Employment Opportunities

Junior Specialist- Center for Neuroscience, UC Davis


The Wiltgen lab studies neurobiological mechanisms of learning and memory. We focus on a brain structure called the hippocampus, which is essential for spatial and contextual learning. Our goal is to understand the mechanisms by which this region forms and maintains memories across the lifespan. To address these issues, the lab combines behavioral analyses with pharmacology, immunohistochemistry, electrophysiology, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic techniques. We use mice because of the powerful cellular and molecular tools that have been developed in these animals.

Junior Specialist
Part‐time (20 hours/week)
** A 1‐year commitment is preferred in order to fulfill training requirements.
Start date: after August 1, 2017.

The Wilgen lab is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to assist with several projects studying the role of the hippocampus in memory consolidation. This Junior Specialist will collect and analyze behavioral data under the supervision the PI. They will take part in meetings with the PI to interpret behavioral data results, provide feedback in terms of data analysis and plan future experiments. The candidate will be expected to create graphs of their data as well as describe the methods and results for publication. By creating a draft of a publishable manuscript with a senior graduate student in the lab and being involved in the editing process, the Junior Specialist will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities. The candidate will participate in critical review of papers provided by the PI and the graduate student and will engage in discussions on research in lab meetings and journal clubs. The candidate will participate in The UC Davis Undergraduate Research Conference and will assist the graduate student in presenting a poster at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

Job responsibilities will also include: rodent colony management, genotyping, and learning and performing behavioral assays for those research projects.

Junior Specialists at the Center for Neuroscience participate in and help organize a variety of community outreach activities during Brain Awareness Week. Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is a global effort organized by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Society for Neuroscience to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research. For one week every March, Brain Awareness Week unites the global efforts of over 2,200 universities, hospitals, patient groups, government agencies, schools, service and professional organizations in 76 countries in a week‐long celebration of the brain.

Requirements: BS/BA in Neuroscience, Psychology, or related field. Working knowledge of mouse behavioral assays and previous lab experience with animal handling (with references) preferred.

How to apply:
For full consideration applications should be received by July 14, 2017. This position will be open until filled through September 30, 2017.

Please submit your application online at https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/apply/JPF01692

Note: UC Davis is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Junior Specialist (DUP)- Center for Neuroscience

The EDAPT Clinic and Translational Cognitive and Affective (TCAN) Laboratory have complementary goals to clinically intervene as early as possible and study the neural mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in psychotic illness.  The TCAN lab is recruiting for two positions to serve as junior specialists at the UC Davis Medical Center. The incumbent will be responsible for many aspects of the research study. The incumbent will be trained to use knowledge of mental health conditions to conduct phone evaluations to determine study eligibility of potential participants. The incumbent will also consent study participants and schedule all of their research appointments. The incumbent will conduct clinical interviews for research purposes under the supervision of a faculty member and will conduct behavioral testing sessions. The incumbent will manage the study IRB protocols, adhering strictly to privacy and confidentiality laws. The incumbent will also manage data collection and organization, including mentoring undergraduate volunteers in the input of data to multiple databases. Furthermore, the incumbent will be expected to actively participate in weekly lab meetings, journal club presentations, presentations from outside speakers, and weekly workshops to help junior specialists develop their career goals.

The current study will be entering a new piloting phase starting Fall 2017, which will allow the incumbent to meaningfully contribute to Phase 2 study design and revisions.  Depending on their contribution and role in the lab, the incumbent may have the opportunity assist in study design and analysis as well as writing and review of relevant manuscripts. Furthermore, the incumbent may have the opportunity to creatively contribute to the research project by proposing alternative analysis strategies, generate novel projects with existing data, review of literature for manuscript preparation, and the ability to submit data for presentation relevant conferences, such as Society of Biological Psychiatry or Society for Neuroscience (if funding is available). The incumbent will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities, including reviewing journal articles and engaging in discussions on research and the interpretation of research results with PI and others in the lab. The incumbent will also participate in one or more of the following activities: appropriate professional/technical societies or groups such as or weekly career development group and other educational and research organizations; and review research proposals, journal manuscripts, and publications related to area of expertise. The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills; as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team. 

Specific Position Functions:  
Clinical Interviewing % of Time: 35%   

  • Use prior knowledge of mental health conditions (from college or graduate level education) and provided training in diagnostic assessments to complete phone evaluations with potential research participants and family members. Phone evaluations will examine mental health concerns and other psychosocial factors in order to determine if individual may be eligible for research.
  • Conduct in-person ratings of symptomatology for research purposes using structured interviews and under the supervision of faculty member.
  • Use knowledge of mental health conditions and available treatment options to provide referrals to consumers who are not eligible for research study.

Project Coordination % of Time: 30%

  • Recruit and consent individuals to research study
  • Coordinate the scheduling of research appointments with other research assistants on the project and track completion of all research appointments for the study.
  • Assign appropriate tasks and provide mentorship to undergraduates and volunteers
  • Attend weekly meetings with clinic staff, track consensus diagnosis and reconcile research data with ongoing clinical developments
  • Coordinate advertising and recruitment of study participants using multiple methods (e.g., paper flyering, electronic postings).

Data Collection and Organization % of Time: 25%

  • Conduct behavioral assessments with research participants including computerized and paper-and-pencil tests of multiple aspects of cognitive functioning.
  • Maintain databases of all study data, including demographic, symptom, and cognitive data.
  • Oversee individuals at clinics and schools who are participating in our study to ensure adherence to study protocol (i.e., correct use of electronic tablets and referral information).
  • Maintain organized records for all participants in locked filing cabinets

IRB Protocol Maintenance % of Time: 10%

  • Maintain HIPAA and Consent documents for IRB, including adhering to required privacy laws
  • Maintain accurate enrollment counts
  • Calculate quarterly enrollment counts for submission to NIH
  • Ensure appropriate staff are maintained on IRB protocol


•    Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, psychobiology, neuroscience or a related field
•    Experience collecting and organizing data
•    Scheduling and/or calendaring experience
•    Demonstrated ability to manage multiple work demands simultaneously
•    Experience working in a team-oriented research environment


•    Previous experience working with adolescents and young adults with psychiatric disorders.
•    Fluency in Spanish (oral & written)

SALARY RANGE: Step I - $17.99/hr.

TERM OF APPOINTMENT: One year, with an additional year available based on performance and needs of the research project. Appointments may be made up to 100%.  

TO APPLY: To apply, please go to the following link: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/apply/JPF01639. Applicants should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for a minimum of two references (3 preferred). If the applicant already has access to letters of recommendation, please attach to the application packet. Documents/materials must be submitted as PDF files. All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law.  

QUESTIONS: Please direct questions to Dr. Tyler Lesh (taleash@ucdavis.edu).  
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.  
UC Davis is a smoke & tobacco-free campus (http://breathefree.ucdavis.edu/).  
If you need accommodation due to a disability, please contact the recruiting department