Research Specialist 2

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2023



About the Department

The Integrated Small Animal Imaging Research Resource facility (iSAlRR) offers a broad spectrum of imaging modalities and techniques for in vivo and ex vivo imaging in its state-of-the-art facilities, including a newly renovated 1,800-sq ft suite. A uniquely skilled technical and scientific staff provides the necessary support to accomplish the most complex studies using microPET/SPECT/CT, large animal PET, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy, Optical Imaging –Bioluminescence and Fluorescence and Ultrasound.

This at-will position is wholly or partially funded by contractual grant funding which is renewed under provisions set by the grantor of the contract. Employment will be contingent upon the continued receipt of these grant funds and satisfactory job performance.

Job Summary

The job participates in scientific research projects. Ensures compliance of research activities with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives and mandates. Analyzes possible solutions using standard procedures. Writes articles, reports and manuscripts. Assists in drafting presentations on research findings.

This position is with the Integrated Small Animal Imaging Research Resource (iSAIRR) core facility. iSAIRR provides state-of-the-art multi-modality animal imaging services to investigators across the University as well as other institutions. The RS will perform basic and advanced tasks working mainly in the microPET/SPECT/CT imaging facility supporting user’s research.

Extensive knowledge and experience of using microPET/SPECT/CT in the preclinical setting, and related image processing and analysis are required. Assistance in other imaging subcores may be required. Projects require a high degree of planning and interaction with iSAIRR staff, affiliated cores and regulatory offices, as well as with investigators and users. Therefore professionalism, integrity, excellent communication and organizational skills are paramount.


  • Manage daily operations of the microPET/SPECT/CT imaging subcore.

  • Manage users projects as assigned including designing protocols, performing all scans, imaging reconstruction, and data analysis.

  • Manage all laboratory compliance including Laboratory Safety, IACUC, and Radiation Safety.

  • Function as point of contact with the Radiation Safety Office.

  • Develop and apply new imaging protocols.

  • Independently work and contribute to manuscripts, research proposals, scientific presentations.

  • Training and overseeing the work of research support personnel.

  • Manage other administrative aspects of the research projects.

  • Responsibilities may include the following laboratory duties: independently performing complex technical duties; monitoring and troubleshooting equipment; overseeing the ordering of supplies and maintenance of laboratory inventory.

  • Perform microPET/SPECT/CT equipment daily, monthly, periodic QA/QC protocols.

  • Perform large animal PET periodical QA/QC, implement protocols and all related tasks.

  • Set-up and performs PET arterial input function protocols for small and large animals.

  • Perform image acquisition, reconstruction, and analysis on VivoQuant, PMOD, AMIRA, Matlab and other relevant software packages.

  • Receive radiotracer and dose preparation.

  • Manage all radiation safety regulatory requirements.

  • Analyze, evaluate, and summarize data for presentations and meetings.

  • Assist with preparation of reports, manuscripts and other documents.

  • Develop and maintain updated written SOPs.

  • Laboratory duties including maintaining equipment, data and supplies.

  • Perform animal set up for imaging of mice and rats including animal anesthesia, intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, and intravenous injection of radioactive contrast agents and other solutions.

  • Mouse and rats tail vein catheter placement and other minor surgical procedures.

  • Ex vivo tissue harvest and biodistribution analysis using Gamma counter.

  • Autoradiography.

  • Help monitor compliance with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives and mandates.

  • Applies research principles and relevant subject matter knowledge relevant to administer a research project. With a moderate level of direction, manages lab and/or research-related duties and tasks.

  • Helps develop, design and conduct research projects according to plan.

  • Supports data collection and analytical needs of research projects. Conducts literature reviews and helps write reports and manuscripts. Ensures project compliance with different policies, procedures, directives, and mandates.

  • Takes responsibility for the following laboratory duties: recognizing abnormal results and varying conditions or procedures to correct problems; setting up and performing experiments. Analyze the meaning, significance, causes, and effects of the subject.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Masters degree in a field relevant to research such as physics, bioengineering, biology strongly preferred.


  • Three years of relevant research experience.

  • Working with animals.

  • Working with radioactive material.

  • Knowledge and experience of using preclinical PET/SPECT/CT methods and instrumentation.

Preferred Competencies

  • Knowledge in relevant scientific fields.

  • Knowledge of research techniques or methods.

  • Knowledge of regulatory policies and procedures.

  • Knowledge of radiation and radiation safety.

  • Strong organizational and personal skills.

  • Excellent time management and ability to prioritize work assignments.

  • Ability to handle multiple concurrent tasks in a competent and professional manner.

  • Analytical skills.

  • Strong computer skills.

  • Problem-solving skills.

  • Attention to detail.

  • Verbal and written communication skills.

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of nuclear imaging principles.

  • Basic knowledge of other imaging modalities.

  • Proficient with image processing and analysis as it applies to animal imaging.

  • Must be able to work with radioactive material.

  • Experienced with small animal handling and care.

  • Ability to train others.

Working Conditions

  • Flexible working hours: early mornings or late evenings may be required.

  • Lab environment.

  • Ability to stand for prolonged hours.

  • Ability to lift heavy objects.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letter (preferred)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.