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University of Washington

Job Description

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

The Institute for Protein Design (IPD) at the University of Washington in Seattle is creating a new world of synthetic proteins to address 21st-century challenges in medicine, energy, and technology. The IPD is a unique interdisciplinary environment where world-class researchers with expertise in computing and software, biochemistry, genome sciences, biological structure, pharmacology, immunology and other basic science disciplines, as well as clinical medicine, work together to both computationally design and experimentally characterize novel biomolecules. Current projects include the design of novel therapeutics for cancer, neurological diseases, and more, as well as new vaccines, nanomaterials, and enzymes. For more detailed information about the Institute for Protein Design please see www.ipd.uw.edu .

The specific field of research for this Research Scientist Assistant - SBC is in biophysical characterization using x-ray crystallography, including crystallization, diffraction, and solving of structures for peptides and proteins. Potentially assistance with electron microscopy and high-resolution microscopy.

The UW Institute for Protein Design has an outstanding opportunity for a Research Scientist Assistant -SBC to support peptide and protein crystallography efforts for the IPD.


The Research Scientist Assistant - SBC will be assigned work under general guidance and receive instruction on specific assignment objectives, complex features, and possible solutions. Guidance on unusual problems will be provided to the Research Scientist Assistant - SBC by IPD Faculty, other UW Faculty, or other experts in biophysical characterization and work shall be reviewed for application of sound professional judgment.

The Research Scientist Assistant - SBC will interface directly with members of other IPD Core Laboratories as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the laboratories of IPD Faculty. The research activities will involve setup of crystallization trays, screening for crystal formation and growth using microscopy, operation of X-ray generation sources, and eventually training in data collection and solving structures.  The RSA SBC will grow to be an expert in protein and peptide x-ray crystallography and will therefore be of assistance in optimization of crystallization conditions and support of crystallography needs for the IPD. With the gaining of expertise, high throughput robotics, maintenance and operation of x ray sources and independent operation in crystallography projects.

In this role, ~40% of the effort will be dedicated to the setup and monitoring of crystallography trays.

Another ~20% of effort will be dedicated to maintenance and operation of liquid handling robotics.

The remaining ~40% of effort will, eventually, be dedicated to the maintenance and operation of x-ray generating sources for x-ray diffraction of peptides and proteins.


Bachelors’ Degree in Biochemistry, Biology or similar + less than 3 months of experience in related field.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

The Research Scientist Assistant-SBC is devoted primarily to scientific research and requires a B. Sc. in a biology-related field, with less than 3 months of experience in characterization of protein. Candidates must be capable of applying standardized scientific procedures and techniques to assignments of limited complexity, involving potentially conflicting design requirements.


An ideal Research Scientist Assistant - SBC candidate will be someone who (i) has had experience in a laboratory setting during the undergraduate degree obtainment, (ii) will use their knowledge gained in their undergraduate degree program to apply fundamental concepts, practices and procedures, (iii) follows procedures for small projects and/or major project tasks which may last years under immediate supervision, and effectively manages them under guidance and direction from project staff; interfaces with investigator peers, (iv) can provide timely and professional scientific services to a number of internal collaborators on approximately 2-3 different projects, (v) can perform tasks and methods as directed, (vi) and enjoys interacting with other scientists in a highly collaborative and fast-paced work environment.

Application Process:  

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment, you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

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