Now hiring: Research Senior Associate

The position at a glance:

  • The purpose of this job to lead our on-campus research program focusing on cooperative relationships among vampire bats in a captive colony at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.
  • I would describe it as 50% lab manager and 50% postdoctoral researcher. I explain the difference to a postdoc below.
  • The position is currently funded for 5 years, but my intention is to renew it indefinitely (a permanent staff position).
  • $65K salary with benefits. Perhaps for some legal reason, the official job application technically says “The pay range for this job profile is $53,800 – $71,70. The offer for this position will fall within this range based on internal equity, unit’s available budget, and the candidate’s qualifications.” But my understanding is that the position is $65K.
  • The position is flexible around the unique needs and skills of the person. For example, depending on career goals, the position could be a long-term research job or it could be used to help one transition to running their own lab. We can and will write scientific papers together (hopefully 2+ papers per year).
  • My goal is to make this the dream research job I always wanted: something like a permanent postdoc fellow where I could focus on research, but not have to get my own funding and apply to jobs continuously.

What would you be doing?

  • lead a long-term research project with our captive vampire bat colony. I will design this project with your input.
  • manage the bat colony. Tasks would include getting blood for feeding and ensuring there’s an efficient system for cleaning and feeding.
  • manage the automated data collection from surveillance cameras and PIT tag readers. 
  • manage and work collaboratively with a team of graduate students, undergraduates, and interns working with the bats.

I know exactly what this work entails because I did all this myself for 2 years as a postdoc at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and as a graduate student at University of Maryland (with no budget).

What is the difference between this job and a postdoc?

  • Unlike a postdoc, this is a potentially permanent position. It will last at least 5 years with current funding and 10 years with pending funding.
  • Unlike a postdoc, this position will focus more on the project than on the mentoring of the person to get another job (e.g. tenure-track position at an R1).
  • The salary is higher. A postdoc at Ohio State makes $48K with benefits, whereas this job is $65K with benefits. Cost of living in Columbus is great for a large city. I bought a house with a fenced in backyard within walking distance to my office and right next to park with a playground, pavilion, tennis and basketball courts, and it cost me less than $200K.
  • If you are not planning to apply to faculty jobs, I think it will be, compared to a postdoc, less stressful and easier to attain work-life balance. The position is 40 hours/week. Under normal circumstances, you will not have to work more than 40 hours/week.
  • The other difference between this job and a postdoc is that we will collaborate in a more flexible fashion. For example, I expect my postdocs to do data collection, data analysis, and writing to prepare them for an academic tenure-track job. However, if the person is not seeking a tenure-track faculty position, then I would be happy to analyze the data and write the papers, while they would focus more on the logistics of getting the data, coordinating people, and making sure the data pipeline is running smoothly. Basically, we would be swapping a few of the traditional PI and postdoc roles (I would do more data analysis/writing and in exchange they would do more people management like a lab manager).

What makes a good applicant?

  • You love research (and preferably bats)!
  • You are kind and compassionate towards others.
  • You have relevant research experience (e.g. with captive bats).
  • You can communicate honestly, effectively, and clearly.
  • You are motivated and can persevere through challenges.
  • You have a diligent, organized, and detail-oriented work ethic.
  • You can be creative, innovative, and adaptable.
  • You take constructive criticism well.

What previous experience is required?

To pay a person this amount, the university made me require at least a Master’s degree and say that a PhD is preferred with a requirement of 4 years of experience in research (or an equivalent combination of education and experience). However, if you feel like you are a good fit without these qualifications, please just contact me anyway.

What’s nice about living in Columbus, Ohio?

  • The Ohio State University campus is located in Columbus, the capital city of Ohio, and the nation’s 14th largest city. Columbus offers a diverse array of welcoming neighborhoods and a vibrant arts and culture scene. Additional information about all that the Columbus area has to offer is available at https://visit.osu.edu/experience.
  • Cost of living is not crazy.
  • My lab is really nice and fun group of people!
  • To find out what I’m like to work with, I suggest emailing my current or former students and postdocs.

How do you apply?

  • Send me an email with subject heading “Research Senior Associate Application” with the following as a single PDF (a download link or attachment, your CV + 1 to 5 pages to answer other questions). Please use my gmail address below.
    • Your CV
    • What your interests?
    • What is your previous relevant experience and background?
    • What are your career goals? It’s ok to say you are unsure and list several.
    • What would make you a good candidate for this position? (strengths)
    • What if anything might not make you the best candidate for this position? (weaknesses)
  • I might then invite you for a meeting on zoom. I’m sorry that depending on the number of applications, I might not be able reply to everyone quickly, but I will try my best.
  • Then, only after this meeting, you would officially apply for the position via The Ohio State University via this link.

Feel free to send me questions too. My email is gcarter1640 at gmail dot com.

When is the deadline to apply?

I will start reviewing and ranking the email applications on March 20 March 27, 2023, but I will continue considering applications until the job is offered to someone.