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Research Associate

Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas
$48,000-$70,000 commensurate with experience and skills
Closing date
Oct 9, 2022

Dr. Kirkpatrick’s reward, timing, and decision (RTD) laboratory at Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS; has an open research associate position to work on an R01 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. The position is available to start on or after October 15, 2022, to conduct research on understanding the cognitive and neural mechanisms of time-based interventions designed to moderate impulsive choices in rats. The RTD laboratory has developed and validated innovative interventions to promote self-control in rats and we are now poised to study the neural circuity that underlies the interventions. The applicant will join a multi-disciplinary research group working with cutting-edge behavioral analyses, chemogenetic neuromodulation of frontostriatal circuits, assessments of neural activity, and advanced computational modeling. The research associate will also work within the recently renewed Phase 2 Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity (CNAP) center (, which offers state-of-the-art facilities and a vibrant research community to provide an overall outstanding research environment. The research associate will act as both a laboratory/project manager and researcher. The position will be reviewed annually but is expected to be funded for at least three years.


Specific responsibilities include:

  • Training, Mentoring, and Project/Laboratory Management: Daily mentoring and training of undergraduate students in laboratory skills and professional development; peer mentoring of graduate students; project/lab management activities such as ordering supplies, scheduling, record keeping, writing and managing IACUC and IBC protocols
  • Operant Behavioral Testing: Daily operant behavioral testing in rats; injecting chemo genetic drugs in concert with behavioral testing
  • Neurobiological Assessments: Perform perfusions, slicing brain samples on a cryostat; perform immunofluorescence assays; mount samples on slides; assess chemo genetic placement and activity using fluorescence microscope and associated software
  • Stereotaxic Surgeries: Perform stereotaxic surgeries to infuse chemogenetic AAVs; perform post-procedure animal care following surgeries
  • Research Dissemination: Perform statistical analyses on behavioral and neurobiological data; prepare posters and manuscripts; present at conferences

There will be significant opportunities for professional development activities including training on new techniques (e.g., electrophysiology), travel to attend and/or present at scientific meetings, and authorship of scientific publications.

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