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Research Associate II - Mindscope

Department: Systems Neuroscience
Location: Seattle

Research Associate II Ė Mindscope


The mission of the Allen Institute is to unlock the complexities of bioscience and advance our knowledge to improve human health. Using an open science, multi-scale, team-oriented approach, the Allen Institute focuses on accelerating foundational research, developing standards and models, and cultivating new ideas to make a broad, transformational impact on science.

The MindScope program seeks to understand the transformations, sometimes called computations, in coding and decoding that lead from photons to behavior and conscious experience by observing, perturbing and modeling the physical transformations of signals in the cortical-thalamic visual system within a few perception-action cycles.

We are seeking a Research Associate to contribute to two different projects that share the same experimental setup. The first project aims to investigate the neural correlates of consciousness in mice using electrical stimulation combined with large-scale neural recordings. The second project uses the same equipment to specifically characterize the effects of electrical stimulation on different cell types. The successful candidate will work with a team of scientists investigating the in vivo activity and behavioral functions of brain areas under different conscious and unconscious states. Electrical stimulation will be used to further characterize brain activity at the level of specific cell types.

The ideal candidate is energized by this unique opportunity to work on a large-scale scientific project with an outstanding team. We are seeking a candidate who is methodical, meticulous, self-motivated, and importantly, eager to learn and develop new techniques to solve the various challenges that arise when dealing with complex biological systems.

The Allen Institute believes that team science significantly benefits from the participation of diverse voices, experiences and backgrounds. High-quality science can only be produced when it includes different perspectives. We are committed to increasing diversity across every team and encourage people from all backgrounds to apply for this role.

Essential Functions

  • Perform surgeries to prepare mice for in vivo large-scale electrophysiological recordings combined with electrical stimulation
  • Assist scientists in performing in vivo electrophysiological experiments in behaving mice
  • Contribute to the processing and analysis of large-scale datasets and imaging
  • Train mice in a variety of behavioral tasks using custom hardware and software
  • Work independently on diverse laboratory tasks to support project goals
  • Participate in lab maintenance and weekly tasks
  • Provide reports to supervisor and larger team
  • Carry out analyses to assess overall data quality and use this information to update and refine experimental protocols
  • Contribute to a rigorously scientific, cohesive, and efficient team environment
  • Exercise judgment within generally defined practices and with minimal supervision in selecting methods and techniques for all job responsibilities

Note: Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This description reflects managementís assignment of essential functions; it does not proscribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned.

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelorís degree in Neuroscience, Biology, or related field
  • Minimum 2 years equivalent experience in laboratory or research environment
  • Intermediate-level ability in use of computers in a lab setting

Preferred Education and Experience

  • 2-5 years equivalent experience in laboratory or research environment
  • Experience performing aseptic surgeries in rodents
  • Strong scientific skills, including the understanding of experimental design
  • Experience with programming for data processing and analysis
  • Understanding of basic electrophysiology concepts (extracellular potential, single neuron spike, electrode impedance, etc.)
  • Working knowledge of the principles of basic electrophysiology devices, tools, and procedures (oscilloscope, amplifier, electrical stimulator)
  • Strong problem-solving attitude
  • Self-management and proactive attitude
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Experience and/or comfortable working with mice
  • Proven ability to learn, and perform, challenging surgical procedures on mice
  • Manual dexterity and attention to detail

Work Environment

  • Laboratory environment, including potential exposure to lasers, biohazards

Physical Demands

  • Occasional lifting to 30 pounds
  • Fine motor movements in fingers/hands to operate computers and other office equipment; repetitive motion with lab equipment
  • Stooping, bending, crouching

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • This role is currently working onsite and remotely when possible, due to COVID-19 and our focus on employee safety. We continue to evaluate the safest options for our employees.

Additional Comments

  • **Please note, this opportunity does not sponsor work visas **
  • **Please note, this opportunity does not offer relocation assistance**


It is the policy of the Allen Institute to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Allen Institute will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.





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