Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$25.75 - $30.72 / Hour
La Jolla
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
RX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Monday - Friday

#129181 Neural Circuit Researcher

Extended Review Date: Fri 6/28/2024

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.

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 4/15/2024 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 4/25/2024. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.

This posting has been modified as of 6/14/2024, and reposted.


Department of Neurosciences laboratory using mouse genetics to define the contribution of discrete neural circuits in basic processes underlying mental health and disease.

Under supervision, incumbent will be part of a neuroscience research laboratory focused on neural circuitry and neurochemistry underlying motivated behavior, decision making, and mental illnesses including depression, schizophrenia, and substance use disorders, as well as Parkinson's Disease. Assist in performing techniques that include brain surgeries, behavioral training and analyses, in vivo recordings, optogenetics and pharmacological manipulations, molecular biology, histology, building behavioral testing and recording devices, and programming behavioral tasks and data analysis code. Performs other related functions as required.


  • Theoretical knowledge in neuroscience (or related), or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Strong organizational skills combined with ability to prepare and maintain clear and accurate laboratory records, files, and notebooks. Proven ability to read basic graphs and interpret and analyze data.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with strong, demonstrated ability to communicate orally and in writing. Possess skills of tact, poise, diplomacy, confidentiality and flexibility in a lab environment that interacts with a diverse group of research and technical personnel and other laboratories. Ability and willingness to work in a team framework in conjunction with principles of community with other lab personnel/staff, faculty and students.

  • Sensitivity to the needs of caged laboratory animals in compliance with AAALAC guidelines.

  • Solid computer skills using MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, email system, and a variety of web-based programs. Demonstrated ability to create and maintain databases, perform standard computer tasks, learn new programs/applications with minimal direction. Ability to update/maintain technology skills with relevant computer software.

  • Proven ability to work collaboratively on a research project and learn new experimental methods as required.


  • Knowledge of brain anatomy, neural circuit function, and neurobiology.

  • Knowledge or experience with computer programing (e.g., Matlab, Python, Arduino) for data analysis or application development.

  • Experience with handling mice, mouse genetics, and mouse colony management (genetics and maintenance of mouse lines) including genotyping, husbandry, breeding, weaning, surgical procedures, injections, and euthanasia.

  • Experience performing histochemical labeling and troubleshooting new protocols. Experience preparing and analyzing tissue samples for histology (e.g. perfusion, tissue dissection, sectioning, immunofluorescence, microscopy).

  • Experience performing molecular biology techniques (e.g., PCR, DNA preparation/extraction, PCR genotyping, immunoblotting, bacterial transformation, plasmid isolation).

  • Experience with general lab maintenance including maintain stocks of essential supplies and reagents, purchase lab supplies, and ensure lab is clean/organized and lab equipment is running efficiently.

  • Experience working safely with potentially hazardous viral gene-transfer vectors, bacteria (for cloning) & lab chemicals. Experience making basic chemical solutions.

  • Working knowledge of basic lab operations, procedures and proper use and maintenance of lab equipment. Knowledge of basic lab safety requirements as well as EH&S regulations for handling, clean-up, storage, and disposal of biohazardous substances.

  • Experience using and conceptual understanding of electrophysiological, electrochemical, or imaging recordings in brain slices or in vivo.


  • Must be punctual with the ability to maintain regular hours with the flexibility and willingness to work nights and weekends to assist with experiments as needed.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $53,766 - $64,143 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $25.75 - $30.72

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).

If employed by the University of California, you will be required to comply with our Policy on Vaccination Programs, which may be amended or revised from time to time. Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.

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 is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

For the University of California’s Affirmative Action Policy please visit:
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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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