Southeast, Midwest, West

Job-search strategies: conducting a regional search

1/12/2015 1:45:51 PM

Last time I wrote about job-search strategies. I gave some tips for where and how to find jobs aligned with your skill set. The reality is that many people have a geographic restriction when searching for jobs. Whatever the reason, you may have a particular city or state in which you need to work, and that adds an additional layer of complexity to finding the perfect job.

For this week’s post, I modeled region-specific job searches for candidates who are just exiting graduate training with a Ph.D. in molecular biology. These theoretical job searchers are considering both academic and nonacademic positions, as long as they can live in particular cities. For the geographic regions, I chose three examples: Atlanta, Minneapolis and San Francisco. How do our imaginary job candidates fare in their searches? Read on to find out!

Looking for some more resources? Check out some of the other posts I’ve written about neuroscience, immunology, molecular biology, genetics, cancer biology, lipid research, bioinformatics, stem cell research, translational research, microscopy, pathology, genomics, developmental biology, microbiology, biodefense, biochemistry, and virology jobs. Looking for other tips on how to search for jobs? I wrote posts on networking, strategies for job searching, and how to decipher a job post. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions. Leave a comment or reach out to ASBMB on Twitter or Facebook!

Searching in Atlanta

When searching by region, I started with the tips from my first job-search strategies post about selecting keywords that highlight particular skills or interests. Since our example job searcher has a Ph.D. in molecular biology, I started with this search term. I also restricted this search to within 10 miles of Atlanta, which equates to about a 20- to 30-minute commute. Depending on how you plan to commute to work, how comfortable you are with a long/short commute, or how easy it is for you secure a job, this distance may be shorter or longer.

Here’s a position for a postdoctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the lab of biomolecular engineering and nanomedicine led by Gang Bao. Work on genetic-engineering strategies involving TALE nucleases and/or CRISPR/Cas9 nucleases. The Bao lab develops reagents for genome editing and gene therapy for a range of diseases and studies their effectiveness and specificity. Requires a Ph.D. in molecular biology, biochemistry or a related field with experience in molecular biology, cloning and cell culture.

The Malaria Host-Pathogen Interaction Center at Emory University is searching for a postdoctoral associate with experience in computational biology and bioinformatics. This position will involve integrating multiple -omics datasets from nonhuman primate models of malaria to develop predictive models (mathematical and statistical) for progression of the disease and identification of host-pathogen interactions. Requires a Ph.D. in biology, bioengineering or a closely related field with a thesis project involving computational biology.


Searching in Minneapolis

Our theoretical candidate did not have any “molecular biology” options in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, so I had to try a couple different search permutations, including “molecular,” “biology research” and “molecular biologist.”

Join R&D Systems as a computational biologist/scientist and work with cross-functional science teams and lend molecular and structural rigor to the systems-level discussions by analyzing the relevant protein families/pathways/networks (including classifications, domain breakdowns, interactions, signaling roles, druggable points and drawing links to outside disease/mutation/interaction/omics database). Requires a Ph.D. in biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, molecular biology, computational biology, systems biology or a similar discipline. Seeking a cross-disciplinary Ph.D.-level scientist with strong training in structural bioinformatics, network biology and protein engineering/design/mechanisms. 

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities seeks a candidate for the Hormel Fellowship. The candidate will work on determination of RNA expression and splicing. Requires an M.D. or Ph.D. (or equivalent) and experience in molecular biology, as well as knowledge and experience in molecular cloning, RNA isolation, RT-PCR, T-A cloning and cell culture.

3M seeks an advanced microbiologist for its food safety department. The microbiologist will provide expert-level technical support for new product programs and product-performance evaluations. Develop protocols, design and complete studies, prepare lab reports, and present data and recommendations for technical and business leaders. Requires a master’s degree or higher in science, engineering or a related field.

Searching in San Francisco

Of the three regions, San Francisco definitely had the most options for our molecular biology Ph.D. job searcher, although Atlanta and Minneapolis had more academic jobs. No additional search terms needed for this region!

Thermo Fisher Scientific seeks a staff scientist in molecular biology who can design and conduct scientific or engineering experiments using laboratory equipment and calculations to support custom service projects. Advise supervisors of factors that may affect quality, accuracy, timeliness and usefulness of data. Candidate must have a degree in bioengineering, molecular biology or a related field and extensive industry experience in a molecular biology laboratory. Experience with qPCR techniques and nucleic acid extraction methods are required, as well as good communication skills and familiarity with good documentation practices.

A scientist I position is open with Achaogen for a creative and independent thinker who will guide and execute molecular biology and protein-purification techniques necessary to support an antibody discovery effort. The scientist should be adept at designing and generating protein-expression constructs for bacterial expression systems, have a strong understanding of bacterial pathogens and in vivo animal model systems, and preferably hold a Ph.D. in biology, molecular biology or another relevant scientific field.

AFINGEN, a molecular biology startup, seeks a senior scientist in molecular biology/metabolic engineering. AFINGEN uses its award-winning synthetic biology approach to develop yeast strains for useful chemicals production (funded by the Department of Energy). Responsibilities include conducting molecular biology, transcriptomic and metabolic analysis. Troubleshoot method failures and collaborate/interact with various levels of internal staff and external collaborators. Requires a Ph.D. in molecular biology, biochemistry, chemical engineering or a related discipline.

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