Junior Specialist in Psychology
University of California Davis, Department of Psychology
United States


Dr. Eliza Bliss-Moreau at the California National Primate Research Center seeks to fill a full-time research position at the Junior Specialist level. The successful candidate will work on studies examining the neural and social basis of affect and emotion in humans and nonhuman animals, and will be involved in publishable research activities, including reviewing journal articles, engaging in discussions on research and the interpretation of research results, and assisting with the preparation of manuscript publications.

Essential Responsibilities

Assist with data collection and data management including, but not exclusive to the following (85%):

• Assist with physiological, cognitive, and behavioral data collection from infant monkeys.
• Prepare equipment and testing spaces for experiments.
• Clean equipment and testing spaces.
• Lift and move nonhuman primates (requires being able to lift at least 50 lbs) between their home cages and testing spaces.
• Assist with organization of data.
• Assist with the preparation and analysis of nonhuman primate tissues.
• Prepare solutions, medias, and buffers.
• Use laboratory equipment including centrifuges, incubators, etc. 
• Train animals to participate in testing. 
• Work with Zika infected animals.

Scientific / Academic 10%:
• Assist with study design, literature reviews, data analyses, and dissemination of results.
• Review the literature in order to help with new method and experimental design.
• Work with PI and Laboratory Manager to assist with programming of experiments.
• Conduct literature reviews associated with ongoing laboratory projects.

• Help to prepare manuscripts following the training system established by the PI. 
• Participate in investigator and group meetings.
• Attend recommended relevant talks and lectures presented on campus.

University and Public Service 5%:
• Train and mentor undergraduate research assistants in the lab on data collection and management. This will provide a university service in that they will be actively facilitating the participation of undergraduate students in research activities.

Physical Demands
• Perform diversified tasks the may often require squatting, kneeling, bending, stooping or standing.
• Manual and visual dexterity to perform all duties with emphasis on attention to detail and the operation and maintenance of equipment is essential. 
• Perform assigned duties in BioSafety Level 2 and 2+ conditions where non-human primates may be either naturally or experimentally infected with potentially hazardous infectious agents such as HIV, SIV, or Herpes B virus.

• Must be able to wear a N95 respirator and Tyvek suit for long durations of time. 
• Wear protective clothing for extended periods of time including: gown, lab coats, gloves, masks, face shields, and head and shoe covers.
• Be able to lift and move at least 50 lbs.

Work Environment
• Measles vaccination or proof of illness required. This position is subject to Medical Surveillance procedures and review in accordance with Federal and State Laws and Regulations and University Policy. 
• Employee shall participate in required preventative medical and medical monitoring programs which may include blood tests, immunizations, TB screening, Blood borne and Airborne Pathogen training, etc., and are provided to meet Federal, State and University requirements. 
• Must be willing to perform assigned duties in a BioSafety Level (BSL) 2 or 3 facility where nonhuman primates may be either naturally or experimentally infected with potentially hazardous infectious agents such as HIV, SIV or Herpes B virus; working area is located within a defined animal area and may include biohazards. 
• Must be willing to work with live Zika virus and animals who have been infected with Zika virus
• Work in areas where hazardous materials and/or infectious diseases are present. 
• Required to wear protective clothing in circumstances that require personal protection from infectious diseases and animals. 
• Work occasional overtime. Work occasional weekends and holidays. 
• Provide after hours, weekend and holiday emergency support as required. 
• 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 UC Davis owned or leased property, indoors and outdoors, including parking lots and residential space. 
• California National Primate Research Center employees are directly or indirectly engaged in the performance of work on Federal or State contracts and grants as well as periodically come into contact with controlled substances; and are expected to abide by the UC Policy on Substance Abuse, the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, and the State Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990.

Minimum Qualifications
• Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Anthropology, Neuroscience, Animal Behavior, Animal Science, or equivalent.
• Experience working with nonhuman primates.
• Experience training animals to participate in behavioral tasks.
• Experience using MS Excel for data entry, upload, review, and maintenance. 
• Experience following research protocols, and oral/written instructions with attention to detail.
• 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.

Preferred Qualifications
• Experience working with rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta).
• Experience utilizing formal behavioral observation methods and techniques to monitor and record social interactions among nonhuman primates. 
• Experience working in physical contact with nonhuman primates.
• Experience using statistical software for managing data sets.
• Knowledge of rhesus macaque behavior. 
• Experience manipulating and analyzing computerized records of behavioral observations. 
• Laboratory experience processing biological samples. 
• Independent thinking and problem-solving skills for research and technical problems. 
• Skills to make the appropriate judgment to report when an animal requires veterinary attention, and to recognize changes in animal physical appearance or behavior. 
• Ability to use scientific terminology effectively. 
• Organizational skills to coordinate projects, summarize data, prioritize workload and follow schedules, meet deadlines, to accommodate changes in projects as the need arises, and strict attention to detail with high level of efficiency.

• Experience working in a BSL2+ or greater facility.

How to apply: Applicants should submit a cover letter of interest describing relevant skills and a CV and provide contact information for 2-3 referees. Submit application materials here: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/apply/JPF02841.

The position will remain open until May 27, 2019. Starting salary is $3291.67/month.

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, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct.


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 http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify.

Questions: Please direct any questions to eblissmoreau@ucdavis.edu



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 https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/faculty-equity-and-inclusion 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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