Assistant Researcher, Psychology Department University of California, Los Angeles, L&S Life Sciences - Psychology United States

Assistant Researcher, Psychology Department


  • L&S Life Sciences - PSYCHOLOGY



Open December 21st, 2018 through February 17th, 2019


The UCLA Behavioral Testing Core is seeking an Assistant Researcher for a 100% time position. Candidates are required to have a PhD in psychology or neuroscience and relevant Post-Doctoral Training. Employee must have expertise in carrying out behavioral assays in mice and rats, protocol design, data collection, control groups and statistical analysis. The Candidate will be responsible for training and supervising UCLA faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students as well as external researchers. In addition, employee should have the necessary academic knowledge to meet new people and assess their needs in designing experiments, cost assistance, writing protocols/papers and managing/supervising the assistant manager. Employee is primarily responsible for research performance and maintenance of the UCLA Behavioral Testing Core (BTC) by managing the budget, piloting experiments, working with vendors towards procurement of equipment for new and/or improved procedures. In addition, employee will supervise the Assistant Manager’s role in: collecting, scoring and organizing data to be delivered for clients; manage budget, maintain supplies, preparation of the laboratory for inspections; present services available at the core at various conventions and symposiums to increase awareness of BTC services; research new methodologies and develop protocols for additional behavioral tests as needed. The employee is also in charge of making critical decisions in regards to budget maintenance, animal health (mice/rats), experimental amendments and future plans under the guidance of the Core Directors. The employee must be able to bridge the gap between biomedical research and behavioral neuroscience in discussing projects with clients who may have little to no experience conducting behavioral experiments. There may be opportunities to apply for and develop grants to support an independent research program. Contact Dr Michael Fanselow,, for additional questions about the position.


Required skills and knowledge: PhD and Post-Doctoral Experience required.
Behavioral experiments: Proficiency and experience in the following behavioral experimental tasks in mice (required) and rats (preferable): Morris Water maze, social interaction, fear conditioning, rotarod, SHIRPA, EPM, open field, novel object recognition, USV, spontaneous alternation, radial arm maze, startle, PPI, grip strength, balance beam, conditioned place preference, grid walking, hot plate and tail immersion pain assays, light-dark box, marble burying, forced swim test, operant touch screen, gait analysis, and integration of optogenetics equipment into many of these experiments. Experience with using the following equipment and programs is preferable: capture-star software, LifeCam camera and software, Thorlabs MP100D light meter, glass cutters, Prizmatix optogenetics LED generator, Torlabs FS200 microscope, decibel meter, SR-LABS startle response system and, Capden Instruments touchscreen operant conditioning systems for rats and mice, Columbus Instruments Rotamex, MedAssociates, Ethovision and Topscan software. Also, should be able to review research publications to establish parameters for novel behavioral tasks and update currently offered tasks based on new research.


Written and Analytical skills: Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodology for research performance. Data analysis skills with statistical knowledge in multi-factorial analysis. Ability to independently design research studies for data publication or grant writing. Strong math skills and the ability to maintain the core budget and make budgetary decisions, billing and maintaining the sales and service contract at UCLA. Ability to evaluate and interpret scientific results in oral and written format. Ability to provide theoretical scientific background for new experiments and critical feedback on obtained results, graphical representations of the data.


Other required skills: Demonstrate an ability to work independently, strong communication skills and strong leadership, organization and management skills for supervising experiments in the BTC. Excellent interpersonal skills are a must for interacting with current and potential client. Ability to write grants to obtain external sources of funding for the BTC core for procuring big equipment. Ability to make critical decisions regarding equipment to buy, pilot experiments, equipment failure. Knowledge of current regulations and requirements for various agencies involved with research and safety such as IACUC, Environmental Health & Safety and UCLA Division of Animal Laboratory Mdicine. Supervise the Assistant manager in developing and maintaining Standard Operating Procedures for all tasks currently performed at the BTC and write protocol amendments as needed. Experience and willingness to experiment with new techniques in order to develop a better product.


Applicants should submit a cover letter; curriculum vitae; statements of interest and approach to running a test score; a statement of contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion; and three letters of reference. Candidates are encouraged to apply before January 21, 2019.


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, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy.



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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Interest - Provide a statement of interest and approach to running a test score.

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Statement addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through research, teaching, and/or service.

  • Misc / Additional (Optional)

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 letters of reference required



  1. Create an ApplicantID

  2. Provide required information and documents

  3. If any, provide required reference information

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