Research Scientist

About the Department

One of the first departments founded at the University of Chicago was the Department of Chemistry. Since then, The University of Chicago has been the recipient of more than 73 Nobel Prize recipients, 15 of which came from the Department of Chemistry. Our current faculty has considerable strength in inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, as well as in interdisciplinary research that delves into biology, physics, and materials science.

Job Summary

The Dickinson Lab at the University of Chicago is looking for a research scientist to join a team-based project focused on developing human protein-based and RNA-based genetic control systems as next-generation therapeutics. The position offers a unique opportunity to develop cutting-edge biotechnologies and initiate their translation into functional therapeutics in an academic lab environment. This position will involve collaboration with graduate students and postdocs in the lab to further refine and develop the technologies, as well as to deploy them in preclinical models of human disease.

In addition to the responsibilities listed below, it is expected that the incumbent is experienced in designing and performing experiments in vector design, RNA- and luciferase reporter-based assays, nucleic acid and protein engineering, synthetic biology and directed evolution, lipid nanoparticle-based packaging and delivery methods, and animal models (rodent).

Additionally, this position will offer opportunities for collaboration with clinical and industry partners, providing networking and career development opportunities. A Ph.D. is required and postdoc or industry (biotech) experience is preferred. Salary commensurate with experience level.



  • Work in a highly collaborative, mission-driven team environment to develop preclinical models of novel RNA-targeting genetic therapeutic approaches.
  • Manage safety, efficiency, and project development for the GCIS Chemical and Synthetic Biology laboratories.
  • Responsible for experimental design and execution, as well as writing regular reports, updates, and on experimental progress.
  • Demonstrate competency in: molecular, cellular, and synthetic biology, phage-assisted directed evolution, viral- and LNP-based delivery systems, analysis of high-throughput data, and animal handling (including whole animal imaging and analysis).
  • Train and mentor junior laboratory members, both within and outside of the immediate project team.
  • Provide higher-level intellectual input during grant and manuscript preparation.
  • When possible, work with clinical and biotech collaborators on developing technologies toward clinical models, and serve as liaison between local and national biotechs and the group’s research goals.
  • Serves as a resource for collecting data and performing analysis. Contributes to facilitating and promoting a research project by providing scientific or intellectual information. 
  • Reviews laboratory protocols and training on new techniques. Manage complex data sets for research.
  • Performs other related work as needed 

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a PhD in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.




Preferred Qualifications



  • Ph.D. in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, or Biophysics



  • Experience in molecular biology, in particular RNA biology 
  • Proficient in cell biology (mammalian cell culture)
  • Industry or postdoc experience


Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)
  • List of references (required)


When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Resume/CV of the application.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.