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Research Technician - Brainard Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
United States, California, San Francisco
March 08, 2023
Primary Work Address: 1550 4th Street, Suite 190, San Francisco, CA, 94158-0724 Current HHMI Employees, click here to apply via your Workday account.

We are seeking a Research Technician to support the lab of Dr. Michael Brainard in our neuroscience research group at the University of California, San Francisco. Michael Brainard is interested in how experience acts on the nervous system to shape behavior. Brainard and his team want to understand how the nervous system changes over the course of development to give rise to critical periods for learning, and how individuals' innate variations interact with experience to give rise to differences in learned behaviors. The team focuses on vocal learning in songbirds as a model system to investigate these questions, employing a variety of behavioral, neurophysiological, and genetic approaches. More information on the lab can be found on their website

We are looking for a motivated individual to join a team using behavioral, neurophysiological and molecular approaches to investigate the neural circuits that underlie learning. The position will involve both general laboratory support and direct involvement in research.

What we provide:

  • A competitive compensation package, with comprehensive health and welfare benefits.

  • One on one mentorship with a graduate student/postdoc in the lab.

  • Being part of research projects with potential for authorship on research papers.

  • Attending scientific conferences.

  • Weekly meetings with Dr. Brainard and lab members in a collaborative and highly team-oriented setting.

  • Upward career growth potential.

What You'll Do:

  • Work efficiently and cooperatively with a team of researchers in support of projects.

  • Perform established experimental procedures and operate a variety of instruments and other scientific equipment.

  • Perform inventory of chemicals and supplies; order laboratory supplies and stock laboratory areas as required.

  • Help manage laboratory bird colony including preparation and changing of water bottles and food trays.

  • Assist in the preparation of biological samples and histological procedures.

  • May participate in stereotaxic surgeries and injection of viral constructs involving laboratory animals.

  • Carry out behavioral experiments and analysis of data using custom software.

  • Read literature relevant to research areas as required.

  • Perform other duties as required.

What you bring:

  • Bachelor's or Master's degree in Neuroscience, Bioengineering or a related field.

  • Prior practical experience with techniques described above.

  • Knowledge of basic principles of neuroscience and molecular biology, gained through coursework or experience.

  • Strong enthusiasm for developing new skills and expertise.

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances or other hazardous materials.

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job's principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however. Unless they begin with the word "may," the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are "essential functions" of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our site to learn more.

Compensation Range

$17.86 (minimum) - $22.31 (midpoint) - $29.03 (maximum)

Pay Type:


HHMI's salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate's education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers. Typically, a new hire for this position in this location is compensated between the minimum and the midpoint of the salary range.