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Research Scientist

Posting Details

Position Information

Job Title Research Scientist
Department Shared Equipment Authority - SEA
Full Time/Part Time Full-Time
Requisition Number S18233
Open Date 12/19/2017
Close Date
Salary Information

$48,000 – $80,700

Work Schedule

Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., some nights and weekends may be required if emergencies occur.

Benefits Eligible Yes
Eligible for Overtime No
Position Summary

The Cleanroom Facility at Rice University is a shared equipment facility for enabling micro- and nanofabrication research in the Houston metropolitan area. Current equipment includes deposition, lithography, etching and a number of characterization tools. This facility attracts users from the George R. Brown School of Engineering and the Wiess School of Natural Science and regional universities and corporations whose research programs require advanced fabrication and patterning at the micro- and nanoscale. A new state of the art facility is currently being designed and expected to be in operation in 2018. Additionally, with new initiatives in Molecular Nanotechnology, the Rice University cleanroom is poised to see significant growth in the next 5-10 years. This job announcement seeks a motivated individual who can lead, manage, teach and grow this advanced facility.

The job responsibilities of a Cleanroom Research Scientist include conducting periodic and scheduled maintenance and safety check of equipment and running qualification and calibration recipes. The incumbent will be expected to maintain the highest safety standards, author and update standard operation procedures (SOPs), maintain and calibrate processes for all equipment. The Cleanroom Research Scientist will help facilitate new equipment installation, contact vendors and manufacturers and work in tandem with them to resolve equipment issues in a timely and safe manner. Efficient inventory management of parts, chemicals and supplies will be required. The Cleanroom Scientist will also oversee personal one-to-one training of users. Additionally, the incumbent will help develop cleanroom laboratory short courses that provide lectures to small groups of students. The incumbent will also coordinate with technical staff members in Rice SEA.

Education Required PhD or other Doctoral Degree
Concentration / Degree Type

Related field such as chemistry, physics, electrical and computer engineering, or other science or engineering degree.

Substitution for Education Requirement

Experience may not be substituted for the education requirement.

Education Preferred
Experience Required 3 years
Type of Experience

In a postdoctoral or other research related position.

Substitution for Experience Requirement

Education may not be substituted for the experience requirement.

Experience Preferred

- More than five years of related research experience.
- Supervisory experience.

License/Certification Required
License/Certification Preferred
Skills Required

- Ability to write reports, papers, proposal sections, etc.
- Ability to present results orally to wide scientific audience at meetings locally and nationally.
- Strong written and oral communication skills.
- The ability to meet deadlines in a fast-paced multitasking environment.
- Strong analytical skills.
- Ability to work both in a team and independently.

Skills Preferred
Internal / External Contacts

Internal: Professors, Faculty Fellows, Postdocs, and students within the lab and the school for teaching and collaboration purposes.

External: Sponsoring agencies to negotiate contracts and submit proposals.

Other universities to collaborate on joint research programs.

The Research Scientist will interact with other experts at conferences and whenever necessary in the normal performance of his/her duties. The SEA encourages such interactions, recognizing that interactions with other experts and vendor personnel may provide access to highly specialized or new equipment elsewhere that Rice faculty would like to test for applicability to research here.

Occasional visitors may tour the facility.

Physical Demands

Significant portions of daily assignments require application of manual skills involving motor coordination with finger dexterity, e.g., consider machine operation, or use of hand and/or power tools in various crafts or trades. Moderate physical demand. Some of the routine maintenance of the instrumentation will require moderate lifting or access to awkward spaces. Laboratory environment. Essential functions require storage and handling of hazardous chemicals. Must be able to handle laboratory tools and equipment. Ability to lift up to 25 pounds.

Working Conditions

May be required to work evenings and weekends to complete research and write reports, typically a few times a year. 80% of the time will be spent in a laboratory environment.

Occasionally, unusual working hours may be required. For example, if a crucial piece of equipment fails outside working hours, immediate repairs may be required. The Clean Room Facility is an “unusual environmental conditions,” and standard clean room procedures may require special gowning prior to entering the facility.

Security Sensitive Yes
Special Instructions to Applicants
Quick Link for Posting
Job Duties

Job Duty Name
Description of Job Duty

1. Serves as a representative of the University, displaying courtesy, tact, consideration, and discretion in all interactions with other members of the Rice community and with the public.

2. The Clean Room Research Scientist will assist with the other two cleanroom staff in the identification of the technical specifications for new instruments purchased and has overall responsibility for supervising the installation of the instruments by vendor personnel. Often times the installation of instruments or the downtime of the instruments may take from a few weeks to several months, the Research Scientist keeps the Research Development and Infrastructure (RDI) Director and SEA board informed of the progress of the installation and, under normal circumstances, will inform them when the installation has been satisfactorily completed so that vendors can be paid accordingly. If the vendor is unable to complete the installation in a reasonable amount of time or appears unable to meet all of its contractual obligations, the Research Scientist recommends to SEA and/or RDI Director a suggested course of action, as payment of several hundred thousand dollars may be at stake.

3. Once the equipment is installed, the Research Scientist has overall responsibility for its operation and maintenance. When the equipment malfunctions, the Research Scientist will troubleshoot and, consulting with the vendor’s technical staff as necessary, either fixes the problem, sends the equipment back for repair, or has vendor technical staff come in to do additional work.

4. It is the responsibility of the Research Scientist to keep abreast of technological advances in equipment for the Clean Room Facility, is broadly aware of faculty research interests, and brings to the faculty’s attention improved or new methodology that may facilitate their research. The Research Scientist may also be asked to participate in research projects.

5. The Research Scientist may be asked to closely work with the faculty in preparing grant proposals seeking funding for the acquisition of equipment that will improve the Center’s ability to do research and teach graduate and undergraduate students. Once funding is obtained, the Research Scientist works with vendor personnel and with Rice’s Facilities and Engineering staff to ensure that the required laboratory utilities are installed by the time the instrument is delivered.

6. The Research Scientist is also responsible for the general oversight of the facility (including but not limited to: card-key access control, routine maintenance of the process equipment in the Clean Room, the equipment required to keep the room clean, and other associated equipment such as trace gas monitors.

7. The Research Scientist will provide basic instruction, when necessary to: undergraduates, graduates, posdocs, faculty and external users wanting to learn how the use of the instruments in the Clean Room in their research. At the faculty’s request the Research Scientist provides brief demonstrations to undergraduate lab classes on how the instruments are used.

8. The Research Scientist provides advanced training to individuals needing to learn more specialized techniques for their research. The Research Scientist works to the extent necessary with these individuals in performing the experiments, interpreting the results, deciding what additional work, if any, should then be done, and writing up the results for publication. At the faculty’s request, the Manager also pursues the implementation of new techniques needed for research on the existing instrumentation.

9. The Research Scientist establishes, with the RDI Director’s/SEA approval, the rules governing the use of various instruments to maximize usage and revenues generated.

10. The Research Scientist participates in tracking equipment usage for user fee charges.

11. The Research Scientist may participate in curriculum development at both graduate and undergraduate levels.

Percentage of Time 95
Job Duties

Job Duty Name
Description of Job Duty

1. Occasionally, the Research Scientist may be asked to assist students or other researchers in data acquisition or sample fabrication using the process equipment in the clean room or using the ESCA X-ray system.

2. Some reporting to the Shared Equipment Authority at periodic meetings will be required.

3. For research groups lacking the expertise to operate the instruments because they seldom need to use the instruments managed by the Clean Room Facilities Research Scientist, the Research Scientist will become directly involved in obtaining and interpreting the data.

4. Since the Clean Room Facilities Research Scientist is a staff position, the individual has no official teaching responsibilities. However, depending on the faculty’s teaching interests and the manager’s work load, the incumbent may be asked to consider giving a series of seminars, workshops, lectures on specialized topics related to his expertise.

5. Similarly, the Research Scientist has no research responsibility other than to assist as described above. However, time and resources permitting, the Research Scientist is encouraged to pursue research projects, especially if they relate to research areas of faculty interest and to present the results at a conference and publish the work in journal.

6. The Research Scientist will interact with multiple academic departments and centers/institutes and thus expected to work with its faculty users to ensure maximum benefit of the instrumentation to the entire Rice community.

Percentage of Time 5

Applicant Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
Optional Documents

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Do you have a PhD or other doctoral degree in a field such as chemistry, physics, electrical and computer engineering, or other science or engineering degree?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. * Do you have three or more years of experience in a postdoctoral or other research related position?
    • Yes
    • No
  3. * Please provide the salary or range that you would require or consider for this position.

    (Open Ended Question)