Duke University, Biomedical Engineering

137 25270
Position ID:Duke-BME-DUKEGRILL5 [#25270, 1420]
Position Title: Associate in Research
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Durham, North Carolina 27708, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Engineering / Biomedical
Appl Deadline: (posted 2023/08/04, listed until 2024/02/04)
Position Description:    

Animal Behavior Associate in Research 
Salary range: dependent on experience and qualifications 

Overview: The Grill Lab is currently seeking a highly motivated and skilled Animal Behavior Research Associate to join our esteemed bioengineering team. Our team develops electrical stimulation therapies for a range of health conditions, such as spinal cord injury, chronic pain, and bladder/bowel dysfunction. As an Animal Behavior Research Associate, you will actively contribute to various rat-based projects, ensuring utmost care for our animal subjects while collecting high-quality, reproducible behavioral data in neuromodulation research. 

We value individuals with essential characteristics that drive success in our research team. Your passion for animal welfare and dedication to maintaining high standards of care will be instrumental in our scientific advancements. As a strategic thinker, you'll quickly process and implement new information, while your inquisitiveness and curiosity drive your exploration and learning in diverse research projects. Your effective communication and collaboration with diverse team members will ensure seamless execution of research tasks. Juggling multiple projects with exceptional organizational skills, attention to detail, and adaptability are essential for success. Research projects may have evolving demands, and your willingness to adapt to a varied schedule and embrace new challenges with enthusiasm will enable you to thrive in this critical role. 

Mandatory Qualifications: 
  • A minimum of a Bachelor's degree in a biological science. 
  • Proficiency in handling rodents while adhering to federal and local ethical standards. • Ability to effectively perform behavioral tests for multiple bioengineering projects involving research animal species. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills. 
  • Proficiency in using computer applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, email, and presentation software (e.g., Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint). 
  • Flexibility to work a schedule that aligns with the needs of research projects. 
 Highly Desired Qualifications: 
  • At least two (2) years of laboratory animal research experience in the last six years or three (3) years of hands-on veterinary or surgical experience. 
  • Experience in husbandry for small research animal species. 
  • Experience in assisting and preparing for surgical procedures, monitoring gas anesthesia, and maintaining surgical records for multiple animals. 
  • Proficiency in performing minor procedures such as injections, urine collection, and gavage, as well as monitoring the well-being of research animals. 
  • Enthusiasm to develop expertise in various behavioral tests with rodents. 
Project-Specific Responsibilities: 
Spinal Cord Injury and Bladder Dysfunction Project, estimated time: 10-20 hrs/week 
  • Acclimate animals to handling and perform behavioral tests prior to surgical procedures. 
  • Assist sterile surgery procedures and data acquisition related to medical device implants. 
  • Provide post-operative care and support during the recovery phase. 
  • Collect and record data by performing behavioral tests (metabolic recording and rehabilitative tests). • Perform wellness checks and express urine from rat bladders. 
         Bowel Dysfunction Project, Estimated time: 4 hrs/week 
  • Administer analgesics, remove sutures and staples, and assess wound healing and signs of distress for post-operative care. 
  • Assist with loading/unloading animals, setting up and cleaning cage systems, and connecting/disconnecting headcaps to stimulators for metabolic cage work. 
          Chronic Pain Project, Estimated time: 4-26 hrs/week 
  • Provide post-operative care, including administering analgesics/antibiotics, assessing wound healing and animal welfare, and performing suturing or wound draining as needed. 
  • Assist with sensory and motor behavioral tasks such as paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) and conditioned placed preference (CPP) i.e. setup/cleanup, setting stimulation parameters, threshold testing. 
  • Allocate 4 hours per week for post-operative care and additional hours for behavioral tasks (15 hours for PWT and 26 hours for CPP, occurring approximately every 6 weeks). Please note that the estimated time commitment for each project is provided as a general guideline. The actual time required may vary depending on the specific needs of the project and the progress of research activities. 
Physical Requirements: The Animal Behavior Research Associate will perform the responsibilities described above in separate buildings across Duke Campus. The nature of the role may involve physical tasks related to handling and transporting animals, cages, and equipment. To ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the physical demands associated with the position, the following specific physical tasks and capacities are required: 

Specific Physical Tasks: 
  • Wearing personal protective equipment (e.g., hairnet, mask, coveralls, gloves, booties) for up to three (3) hours. 
  • Using both hands effectively to handle animals, equipment, and related materials. 
  • Using a short step ladder to access equipment or perform tasks. 
  • Reaching and moving objects above shoulder height during certain procedures. 
  • Responding promptly to verbal commands in a fast-paced environment. 
Capacity for Moderate Exertion
  • Locomoting at least 0.5 miles on an inclined outdoor sidewalk, as you will need to move between different research facilities. 
  • Standing for extended periods during experimental procedures or tasks. 
  • Carrying a load weighing up to 30 lbs, such as animal cages or equipment, when required. 
It is important to note that while these physical requirements are necessary for the role, we also prioritize the safety and well-being of our team members. If you have any specific concerns or limitations related to the physical requirements, we encourage you to discuss them during the application process. We are committed to providing a supportive and inclusive work environment that accommodates the needs of our employees to the best of our abilities. 

This is an exceptional opportunity for a motivated individual to contribute to cutting-edge research in the field of neuromodulation. If you meet the mandatory qualifications and are enthusiastic about joining our team, please submit your application, including your resume and cover letter, highlighting your relevant experience and skills. We look forward to reviewing your application!

Duke University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas-an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

Application Materials Required:
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