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Research Chemist

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details


Injury Prevention Research Ctr-633500

Career Area :

Research Professionals

Posting Open Date:


Application Deadline:


Open Until Filled:


Position Type:

Permanent Staff (EHRA NF)

Working Title:

Research Chemist

Appointment Type:

EHRA Non-Faculty

Position Number:


Vacancy ID:


Full Time/Part Time:

Full-Time Permanent



Hours per week:


Position Location:

North Carolina, US

Hiring Range:

$60,000 - $70,000

Proposed Start Date:


Be a Tar Heel!:

A global higher education leader in innovative teaching, research and public service, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill consistently ranks as one of the nation’s top public universities. Known for its beautiful campus, world-class medical care, commitment to the arts and top athletic programs, Carolina is an ideal place to teach, work and learn.One of the best college towns and best places to live in the United States, Chapel Hill has diverse social, cultural, recreation and professional opportunities that span the campus and community.University employees can choose from a wide range of professional training opportunities for career growth, skill development and lifelong learning and enjoy exclusive perks for numerous retail, restaurant and performing arts discounts, savings on local child care centers and special rates on select campus events. UNC-Chapel Hill offers full-time employees a comprehensive benefits package, paid leave, and a variety of health, life and retirement plans and additional programs that support a healthy work/life balance.

Primary Purpose of Organizational Unit:

Created in 1987, the University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center (UNC IPRC) is one of the nation’s leading university-based injury and violence prevention research centers. IPRC’s mission is to build the field of injury and violence prevention through interdisciplinary scholarly research, and by training the next generation of injury prevention researchers and practitioners. UNC IPRC is one of the nine active centers in the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Injury Control Research Center (ICRC) program, and one of the only two research centers to be continuously-funded as a CDC ICRC since the inception of the ICRC program.

UNC IPRC is internationally known for the high quality of its interdisciplinary research and for developing innovative research methodologies. The Center conducts a wide range of research studies, with the ultimate goal of advancing the practice-relevant knowledge base for injury/violence prevention. UNC IPRC’s staff and core faculty serve as a trusted source of expert knowledge on injury/violence prevention science. The Center supports several student-led research consortiums on campus, and hosts an Injury and Violence Prevention Fellowship program.

Additionally, to ensure that science on injury/violence prevention is rapidly translated into measurable and effective injury prevention actions, UNC IPRC also conducts an extensive set of community-based training and outreach activities. Many of our community-based activities are planned and implemented in collaboration with partners such as the Injury and Violence Prevention Branch (IVPB) of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Through its partnerships with IVPB and others, UNC IPRC plays a long-term leadership role in catalyzing evidence-based injury prevention activities through training and outreach to professional, governmental, and public groups.

Position Summary:

The Research Associate will work in a specialized laboratory section focused on controlled substance drug checking. They will be responsible for following standardized protocols for analyzing street drugs using infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, while assisting with the interpretation of complex data and contributing to methods development. This position will carry out collaborative research and train new undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral lab members in testing for a variety of substances.

The primary role (80%) is to apply advanced knowledge of chemistry principles, methods, procedures, and techniques to develop, conduct, and evaluate complex qualitative chemical analyses for a variety of substances. This includes:
* Performing/checking complex and advanced work in both standardized and non-standardized testing
* Evaluate new equipment, procedures, and developments in the field
* Create chemical libraries to identify constituents of unregulated drugs
* Function as technical expert for public health team members
* Prepare training documents to assist other academic labs in conducting public health drug checking

This work requires strong knowledge of and demonstrated proficiency in using FTIR and GCMS and/or LCMS for the analysis of unregulated drug samples.

The second role (20%) is assisting the training of new undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral lab members in laboratory methods and computational tasks. Share expertise in both formal (professional conference) and informal situations (group meeting). Assist in general lab troubleshooting and development of new research strategies.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:

Relevant post-Baccalaureate degree required (or foreign degree equivalent); for candidates demonstrating comparable independent research productivity, will accept a relevant Bachelor’s degree (or foreign degree equivalent) and 3 or more years of relevant experience in substitution. May require terminal degree and licensure.

Required Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience:

The Research Associate will have the following essential competencies:
- Recent experience working in a laboratory that focuses on problems of compelling biological importance.
- Demonstrated ability to work with an elevated level of independence, to design and troubleshoot new experiments, to solve experimental problems independently, and to be able to relate work to the larger big-picture laboratory context.
- Knowledge of forensic chemistry methods and instrumentation.
- Ability to perform advanced spectral analysis using multiple reference libraries.
- Experience working with controlled substance reference standards, complying with federal and state regulations.
- Familiarity with principles of harm reduction and public health approaches to reducing drug-related harms.
- Ability to interact constructively with diverse individuals with recent experience in training or teaching laboratory personnel.

Preferred Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience:

Master’s Degree or above in Analytic Chemistry, Forensic Biochemistry or a related life science with a minimum of 5 years work experience in forensic laboratory or Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology or a related life science with a minimum of 10 years work experience

Special Physical/Mental Requirements:

Ability to work occasional long days, as research work requires.

Campus Security Authority Responsibilities:

Not Applicable.


The nation’s first public university is at the heart of what’s next, preparing a diverse student body to become creators, explorers, innovators and leaders in North Carolina and throughout the world. Carolina’s nationally recognized, innovative teaching, campus-wide spirit of inquiry and dedication to public service continue the legacy that began in 1795 when the University first opened its doors to students.

Here, in one of America's most beautiful college settings, we offer exceptional careers in richly diverse fields. Come explore what UNC-Chapel Hill has to offer you.

Undergraduate Enrollment: 19,117

Graduate/Professional Enrollment: 10,894

Total Student Enrollment: 30,011

Founded: 1789, as the first state university in the United States

Type of Institution: Public, four-year

Undergraduate Admission: 15,961

Graduate/Professional Enrollment: 10,039

Total Student Enrollment: 26,000

Faculty: 3,000

Percentage of faculty who hold Ph.D.s or the highest degrees in their field: 94 percent

Faculty/student ratio: 1/14

Location: UNC is located in the heart of Chapel Hill, the best college town in America! It's a friendly town of about 40,000 in the geographical center of North Carolina. Chapel Hill is at the western point of the Research Triangle, an area of about one million people, comprised of Chapel Hill, the cities of Durham and Raleigh, and the Research Triangle Park, home of many corporate offices and scientific research centers. Carolina is about 30 miles from the state capital, Raleigh, and 20 minutes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Chapel Hill's main street, Franklin Street, borders the campus and offers shops, coffee houses, cafés, movie theaters and houses of worship. The town has a historic district, museum, library, parks, malls, and many recreational facilities.

Origins of Carolina's students: 82 percent of UNC's freshmen are from North Carolina and 18 percent are from out-of-state. Our students come from 42 different states and our international students represent 37 countries.

Size of freshman class: Approximately 3,400

Class size: Barely five percent of undergraduate classes contain more than 100 students; two-thirds of undergraduate classes have fewer than 30 students. Forty-one percent have fewer than 20 students, including First Year Seminars, in which first-year students work closely with professors.

Sports and athletic programs: UNC is an NCAA Division I school with 28 varsity teams. Carolina is the proud home of the Dean Smith Center, Kenan Stadium, Carmichael Auditorium, Koury Natatorium, and many other fine athletic facilities. Students join more than 60 intramural and club sports, which include baseball, bowling, crew, golf, lacrosse, rock climbing, rugby, tae kwon do, and ultimate frisbee. The Student Recreation Center offers weight training, aerobics, stair machines, and all the equipment you would expect to find at a great health club! Carolina offers a newly renovated outdoor pool and indoor pools, a golf course, tennis courts, and the longest zipline in America!

Number of residence halls: Incoming undergraduates will live in one of Carolina's 29 residence halls, which are wired for Internet access and cable television.

Scholarships and financial aid: About 40 percent of UNC-Chapel Hill students receive scholarships and/or some form of financial aid.

Special research institutes: Institute for Research in Social Science, Institute of Outdoor Drama, Morehead Planetarium, Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, Institute of Government, Institute of African American Research.

Career services: On-campus counseling, job fairs, résumé writing service, internships, placement services.

Technological facilities: Students find multiple uses for Carolina's state-of-the-art technological resources. They can access Carolina's computer services through Academic Technology and Networks, which manages academic computing, e-mail, microcomputing labs, interactive media presentation, video and classroom support, and a help desk. The MetaLab oversees the development of SunSITE, one of the world's busiest digital library and electronic publishing projects.

Students may open e-mail accounts, and many use campus computer resources to construct personal Web pages. Students in residence halls have hardwired network connections to the Internet and cable television in their rooms. At the ATN Training center, students may take classes on software packages and utilities. Computer labs are available for student use all over campus.

Carolina Computing Initiative: Beginning with the freshman class of 2000, undergraduates must purchase laptop computers. The University has arranged for IBM to offer computers at excellent prices. Students, faculty, and staff will enjoy cost savings, higher quality compatible equipment, and better technical support through CCI.

The Study Abroad program allows students to live and learn in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Rim, Africa, and the Americas.

The Honors Program offers special seminars, research programs, and the chance to design your own independent studies.

Carolina students spend time in public service through student organizations, the Campus Y, the Carolina Center for Public Service, and courses that incorporate community service.

UNC's chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a national collegiate honor society, is the oldest in North Carolina, dating from 1904. There are many other honorary societies at Carolina.

UNC offers ROTC programs in all branches of national military service.

Through the First Year Seminars program, first year students will understand what it means to study at a premier research university. They will learn from faculty members and share in their research in seminars of no more than 20 students.

Life outside the classroom: More than 370 clubs, teams, and student organizations offer something for everyone! You can choose from among musical and dramatic performing groups, publications, ethnic and religious clubs, the Campus Y and other service organizations, fraternities and sororities, and pre- professional organizations. Whatever your interests, you will find others at Carolina who share them!

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