Research Specialist, Department of Biology

Job description

Research Specialist, Department of Biology

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Research Specialist, Department of Biology

Job Profile Title
Research Specialist C

Job Description Summary
The Ren Lab, in the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, is primarily focused on two research fields: 1) neuronal excitability and its implication in intellectual disability, and 2) lysosomal biology and its role in neurodegenerative diseases. To help achieve research goals, the Ren lab is searching for a highly skilled senior Research Specialist to join the team.

Job Description

The Research Specialist will independently plan and perform research on physiological functions of ion channel proteins to meet defined scientific objectives. The Research Specialist will also design research projects and independently carry out highly specialized electrophysiological recording of ion channel activities using patch clamp techniques applied to cultured cells and brain slices. The individual in this position will require extensive experience in patch clamp recording electrophysiological techniques applied to neurons and other cells. This senior Research Specialist will also assist with overseeing normal lab activity, and at times may oversee junior research staff and assist with the training of new graduate students. They will also be responsible for mouse colony maintenance and upkeep of critical lab equipment/reagents. An individual in this position will also be expected to summarize experimental data, write reports and manuscripts for scientific publication, present findings at scientific meetings and help with grant application. At times the Research Specialist will also be responsible for maintaining collaborations with other external research groups, or assisting with external funding application preparation.


  • Design and perform electrophysiological experiments to study physiological functions of ion channel proteins. The duty requires extensive experience in patch clamp recording electrophysiological techniques applied to neurons and other cells.
  • Manage day to day lab activities, oversee junior level lab staff, and train new graduate students. May require purchasing supplies, preparing reagents, and maintaining equipment logs, or delegating these tasks as appropriate.
  • Design and perform animal experiment. This includes successfully working with ULAR staff and completing all necessary safety trainings to independently complete necessary projects, and supervising students in proper vivarium protocols
  • Write research papers for publication, and present data/findings at group meetings or, if required, at conferences.
  • Collaborate with external collaborators, and manage relationships to generate novel and high-quality research findings.

Minimum Qualifications
B.S. degree in biomedical sciences, or a related field (Ph.D. preferred), along with 3-5 years of laboratory experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience, is required. The ideal candidate will have experience in research, clinical study, project and people management. Extensive experience in patch clamp recording electrophysiological techniques applied to neurons and other cells strongly preferred.

Working Conditions
Office, Library, Computer Room; Requires extensive safety

Physical Effort
Typically sitting at a desk or table; Occasional lifting 25 lb. or less

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
School of Arts and Sciences

Pay Range
$42,953.00 - $77,315.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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Job No:
Posted: 4/5/2021
Application Due: 4/5/2033
Work Type: Full Time