Assistant/Associate Specialist - Neuroanatomy - Bliss-Moreau Lab University of California, Davis, Letters and Science: Social Sciences - Psychology United States

Assistant/Associate Specialist - Neuroanatomy - Bliss-Moreau Lab


  • Letters and Science: Social Sciences - PSYCHOLOGY



Open date: January 21st, 2019
Last review date: February 4th, 2019

Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: February 28th, 2019

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.


The position of Specialist has a narrow focus in a specialized area and provides technical or specialized expertise (e.g., with instrumentation and research equipment or with social science research methods) in the planning and execution of a research project. The Specialist stays apprised of emerging issues and problems and maintains technical competence in the designated area(s) of specialization. Within this defined area and when appropriate, the Specialist is expected to provide leadership, facilitate teamwork and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues and to supply input into the planning of research and educational programs. Normally, Specialists do not have Principal Investigator (PI) status but may obtain permission by exception and/or collaborate with a PI in preparing research proposals for extramural funding. The Specialist is evaluated for merit and promotion using three basic criteria outlined below.


This particular individual will carry out research in the Comparative and Translational Affective Science Laboratory, overseen by Dr. Eliza Bliss-Moreau. Our laboratory studies the biological mechanism that generate healthy and disordered socioaffective processes across the lifespan, using both behavioral and neuroscientific techniques in multiple species. We are recruiting a Specialist (at the Assistant or Associate level, commensurate with experience) to play a key role in our neuroanatomical work, including, but not exclusive to, developing new neuroanatomical experiments to meet our core goals, carrying out neuroanatomical/histological analyses associated with presently funded grants, and designing and carrying out neuroimaging experiments. Additionally, the Specialist will carry out data processing procedures and analyses, assist in writing and publishing manuscripts and conference presentations, and assist with training and mentoring other lab members. This position therefore requires considerable knowledge of primate neuroanatomy and methods, substantial laboratory technical expertise, and the ability to stay current in this fast-moving field.


Major Responsibilities

I. Research in specialized areas (90%)

Neuroanatomical Experiments and Analysis
This individual will be responsible for supervising the neuroanatomical studies (histological and neuroimaging) in our laboratory. This will include designing protocols, piloting data collection and analyses, and supervising laboratory staff members in these tasks. It includes carrying out analyses and preparing figures. It will also involve keeping abreast of new methods, documenting changes to our methods, and sharing our methods with the scientific community by publishing our protocols.


Development of New Experiments 
The individual will work with the PI and other laboratory personnel on the design of new experiments and lines of research. This includes training laboratory personnel to carry out new experiments and evaluate the data collected in new experiments. In addition, this role requires staying abreast of both research methods and the scientific literature in our area of research).


Writing/Publishing Papers, Protocols and Conference Presentations
This individual will play a key role in the published research from our laboratory. In some cases, this will be noted in the acknowledgments section of a paper (e.g., when the contribution was mainly in supervising data collection). In other cases, the individual will play a significant role in writing the paper and will serve as a co-author (or even lead author). The individual will be encouraged to present work at national and international conferences.


Preparation of Grants
This individual will support the efforts of the laboratory to secure future funding via the activities outlined above, in addition to specific preparation of experimental documents and figures for grants. The individual will assist with preparing grant documents and may be involved in the fiscal management of federal grants. Consistent with this role, the individual will complete all required trainings (e.g., animal care and use, responsible conduct of research) as well as occupational health clearances.


II. Professional competence and activity (5%)

The individual will participate in professional societies and conferences appropriate to his/her specific field. The candidate will attend seminars to present research results and may give oral presentations to public and professional interest groups.


The individual will also coordinate and/or give presentations at seminars, laboratory meetings, and educational functions.


III. University and public service (5%)

The individual will engage in public outreach activities that include presenting scientific research results to the general public and providing relevant advice to individuals and public agencies. The individual will engage in University service activities such committee service.


Position Qualifications Include:

Minimum Requirements:
• 4-year college/university degree in biology, neuroscience, or related field
• 3 years or more experience working in a neuroanatomy laboratory, or a Master's degree in a relevant discipline
• Advanced skills in nonhuman primate neuroanatomy, including preparation of tissues and microscopy
• Experience in writing manuscripts for publication
• Experience in creating scientific illustrations for publications 
• Experience managing budgets and small teams of staff and trainees
• Experience supporting preparation of grants and grant management
• Interpersonal and communication skills to interact professionally with a diverse group of people including but not limited to investigators, visitors, veterinarians, students and staff. 
• Knowledge of laboratory safety and proper use, handling, monitoring, measurement and disposal of biohazardous substances.


• Proof of skill set through peer-reviewed publications
• Experience working in a BSL2+ or greater facility.


Starting Salary: 
Assistant Specialist, Step 1 starts at $49,700/year
Associate Specialist, Step 1 starts at $56,400/year


Applicants should submit a cover letter of interest describing relevant skills, a diversity statement, and a resume. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files. Applicants should also provide contact information for 2-3 references.


Questions: Please direct questions to:


UC Davis is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and is dedicated to recruiting a diverse community. We welcome all qualified applicants to apply, including women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:


Under Federal law, the University of California may employ only individuals who are legally able to work in the United States as established by providing documents as specified in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Certain UCSC positions funded by federal contracts or sub-contracts require the selected candidate to pass an E-Verify check. More information is available


UC Davis is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products, and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any property owned or leased by UC Davis-- indoors and outdoors, including parking lots and residential space.



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

  • Cover Letter

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

Reference requirements
  • 2-3 required (contact information only)



  1. Create an ApplicantID

  2. Provide required information and documents

  3. If any, provide required reference information

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