Research Specialist – Psychology (Sparta Lab)

Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
$36,975 with benefits
Closing date
Sep 1, 2022

The Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois Chicago seeks to hire a Research Specialist for Sparta Lab to assist in investigating the neural circuits of neuropsychiatric diseases, with a focus in alcohol use disorder (AUD).  They will perform basic lab functions including general lab upkeep, mouse colony management and genotyping, maintaining lab records and logs, and lab ordering.  The Research Specialist will aid in research experiments including behavioral, optogenetics, electrophysiological and histology experiments to study the neurobiological mechanisms underlying substance use disorder and anxiety-like behavior. Sparta Lab is run by Dr. Dennis R. Sparta, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience.

Essential Functions:

  • Perform advanced laboratory research activities including animal handling and training in behavioral tasks, managing mouse colonies and performing mouse genotyping.
  • Perform routine laboratory maintenance and research activities such as; general housekeeping, preparing chemical solutions; and ordering with the university PCARD and stocking laboratory supplies.
  • Perform stereotactic surgery to deliver viral vectors and/or implant fiberoptics/cannulas/multiunit electrode arrays into mouse brain.
  • Compile and analyze research data using various relevant computer software application
  • Assist with literature research, editing and preparing manuscripts, scientific illustrations and computer graphics for publication.
  • May performs administrative duties such as; perform Pcard reallocations, training and guiding students and/or other laboratory technicians; assisting in developing policies, procedures and/or methods for laboratory experimentation.
  • Ability to work collaboratively on multifaceted projects.
  • May participate in the design of research studies.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in science or related field required.

A minimum of 3 years related research experience.

Possesses and applies comprehensive knowledge of research principles, concepts, practices and methods.

Proficient in specific lab research techniques.

Preferred Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience or psychology. Master’s degree in science preferred.

May require training related to occupational safety and health, environmental compliance, shipping of hazardous materials and/ or ionizing radiation.

Mouse handling experience is desired, but not essential.

Competitive candidates will have strong communication and interpersonal skills, excellent organizational skills, and a proven ability to work independently.

To Apply:

Candidates will need to electronically submit an online application at the UIC Job Board ( and upload a cover letter, CV, and provide the names and email addresses of three references within the online application. Applications are due August 31st. Questions about the position may be directed to Prof. Dennis R Sparta; 

The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

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