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Temporary Research Assistant for Dr. Thompson

Temporary Research Assistant – Laboratory of Translational Psychiatry


Position Description

The Laboratory of Translational Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Neuroscience, is seeking a temporary research assistant (TRA) to join them for the summer, as they investigate the biological mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders. The TRA position is fulltime, up to 40 hours/week, for June-August, with the potential for extending to a part-time position into the Fall. This is a great opportunity for undergraduate students and recent graduates looking to expand their laboratory experience!


Nature of the Work

Our laboratory uses mouse models and cutting-edge science techniques to study brain pathways impacted by stress, depression, and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Examples of techniques used include in the lab include: cell culture, Western blot, DNA/RNA isolation, qPCR/PCR, electrophysiology, immunohistology and microscopy, mouse dissection, and animal (mouse) behavior assessments and manipulation.


Research assistants in the lab provide essential support services facilitating research activities, sample collection/processing, data management and/or data analysis; assist with general laboratory maintenance; and participate in mouse colony duties. Qualified applicants should be working towards a bachelor’s in biology, neuroscience, psychology, or related field, and be comfortable working with rodents in a research setting. 


Specific Position Duties 

This position is expected to work no more than 40 hours per week. Responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate with and support Principal Investigators (PI) and other stakeholders with laboratory and research functions. 
  • Participate in supervised research activities using wet bench techniques and/or mouse experiments which may include assisting with mouse surgery, dissections, tissue collection and processing, behavior studies, molecular procedures, and data analysis. 
  • Pick up, transport, and maintain results, samples, documents, materials, and other items as needed. Handle, dispose of, and store laboratory materials and samples using well-established guidelines and instructions.
  • Coordinate with senior lab staff on operational responsibilities, including stocking materials, equipment maintenance and troubleshooting, safety, cleanliness, prepping solutions, updating laboratory inventory records, etc. 
  • May assist with mouse colony activities (mating, tagging, genotyping/DNA extraction, weaning, euthanizing) and/or provide specialized animal care services, such as diet, water, or drug injections, related to research studies. under the supervision of senior researchers in the lab.
  • Keep detailed notes on all technical and research activities using an electronic notebook system and preserve experiment records in shared drive. 


Minimum Requirements:

  • At least one year of undergraduate-level studies in biology, neuroscience, psychology, or related field.


Desired qualifications:

  • Experience working with live specimen in a research setting
  • Experience or background within an experimental or wet lab


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees at all levels throughout the institution
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Ability to comply with established rules, policies and procedures and meet deadlines
  • Knowledge of laboratory techniques including safety procedures
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally


Duration of Project (if applicable)

Full-time (up to 40 hours) available for June – August, potentially with the option to continue through the fall semester in a part-time capacity. 



Hourly compensation ranges between $16/hour for up to 40 hours/week. 


Desired Start Date – June 3, 2024