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Professional Research Assistant

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado

Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Maier Watkins Laboratory within the College of Arts and Sciences encourages applications for a highly motivated full-time Professional Research Assistant with experience in immunohistochemistry (IHC) and an interest in learning more wet lab and animal-related skills! Our immediate needs are for someone with experience and interest in tissue preparation, sectioning, staining (fluorescent and chromogenic), imaging, and image analysis. Experience with confocal microscopy and Imaris image analysis software is a bonus. Although the majority of work will initially be in IHC, there will be other wet lab assays such as Polymerase Chain Reaction, Western Blot, and ELISA work to do, so experience in these techniques is a bonus, and the ability to learn is mandatory. The candidate should also have an interest in learning skills to assist in animal work such as behavioral assays, surgeries, and tissue collection. Our team is flexible, where each member assists in all tasks when needed, such as large-single day surgery or tissue collection efforts. Therefore, the candidate should be willing to specialize in some skills, but strive to acquire a broad skill base so as to be effective in a wide variety of scientific work. Evening/weekend work may be necessary occasionally. Phenomenal attention to detail with repetitive work crucial. Willingness to ask questions when not clear on the tasks upcoming is essential.

The University of Colorado Boulder is committed to building a culturally diverse community of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to contributing to an inclusive campus environment. We are an Equal Opportunity employer, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

This job entails a wide array of techniques which may include, but not be limited to: 
  1. Isolation, culturing, and testing of glia and cell lines; supply preparation for cell culture maintenance.
  2. Handling and habituation of rats for behavioral testing.
  3. Behavioral assessments, for example, using mechanical allodynia tests, thermal hyperalgesia tests, saccharine preference, activity measures, learning/memory, and others.
  4. Surgical preparation of animals, including but not limited to intra-cerebral microinjections, intrathecal catheters, acute intrathecal injections, laparotomy, paw incision, osmotic mini-pump implantation, and other procedures necessary for the studies.
  5. Supply preparation for surgery, including autoclaving, preparation of sterile catheters, etc.
  6. Molecular biology, such as real time RTPCR and Westerns, multiplex and ELISA assays, and all aspects of tissue preparation and analysis; supply preparation for same.
  7. Transcardial perfusions and tissue dissections; supply preparation for same.
  8. General lab cleanup and maintenance.
  9. Data entry and statistical analyses, preparation of data files into graphics files, scoring of videotaped behavior.
  10. Tissue collections; supply preparation for same such as sample tube labeling and organization.
  11. Immunohistochemistry and image analysis of samples.
  12. Anatomy sample preparation - blocking, cryostating, mounting tissues, etc.

What You Should Know

Evening and weekend work will be required at times when necessary for the successful completion of studies. For all of the above, training will be provided and increasing expertise expected with growing experience. The list above will shift with time as experiments and the procedures required to successfully perform them evolve. The list will also shift based on your expressed interests in various aspects of the lab work. 

What We Can Offer

$32,000.00 annually. 


The University of Colorado offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO Pass. The University of Colorado Boulder is one of the largest employers in Boulder County and offers an inspiring higher education environment. Learn more about the University of Colorado Boulder.

Be Statements

Be ambitious. Be engaged. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • BA/BS in physiology, molecular biology, neurobiology, neuroscience or related field.
  • Prior experience with research lab work.

What You Will Need

  • Proven organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Able to work both independently and in groups within a research lab.
  • Ability to multi-task so to make progress on several ongoing projects in the same timeframe.
  • A self starter who can work independently, make judgments of what needs to be done, and follow through independently; proactive in taking ownership of research tasks.
  • Strong communication skills, both written and spoken. 

What We Would Like You To Have

Experience with small animal perfusions and associated post-mortem tissue collections, tissue sectioning (cryostat), mounting tissues on slides, immunohistochemistry, light, and fluorescent microscopy. Experience with ELISA and RT-PCR a plus, experience with behavior tests with rodents a plus, small animal surgery experience a plus.

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume/CV
  3. Optional: Proof of Degree
    • If you are selected as the finalist, your degree will be verified by the CU Boulder Campus Human Resources department using an approved online vendor. However, if your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version (if applicable) as an optional attachment.
During the application process you will need to enter contact information for three references who will be contacted to provide letters of recommendation and additional materials, if needed, as the search progresses.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Note: Application materials will not be accepted via email. For consideration, applications must be submitted through CU Boulder Jobs.

Posting Contact Information

Posting Contact Name: Linda Watkins

Posting Contact Email: