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Research Associate

Apply now Department: 3670020240 Psychological Sciences
Job no: 513699
Employment type: Staff Full Time (Unclassified - Term)
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Categories: Research / Scientific / Grants
Pay Grade: 08B

About This Role:

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.

Why Join Us:

The RTD Laboratory coupled with the CNAP center offers an outstanding, collegial environment with the opportunity to assist Dr. Kirkpatrick in managing a highly motivated research team. We are conducting high impact research using cutting edge neurobiological and behavioral techniques. There also are significant opportunities for training and professional development within this rich research environment.

Kansas State University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, paid time off – vacation, sick, and holidays.   To see what benefits are available, please visit:

We Support Diversity and Inclusion:

The Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences seeks to foster diversity in a commitment to recruit, retain and resource peoples historically under-represented in university education in the United States. Fostering diversity goes beyond increasing the numbers of under-represented students, faculty and staff. It also includes a commitment to substantial curricular offerings, resources, and programming that foregrounds the knowledge, perspectives, cultures, and histories of marginalized communities. A truly diverse college culture and structure will benefit all members of the university community to better serve and excel in an increasingly global and multicultural world.

What You’ll Need to Succeed:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree
  • Two years of relevant experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master's degree or PhD in Psychology, Neuroscience, Biology, Physiology, or related field are encouraged to apply
  • Two years of relevant research experience in a laboratory setting
  • Laboratory and/or project management experience
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Histology, immunohistochemistry, and/or immunofluorescence, microscopy techniques and image analysis software 9e.g., ImageJ)
  • Behavioral and injection techniques in rodents
  • Stereotaxic surgeries
  • Basic programming experience in Med-PC, R, Matlab or other related software
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel
  • Experience with and/or formal training in statistical analysis techniques
  • Ability to work independently and as a member and/or leader of a collaborative team
  • Laboratory and/or project management experience

Other Requirements:

  • Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States at the time of employment

How to Apply:

Please submit the following documents:

  1. Cover letter
  2. CV
  3. Statement of Research Interests and Experiences
  4. Names and contact details of three references

Screening of Applications Begins:

Immediately and continues until position is filled. For best consideration, apply by 9/30/22.

Anticipated Hiring Salary Range:

$48,000-$70,000, commensurate with experience and skills

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

Background Screening Statement:

In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.

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