Job Description

Payroll Title:
Hiring Pay Scale
$62,324 - $79,071/year
Appointment Type:
Appointment Percent:
RX Contract
Total Openings:
Work Schedule:
8 hrs/day, Mon - Fri, additional hours as needed

#122087 Staff Research Associate

Filing Deadline: Wed 3/29/2023

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 03/20/23 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 03/29/23. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


Chemistry and Biochemistry is one of the largest and most complex departments on campus. The department’s organization is divided among three major research themes each with its own department leadership representation under the Department Chair: Biochemistry & Biophysics; Synthesis, Materials and Chemical Biology; and Physical, Analytical and Environmental Chemistry. The department is comprised of 70 ladder rank faculty, and additional 10 in various instructional titles and ~150 in academic research titles and postdoctoral scholars.

The above academic community presents a plethora of diverse complex issues from Health Sciences Compensation Program agreements to adjuncts from national laboratories sharing negotiated employee patent agreements. The department is also comprised of 90 career staff; ~60 temporary or student staff, and 350 Master’s and Ph.D. students. Undergraduate students majoring in chemistry number greater than 1,600, and total undergraduate and graduate annual course enrollments exceed 23,000. The department currently has more than 120 awards from federal, state and private sources for approximately $20 million per annum in extramural funding and $46 million in total annual expenditures.

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry manages eight recharge facilities supporting national as well as UCSD-wide research endeavors in academe and industry: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Molecular Mass Spectrometry, Biomolecular and Proteomics Mass Spectroscopy, Inorganic Characterization Instrumentation, Protein Crystallography, Small Molecule X-Ray Crystallography, Fabrication Facility plus the on campus Chemistry Storehouse. In addition, we are home to two national research center grants. The department also manages three major NIH training grants, and one Department of Education training grant, which fund graduate and postdoctoral students across UCSD departments/disciplines as well as off campus research organizations.

The Grassian group focuses on the chemistry and impacts of environmental interfaces. These include atmospheric aerosols, engineered and geochemical nanoparticles, and indoor surfaces.

Under direction of the Principal Investigator, conduct and optimize research on the detailed mechanisms of surface reactions of environmental importance. Incumbent will interpret and analyze experimental results, these include spectroscopic data, mass spectral data, kinetic data, and vibrational frequency calculations, to enhance the overall standards of the on-going research, and prepare results for presentation/publication based on experiments performed, when appropriate.

Independently conduct and optimize research with a wide variety of experimental methods including in situ infrared spectroscopy, ex-situ mass spectrometry as well as more specialized techniques including vibrational micro spectroscopic probes. As Laboratory Manager incumbent will be responsible for insuring laboratory maintenance duties; ordering and organizing supplies; assuring that lab equipment is kept is working condition; and safety, cleanliness, and organization of the laboratory. Incumbent will also be responsible ensuring recharge operations are correctly accounted for and billed. Interact professionally with faculty, postdoctoral scholars, students, collaborators and, visiting scholars, in laboratory.

  • Must be willing to work with hazardous chemicals and materials as needed using proper protocols.


  • Strong theoretical and practical knowledge of surface and environmental chemistry, including relevant laboratory techniques, acquired through a Bachelor's degree in chemistry; PhD and time as postdoc in related field preferred.

  • Extensive experimental experience performing and using experimental techniques such as surface spectroscopy and mass spectrometry of complex organic mixtures, and related calculations.

  • Proven independent research skills with experience in experimental design, execution, and analysis, including troubleshooting and optimizing experimental procedures and preparing figures and presentations, with limited input from the PI.

  • Extensive experience in research with solid surfaces, gas-surface interactions, liquid-surface interactions, of environmental interfaces as the primary experimental system

  • Strong demonstrated experience with vibrational spectroscopy and high resolution mass spectrometry.

  • Extensive experience in general laboratory techniques and molecular techniques including the ability to prepare solutions and use a pH meter

  • Proven independent experimental experience transmission and scanning electron microscopy, BET analysis, powder X-ray diffraction and ICP-MS.

  • Successful, positive interpersonal oral and written communication skills using tact, diplomacy, discretion, and flexibility with diverse personalities and situations. Ability to communicate effectively one-on-one or in group settings, taking into account differences in social, cultural, professional, and educational backgrounds.

  • Experience using a MAC or PC, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Illustrator with a willingness and ability to update and increase skills and knowledge as needed.

  • Proven ability to develop organization of the research work environment of schedules, reagents, and data. Skill to use independent judgment and to make decisions and solve complex problems.

  • Knowledge of Material Safety Data Sheets, hazard communication and 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, etc. Knowledge of safety procedures using chemicals and radioactive materials. Willingness and ability to keep safety training current and consistent with research involvement.

  • Skill in accurate record keeping and ability to reconcile accounting. Demonstrated knowledge of purchasing and reimbursement procedures. Skill in maintaining steady levels of lab supplies, maintaining purchasing records, and training others in purchasing procedures.

  • Proven ability to independently follow multi-step assays and procedures and improve when necessary.

  • Demonstrated ability to record scientific data in a well-organized laboratory notebook. Ability to keep accurate records of experimental procedures and results, to discuss and interpret them, and to prepare relevant oral and written presentations

  • Ability to work independently or collaboratively on a research project and interact effectively with collaborating labs. Ability to maintain a high level of motivation to contribute to cutting edge research, and seek and learn new experimental methods as required.


  • Background Check is required.

Pay Transparency Act

Annual Full Pay Range: $62,324 - $100,220 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Hourly Equivalent: $29.85 - $48.00

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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