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Junior Specialist - Fischer Lab

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $53,100 at Step 1 or $56,600 at Step 2.

Application Window

Open date: June 14, 2024

Most recent review date: Monday, Jul 1, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Friday, Sep 20, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

The Fischer Lab is seeking a professional research assistant (Junior Specialist) starting September 2024. This position is a combination of research, lab maintenance, and animal care. Our lab uses charismatic frogs as a model system to understand how the brain makes behavior and how behaviors evolve. Learn more at


(1) Research (80%)
The position requires creative contributions to research projects exploring the biological basis of behavior. In consultation with the Principal Investigator, the candidate will help determine research goals, design specific projects, and lead data collection, curation, and analysis. Regular research tasks will include, but are not limited to: behavioral data collection; hormone and gene expression manipulations; molecular work (DNA and RNA extraction, PCR, etc.); tissue preparation, sectioning, and staining; microscopy/imaging; analysis of data using R, BORIS, ImageJ, Fiji, and other software. We are committed to rigor and reproducibility and this is a key component of all aspects of data collection and analysis.
The animals we work with are central to all our research, and a key component of the position will be oversight of and direct contribution to animal care. Because we maintain a PI-managed animal facility, this will include some non-standard working hours (i.e., weekends and holidays). The candidate must be comfortable working with live animals including collection of tissue samples. Utmost commitment to humane, ethical treatment of animals and compliance with all animal protocols is expected.

(2) Professional Competence (10 %)
The candidate is expected to actively participate in weekly lab meetings. Alongside regular research and logistics updates, the candidate will present a formal research update twice annually. The candidate is encouraged to attend seminars and engaged with the vibrant intellectual community at UC Davis. The candidate will be encouraged to participate in community engagement activities (K-12, general public). The candidate will be supported in developing their oral and written communication skills for science and non-science audiences, and will receive professional mentoring on career objectives from the PI.

(3) Service (10 %)
The candidate will provide training in lab procedures, animal care, and lab safety to all new lab members, and will act as a mentor to undergraduate researchers. Along with the PI, the candidate will oversee lab safety compliance and general lab upkeep (ordering, monitoring equipment, scheduling, etc.).


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

BA in a relevant field (Biology, Animal Science, Neuroscience, etc.). Applicant should have previous experience in a research lab. Individuals must be comfortable working with live animals.

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

The position requires excellent organizational skills, precise execution of experiments, rigorous ethical standards, strong communication skills, and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)

Previous experience working with amphibians is preferred but not required. Experience with molecular bench work (e.g., DNA/RNA extractions, PCR), immunohistochemistry, and/or genomics/bioinformatics preferred.

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter - Cover letter detailing applicants specific qualifications for this particular position.

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3 required (contact information only)
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Job location

Davis, CA