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Professional Research Assistant

Requisition Number:



Boulder, Colorado





Employment Type:

Research Faculty



Posting Close Date:


Date Posted:


Job Summary

The Hiura Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder is seeking a Professional Research Assistant to work on projects related to the developmental neuroscience of pair bonding. This is a full-time position focused on carrying out experimental work in prairie voles. Monogamous prairie voles can form life-long pair bonds with their mates, and early life experiences scaffold the neural circuitry underlying this social behavior. Investigation of how these monogamous brains develop provides fundamental insights into the biological processes that support healthy social attachments across the lifespan. To this end, we utilize neuroscientific techniques including optogenetics, chemogenetics, fiber photometry, and gene expression profiling, amongst others. This role will require proficiency in conducting stereotaxic surgeries. More information about our lab can be found on our website (
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.

Who We Are

The Hiura Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder (

Our primary goal is to understand how social behavior and bonds are regulated across animal development. An infant's social needs are dramatically different from those of an adult. Over the course of the lifespan, animals must change their social behaviors to adapt to the new demands of their physical environments as well as their growing bodies. 

Altricial neonatal mammals are entirely reliant upon their parent(s) to meet all of their basic and social needs. As animals age, they begin interacting with conspecifics outside of the familial groups. For monogamous species, this growth includes developing the ability to form long-lasting, selective pair bonds with a mating partner. 

Our work spans across multiple levels of biology - from neural activity, to endocrine and neuropeptide signaling systems, gene regulation, up to complex multi-animal social interactions.

What Your Key Responsibilities Will Be

  • Rodent colony management (breeding, genotyping).
  • Stereotaxic surgeries for viral injections and implants in developing and adult subjects.
  • Conducting behavioral testing and experiments using fiber photometry, chemogenetics, optogenetics.
  • Histology, sectioning and immunolabeling.
  • Microscopy.
  • General maintenance of inventory and lab documentation.
  • Personnel training and supervision of research assistants.

What We Can Offer

The hiring range for this position is $40,000 - $47,000 annually.  Moving reimbursement negotiable if conditions are met.


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 pioneering. Be Boulder.

What We Require

  • A BA/BS in Neuroscience, Psychology, Biology, or related field.
  • A minimum two-year commitment due to substantial training efforts required for the position.
  • Prior experience working in a research laboratory (Undergraduate thesis, technician, etc.)
  • Animal behavior and handling knowledge, preferably in rodents.
  • Experience in conducting stereotaxic surgeries and using aseptic technique.
  • Exemplary organizational and communication skills.
  • Very strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to independently solve problems.
  • Reliability and efficient multi-tasking.

What We Would Like You to Have

  • Prior coursework in neuroscience.
  • Perfusion and tissue harvesting experience.
  • Knowledge of viral vectors and applications in neuroscience.
  • Experience with imaging and microscopy of tissue.
  • PCR and other routine biology techniques.
  • DNA / RNA extraction, sequencing, assays.
  • Data analysis and/or programming experience (Python, R, or other).
  • Experience with open-source hardware/software use (3D printing, Arduino/Pi).

Special Instructions

To apply, please submit the following materials:
  1. Resume or CV
  2. Cover letter addressed to the Search Committee briefly describing your qualifications, professional goals, and specific interest in this position.
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. If your degree was obtained outside of the United States, please submit a translated version as an optional attachment.

During the application process you will need to enter contact information for a reference. We will request a letter of recommendation and additional materials, if needed, as the search progresses. 

Review of applications will begin immediately and remain open until June 18th, 2024.

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: Boulder Campus Human Resources

Posting Contact Email: