Research Specialist

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2024


PME Yang Lab

About the Department

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME; https://pme.uchicago.edu/) was established in May 2018 and evolved from the Institute for Molecular Engineering founded in 2011. The PME integrates science and engineering to address global challenges from the molecular level up. The PME’s rigorous academic and research programs are made possible through the University of Chicago’s unique partnership with Argonne National Laboratory. The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is the first new school at the University of Chicago in three decades and the first school in the nation dedicated to molecular engineering. In the next phase of growth as a School, the PME will continue to expand its team of world-class faculty researchers and empower students from diverse backgrounds to collaborate with faculty in cutting-edge facilities. The PME aims to bring solutions for urgent societal problems to the forefront while training the next generation of scientific leaders and entrepreneurs. This will be a 6-month contract eligible for extension based on project funding.

Job Summary

The Yang research team within the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is seeking a full-time Research Specialist to support the day-to-day operational and research needs of complex research projects that involve working and supporting the research in the lab as needed. The candidate will investigate experiments that will involve developing techniques for sample transfer between ultrahigh vacuum systems without contaminating the surface. In addition, the Research Specialist will be carrying out the characterization of the transport and structure of samples grown at Argonne National Laboratory. As the candidate gains experience, the candidate is expected to manage independent projects in addition to working with other lab members.

The position is for six months and is eligible for extension based on the availability of funding and programmatic needs.


  • Assists with planning, development, and execution of research in the laboratory.
  • Assists in organizing and managing the laboratory including washing glassware and ordering supplies.
  • Conducts periodic training for current and new members of the laboratory.
  • Presents research findings at staff meetings, seminars, and scientific conferences.
  • May serve as a lead research specialist.
  • Complies with institution, state and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives, and mandates.
  • Installs, sets up and performs experiments; interacting with students and other laboratory staff under the direction of the principal investigator.
  • Maintains technical and administrative support for a research project.
  • Analyzes and maintains data and/or specimens. Conducts literature reviews. Assists with preparation of reports, manuscripts and other documents.
  • 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 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree in a field relevant to the research being conducted (e.g., chemistry, physics,etc).
  • Advanced degree.


  • Possess experience in a research laboratory, preferably in an independent project.
  • Conducting wet or dry lab work in a research laboratory, preferably in an independent project.
  • Working within academic and laboratory research environments, preferably in an independent project (e.g., undergrad summer projects).

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of basic computer proficiency including computer programs and standard laboratory equipment.
  • For computational candidates, knowledge of basic programming in a few coding languages.
  • Knowledge of relevant scientific fields.
  • Knowledge of regulatory policies and procedures.

Preferred Competencies

  • Flexible in changing research focus.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving, organization, analytical, and coordination skills including attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to read and comprehend scientific and technical literature, and methods to stay abreast of developments in the field.
  • Work independently and collaborate with other lab personnel.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Train others.
  • Verbal and written communication skills.

Working Conditions

  • Laboratory environment.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)

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

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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.

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