Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$24.88 - $26.52 / Hour
Appointment Type:
Limited Appointment
Appointment Percent:
RX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
Days, 8 hrs/day, Mon - Fri

#121238 Staff Research Associate 1

Extended Deadline: Thu 4/6/2023

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

Job posting will remain open until a suitable candidate has been identified.

This is a 100% limited position for 1 year with the possibility of extension or conversion to career status depending on the needs of the department and funding availability.


Under guidance of the Principal Investigator (PI), graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows, the Staff Research Associate will perform research investigating the mechanisms that regulate brain cells and the connections between them. The goal of the research is to understand how drugs and specialized neurotransmitters called neuromodulators regulate the nervous system and how these processes go awry in human disease.

The incumbent will perform routine laboratory duties such as assistance with mouse colony maintenance, genotyping, preparation of virus and drug aliquots, and brain tissue processing for histology. Additional responsibilities may include a combination of the following: a) stereotactic surgeries to inject viruses and implant fiber optic cables into the brains of rodents; b) rodent behavioral assays and analysis, anatomical, morphological and neurochemical (histological) analysis of brain tissue sections using light microscopy; and c) preparation of acute (live) brain slices from rodents, followed by whole cell electrophysiological recordings from neurons, and analysis of the resulting data. Other lab duties include training and supervising students, overseeing lab supply orders, overseeing preparation of standard solutions, and maintaining a safe and clean work environment. Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of neural excitability and synaptic transmission, including relevant laboratory techniques, acquired through a Bachelor's and/or Master's degree in Biology, Neuroscience or related field; OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience with and understanding of laboratory equipment, including light microscopes, scales, autoclaves, pH meters, perfusion pumps, infusion pumps, recording devices and amplifiers.

  • Demonstrated skill to work with rodents as the primary experimental system.

  • Experience with humane methods of caring for lab animals such as rats and mice.

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

  • Demonstrated knowledge of specialized scientific terminology especially as it is related to electrophysiology and rodent behavior.

  • Demonstrated experience to accurately prepare complex solutions, plates, media, etc.

  • Successful, positive interpersonal oral and written communication skills using tact, diplomacy, discretion, and flexibility with diverse personalities and situations. Skill to interact effectively with faculty, academics, students, and staff including those of diverse ethnicity, culture, and foreign nationals.

  • Strong organizational skills, including ability to keep clear and accurate records and follow written and oral lab protocols.

  • Skill and knowledge to maintain an organized lab and stocks of essential supplies and reagents, purchase lab supplies and equipment, oversee equipment repairs, and ensure lab equipment is running efficiently and maintained properly.

  • Ability to hire, train and provide work direction to undergraduate student lab employees. Skill to train others in various lab techniques and procedures (safety precautions, preparation of media, dishwashing, equipment usage, laboratory maintenance, etc.).

  • Experience and skill with MAC or PC programs, filemaking, spreadsheet, and graphics software; willingness and ability to update and increase computer skills and knowledge as needed.

  • Knowledge, understanding and experience with Safety Data Sheets, hazard communication and Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Familiarity with a Chemical Hygiene Plan addressing safety precautions including appropriate clothing and shoes, safe handling of chemicals, use of protective items. Willingness and ability to keep safety training current and consistent with research involvement.


  • Must be able to work with rodents as experimental animals.

  • Must be able to work safely with lab chemicals and biohazardous chemicals.

  • Must be willing to occasionally work overtime during the evening or weekend when necessary for experiments.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $51,949 - $61,972 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $24.88 - $29.68

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).

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.

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:

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

Application Instructions

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