and growing opportunities to its talented and dedicated employees.

This work will be performed in a pre-clinical research laboratory within the Department of Psychiatry, which focuses mainly on behavioral pharmacology in translational animal models of Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, and other psychiatric illnesses.

Under supervision, the incumbent will work as a Laboratory Assistant, assisting with conducting multiple types of behavioral experiments with mice and/or rats as well as biochemical and molecular assays on animal and human tissues. The incumbent will also maintain accurate records of testing and euthanize mice and rats as instructed. The incumbent will be required to document and use procedures to weigh and dissolve drugs, weigh animals and assist with administering drugs, assist with processing tissue for assays (e.g. blood or brain), perform standard laboratory assays such as ELISAs, DNA/RNA extraction and immunohistochemistry. Collect and sort data using specialized software on lab computers, maintain neat and accurate records, as well as assist with a variety of laboratory administrative tasks. Finally, assisting in maintaining lab cleanliness will be required, as will assisting supervisor with tasks as required.


  • Two years of college including college level coursework completed in Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology or other related field and one year of laboratory experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience handling rats and mice in a research setting (restraining, eartagging, injections, etc.).

  • General laboratory experience (behavioral lab preferred).

  • Experience with calculating dosages and dissolving a variety of chemicals.

  • University coursework in organic/inorganic chemistry and laboratory techniques (pipetting, solution preparation, dosage calculation, etc.).

  • Experience with DOS, Windows operating systems and Microsoft Office software (emphasis on Excel).

  • Experience ordering and receiving supplies from scientific suppliers (Sigma, Fisher etc.).

  • Demonstrated detailed organizational and record-keeping skills.

  • Experience with filing, alphabetizing, organizing and maintaining research files.

  • Proven ability to assist and perform standard laboratory assays such as but not limited to ELISAs, DNA/RNA extraction, immunohistochemistry.

  • Excellent ability to communicate with all levels of laboratory personnel.

  • Knowledge of general laboratory safety practices and requirements.


  • Knowledge of stereotaxic surgery.

  • Experience with specialized behavioral testing equipment (Med Associates, San Diego Instruments, Coulbourn, Noldus).

  • Experience with laboratory computers and specialized data collection software (Med Associates, San Diego Instruments, Noldus).

  • Knowledge of small animal perfusion.


  • Employment is subject to a criminal background check.

  • Must be willing to handle and euthanize rats and mice.

  • Must be willing to collect and handle animal tissue.

  • Must be willing to handle human specimens.

  • Must be willing to work nights and/or weekends if necessary for experimental purposes.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $43,159 - $50,738 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $20.67 - $24.30

Factors in determining the appropriate compensation for a role include experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. The Hiring Pay Scale referenced in the job posting is the budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position. The Annual Full Pay Range may be broader than what the University anticipates to pay for this position, based on internal equity, budget, and collective bargaining agreements (when applicable).

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

If applicable, life-support certifications (BLS, NRP, ACLS, etc.) must include hands-on practice and in-person skills assessment; online-only certification is not acceptable.

UC San Diego Health Sciences is comprised of our School of Medicine, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, The Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, and our Student Health and Well-Being Department. We have long been at the forefront of translational - or "bench-to-bedside" - research, transforming patient care through discovery and innovation leading to new drugs and technologies. Translational research is carried out every day in the hundreds of clinical trials of promising new therapies offered through UC San Diego Health, and in the drive of our researchers and clinician-scientists who are committed to having a significant impact on patient care. We invite you to join our 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.

To foster the best possible working and learning environment, UC San Diego strives to cultivate a rich and diverse environment, inclusive and supportive of all students, faculty, staff and visitors. For more information, please visit UC San Diego Principles of Community.

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.

UC San Diego Health maintains a marijuana and drug free environment. Employees may be subject to drug screening.

Application Instructions

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