We’re always looking for enthusiastic people to come do science with us! We especially encourage women and those from backgrounds poorly represented in STEM fields to apply to our lab- all are welcome. 

As a mentor, I endeavor to create an inclusive environment where everyone, regardless of their sex, gender, racial or ethnic identity, skin color, age, sexual orientation, parental status, economic background, religion, appearance etc., can achieve their fullest potential. My goal is to help launch my trainees into the career of their choosing. While in my lab, my goal is help trainees grow as scientists, academics, communicators, and humans. As a mentor I endeavor to be ally and advocate for my trainees and to support and promote their careers.

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Post Docs

We’re currently recruiting for 1-2 NIH-funded postdoc positions!

We’re currently recruiting for a postdoc to join our team to lead NIH-funded projects investigating the neural circuit underpinnings of reward learning, motivation, and decision making (see more information on our research and publications). The postdoc will work with the PI to craft and lead a project that combines their own intellectual and technical training goals and research interests with the funded goals of the lab.

The postdoc will have access to our team’s deep technical toolbox, collaborative environment, and rich intellectual expertise. There will be considerable opportunity for continued training in behavioral, systems, and/or molecular neuroscience. The postdoc will also have the opportunity to mentor junior lab members. The postdoc will also have considerable opportunity for academic and career mentoring, mentoring and support for fellowship and independent funding applications (e.g., F32, K99, etc.), networking, and travel to scientific conferences.

As a mentor, I endeavor to create an inclusive environment where everyone, regardless of their sex, gender, racial or ethnic identity, skin color, age, sexual orientation, parental status, economic background, religion, appearance etc., can achieve their fullest potential. My goal is to help launch my trainees into the career of their choosing. While in my lab, my goal is help trainees grow as scientists, academics, communicators, and humans. As a mentor I endeavor to be ally and advocate for my trainees and to support and promote their careers.

Desirable qualifications:

  • PhD in Neuroscience, Psychology, Physics, Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering or other related field
  • Behavioral, systems, molecular, and/or computational neuroscience research experience.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative environment
  • Desire to conduct cutting-edge research

To apply please send a cover letter explaining a bit about your prior work, research interests, and training goals, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact information of two potential recommenders to Kate Wassum (kwassum@ucla.edu). Informal inquiries are encouraged.

Lab Technician

We’re currently recruiting for a lab technician!

We are looking for a full-time lab technician to oversee and assist with routine lab management including implementing lab protocols, breeding colony management, animal care, shared resource management, ordering, and scheduling. The lab technician(s) will also assist with and conduct experiments investigating the neural circuit substrates of motivation and decision making (see more information on our research and publications).

In addition to gaining valuable skills and experience in lab management, the lab technician will have the opportunity for continued training in behavioral, systems, and/or molecular neuroscience, career mentoring and advancement, and to participate in and lead exciting research projects.

Desirable qualifications include (but are not limited to and all are certainly not required):

  • Experience working with laboratory rodents in a research setting
  • Animal, lab, and biosafety regulatory procedures
  • Histological techniques
  • Microscopy and imaging
  • Neural recording and/or manipulation methods
  • Molecular neuroscience methods
  • Rodent behavioral tasks, especially those involving assessments of learning, motivation, and/or decision making
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Matlab, Python, or related language
  • Computational and machine learning expertise
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively within a team.

Along with your CV/Resume, please include a cover letter describing: your relevant prior experience, a list of your laboratory and/or computational skills, your administrative and/or organizational skills, your interests and goals for this position, your career goals, and your employment timeline. Please also include the names and contact information of three references.

We especially encourage applications from those who identify with groups that are minoritized or underrepresented in STEM fields. All are welcome in our lab.

To apply: http://hr.mycareer.ucla.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=81999

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis in November until the position is filled. Salary is commiserate with experience.

Graduate Students

Tips for applying to and interview for graduate school: Resources

We take graduate students through the UCLA Neuroscience Interdepartmental program

Apply to the Neuroscience Program

We also take  students through the UCLA Psychology graduate programBehavioral Neuroscience or Learning & Behavior tracks.

Apply to the Psychology Program

Informal inquiries regarding the possibility of joining the lab as a graduate student are encouraged and should be directed to Kate Wassum (kwassum@ucla.edu).

Undergraduate Students

We are currently recruiting undergraduate research assistants to our lab!

To apply for an undergraduate research position in our lab please contact Dr. Kate Wassum (kwassum@ucla.edu). Please provide us with:

  1. Your CV (what’s a CV?)
  2. Information on why you are looking to do research in a lab, generally.
  3. Information on why you are particularly interested in our lab and what types of things you’d like to learn with us.
  4. Your overall goals for a research experience.
  5. Information on any of the UCLA DLAM or lab safety courses you have completed (it’s okay if the answer is none).
  6. Information on any prior research experience you have had (it’s okay if you haven’t had any)
  7. The time you are looking to invest in a research opportunity- hours/week and when this time is available and also longer-term (e.g., # of quarters).
  8. A brief <1 pg synopsis of one of our research papers that interests you (see our publications page).

We especially encourage those from backgrounds poorly represented in STEM fields to apply to our lab- all are welcome.

We take undergraduates from all areas of campus. Please contact your department directly for information about getting credit for research.

Funding is available to support undergraduate involvement in research.

Below are some helpful links for getting involved in undergraduate research and work study opportunities.

UCLA Undergraduate Research Center

UCLA Undergraduate Research Portal

Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunities

UCLA Work-Study Office

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