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Visiting Associate Scientist, Life Science (Visiting Biologist) in Mountain View, CA at Universities Space Research Association

Date Posted: 12/6/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

USRA’s NASA Academic Missions Services (NAMS) mission is to make a distinctive impact through scientific and technical accomplishments by performing strategic multi-disciplinary, integrative research and science that supports NASA’s long-term mission requirements.  A key purpose of this mission is to advance our understanding of how space environments affects organism physiology, from molecular all the way up to organ system levels.  This is achieved through close collaboration with the Space Biology Division at NASA’s Ames Research.

Position Summary:

The Visiting Associate Scientist, Life Science will conduct research to advance our understanding of how space environments effect gene expression in model organisms.  This position is a strategic hire to conduct research and enable research and development collaborations in Space Biology through the following:

  • Development or fine-tuning of spatial modeling and sampling techniques assessing gene expression in space or space-like environments
  • Assisting in development of data visualization capabilities for spatial gene expression data


Essential Duties/Responsibilities:

Satisfy USRA's non-profit mission by making a distinctive impact through scientific and technical accomplishments in the assigned research projects.

  • Directly perform, and publish, research at the highest standards as a as a member of a larger research project.
    • Plan, schedule, and conduct activities in all phases of research projects as a member of a larger research team.
    • Perform experiments, collect and analyze data.
    • Prepare research results for publication in reports, papers, journals, books, and other media.
  • Engage academic, industrial, and government research communities in collaborative research through activities such as seminars and other talks, workshops, and conferences.
    • Prepare and deliver briefings and presentations to various national and international seminars, talks or lectures for dissemination of knowledge including educational outreach.
    • Write publications of value to the field as evidenced by favorable reviews, by citation in the work of others, by presenting papers to professional societies, and/or will have contributed inventions, new designs or research
    • Engage the academic community in research work through research collaborations, visits, invited guests, workshops, conferences, etc.
    • Serve as a PI or Co-I on proposal submissions to funding opportunities
  • Continue to learn and develop skills and expertise including completing all trainings as are required.

Additional Responsibilities

  • Act safely, ethically and in compliance with all laws and regulations and USRA policies and procedures including protecting NASA and USRA intellectual property, complying with ITAR/EAR rules, and completing all required training as scheduled.
  • Work effectively with others including functional staff for day-to-day operations and efforts to improve operational excellence.
  • Support efforts by USRA Management to ensure that USRA conducts its business operations in an effective, cost-competitive, and professional manner

Other job related duties as assigned

Required Qualifications:

  • 0 to three years of Postdoctoral work and publication experience in the field of Genetics and/or Molecular Biology  
  • A strong track record of research success as evidenced by publishing related work in peer reviewed journals, and contributing to obtaining new funding in the areas above.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills.


  • Ph.D. degree in Genetics and/or Molecular Biology or related discipline      

Desired Experience:

  • Experience working with spatial transcriptomics in model organisms, or humans


 Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:  

  • Ability to work independently and effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Ability to prioritize tasks, coordinates work of others, and meets multiple deadlines.
  • Ability to communicate through conference presentations and scientific publications is essential.
  • Ability to propose credible and innovative research projects, develop the necessary skills to perform the work, and carry out the research, providing the required reporting to the granting agency in a timely fashion.
  • Ability to interpret USRA and Federal Policies and Procedures necessary to function in a scientific research environment that is enabled through U.S. Government funds.
  • Advanced experimental and analytical skills.




  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office or similar and its applications.

Working Conditions:

This job operates in a professional office environment. This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, photocopiers, etc. This is largely a sedentary role.


Minimal travel.

Applicants should apply to the posting at and include a letter of interest, resume, or curriculum vita. Additional information on USRA can be found at

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity


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