Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Daily Pump Trap: 8/30/11 edition

Good morning! Between August 25 and August 29, 411 new positions were posted on the ACS Careers website. Of these, 29 (7%) were academically connected.

Denver ACS: 226 positions for the ACS Career Fair, 26 positions for the Virtual Career Fair.

KELLY: Wow. Talk about back with a vengeance. Our old friend, Kelly Scientific Resources, back with a slew of scientific positions or ('postion', as Kelly would have it.) They posted 291 jobs (71%).

Some of these positions are legit, like a $25/hour B.S. synthetic chemist position in Indianapolis. Some of them, are not really what a society where >60% of members have a Ph.D. are looking for, like a "QC Food Technician - 2nd/3rd Shift" or a B.S. lactic acid culture scientist job or a manufacturing operator opening or a sanitation supervisor position.

In an e-mail this morning, the Virtual Career Fair team notes, "Companies such as Aerotek, Kelly Scientific Resources, and Lab Support are scientific staffing agencies, and they represent many different employers and jobs. They often have a variety of opportunities such as full-time, part-time, temporary and contracting. Kelly Scientific alone has 290 jobs and 10 staff available (staggered throughout the two days)."

BAM: BASF, with 32 positions. Nice!

CA-NA-DA: Transzyme Pharma has long advertised in ACS Careers. They're looking for Ph.D. medicinal chemists, 0-5 years experience. It's time to return home, Canucks!

Smoke 'em if you got 'em: R.J. Reynolds is looking for a M.S. organic chemist for an applied materials position. IN-teresting. Good lookin' pay.

Little lost lamb: North Dakota State is looking for a IT manager here. Huh? 


  1. What the heck, BASF STILL hasn’t found a qualified TAP Reactor operator?!

  2. Glad I'm not the only one following the BASF TAP saga.

    I'm sure there's a story there. My guess: Some manager at BASF is balking at the salary demands of the TAP guys. He probably has significant sunk costs in equipment (quadrupole mass spec, UHV components, highly-engineered gas delivery, turbomolecular pumps a go-go) and thought he could pay the operator the going rate for his other chemists. But I'm guessing the surface chemistry/UHV/mathematical modeling skillset is rare and not cheap.

  3. anonymous for this oneAugust 30, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    No, it's not 'time to come home' for Canucks. Canada is very regionally split. As someone who grew up in BC, I would rather never, ever come back home to Canada if that meant I had to work in Saskatchewan or Ontario. Unfortunately, these guys don't say where in Canada they are located. Fortunately, a google search gives the mailing address as Sherbrooke. Which is close enough to Montreal to make this an intriguing proposition for me. If only I was a medicinal chemist!

  4. @anon10:56 What's your beef with Saskatchewan or Ontario? Toronto is awesome and the rest of the province has its share of hip and quaint towns like Waterloo and St. Catherines. Everyone that I've met from the Plains Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, & Alberta for those who are unfamiliar with Canadian geography) has been friendly and down-to-earth. Do you have the same disdain for folks from the Maritime Provinces or Nunavut?

    "Canada is very regionally split. As someone who grew up in BC, I would rather never, ever come back home to Canada...Fortunately,...the mailing address as Sherbrooke. Which is close enough to Montreal to make this an intriguing proposition for me."

    So, you must be one of those secessionists (Cascadian or Quebecois?) who has no qualms about undoing the Dominion of Canada. It's good that you don't want to return home; at least you can't undermine Canadian unity!

    O Canada!
    Our home and native land!
    True patriot love in all thy sons command.
    With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
    The True North strong and free!
    From far and wide,
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    God keep our land glorious and free!
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
    O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

  5. Best-Job-Posting-Title-Ev-er:

    Development Manager Potatoes/Cereals (m/f) (BASF #4441678)

    "As member of the project core team you will manage and lead the development process for potatoes and cereals."

    "In addition, you possess strategic understanding of biotechnology and high expertise in the crop of cereals and potatoes."

    Plus, the job's in Limburgerhof! Mmm, nothing is better than Limburger Cheese! Still, BASF should totally hire an indigenous Peruvian farmer, who surely knows something about potatoes. Anyway, does m/f = male or female? Shouldn't BASF be inclusive of the entire gender spectrum? Just sayin'.

  6. Anon627, check out the BASF posting for Research Scientists Synthesis. Perhaps something got lost in translation because the job requirements sound a bit snooty:

    You have earned an above average PhD in Chemistry or equivalent. In addition you have already gained in depth knowledge of organic synthesis or homogeneous catalysis and profound knowledge of preparative organic chemistry. Good IT application skills, especially standard chemistry software, and the willingness to learn German are essential. You see yourself as a team player with an entrepreneurial mindset. A distinctive proactiveness as well as strong communication skills and a high target-orientation complete your profile.

    I wonder if "distinctive proactivess" sounds less bullshitty in German. My laboratory-relevant German is a bit rusty, but would my familiarity with Houben-Weyl help?

  7. CJ, you're slacking! How could you neglect to mention the 180 positions advertised by MERCK? The organic chemist job in rural Ireland sounds cool. Wait a minute, isn't that company laying off like 13,000 people?

  8. A6:53p: I think I did mention that Merck position here (http://chemjobber.blogspot.com/2011/08/daily-pump-trap-82311-edition.html).

    But, believe it or not, Merck didn't post very many positions in the last 4 days or so. (I cover the Thursday through Monday postings on Tuesdays.) Just 6, I think, with 2 of them being very tempting machine operator positions. I've always wanted to be a machinist.

  9. anonymous for this oneAugust 31, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    "Everyone that I've met from the Plains Provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, & Alberta for those who are unfamiliar with Canadian geography) has been friendly and down-to-earth. Do you have the same disdain for folks from the Maritime Provinces or Nunavut?"

    Ughhhh.... Another one of 'those' Canadians. I think I developed my healthy dislike for Ontario while living in Montreal and seeing those guys run into each on the street.
    'Hey, you speak English! Which small shit town in Ontario are you from? I'm from 'Hell-hole ville'!
    'Oh really!? I'm from 'smelly small-town ville'!'
    'Oh, do you remember 'Shitston' on the way to Toronto, it must have been one hour out of 'smelly small-town ville'? They had this awesome bar there...
    'Yes, we stopped in that bar quite often on the way back from Toronto! We have so much in common! Are you going to go to the next Maple Leafs game?'

    Yeah, sure I think being down to earth, normal, and sometimes supremely ignorant, are all noble qualities. Coupled with an arctic climate, and spending a six months winter with huddled in the same small town with down-to-earth folks can be pretty fun. Seriously though, I'm too old for that bullshit. I grew up in the city and I'm not ashamed to admit it anymore. I need access to entertainment, good restaurants, and a possibility to meet with people who actually leave the continent once in a while. Good weather, such as in BC, would be nice. Well, good enough so that I could go hiking even in the winter. Otherwise, give me a big city with its sophisticated women (and men) any day over red-neck Alberta and Saskatchewan. The stereotype of English people form Ontario being mostly boring and prudish about anything to do with sex, is unfortunately true. Montreal is the city that never sleeps and even with the cold weather it's worth it. Maritimes is full of old people talking about disappearing jobs and fishing and Nunavut is a bunch of drunks with the highest suicide rate in the country. Yeah, I'm a snob. I need BC or Montreal, otherwise no deal. I'm proud of it though and I don't have to take it from 'proud Canadians' anymore. In the words of Darth Vader, look inside yourself, for you will know my words to be the truth.

  10. CJ, sounds like Canadians and Americans aren't so different after all. The culture clash between the urban intelligentsia and provincial yeomen is evident in the exchange between anons. This reminds me of your recent post on taking a chemistry job in a less-than-desirable location.

  11. @BCsnob: Counterpoints

    1) As a born-and-bred city dweller, I can affirm that Toronto, Ottawa, and Kitchener have restaurants and cultural activities on par with Montreal or Vancouver.

    2) Canadian rednecks tend to be less boorish or menacing than American rednecks (cf. Nickelback vs. Shooter Jennings). That being said, many eminent chemists come from "redneck" backgrounds.

    3) Despite the outcome of the Seven Years/French and Indian War, Quebecois extremists remain inhospitable to whoever doesn't speak their Broken French.

    4) The demise of Merck Frosst has left gaping wound in Quebec pharma/biotech.

    5) Aside from having a the mega-mall, Alberta has Gilead pharmaceutical manufacturing site as well as decent organic chemists in academia.

    6) The high suicide rate amongst Nunavut residents is an unfortunate consequence of the mistreatment of aboriginal Canadians (primarily by European colonists), which occurred throughout Canada (including British Columbia).

    7) Despite all their saber-rattling, the Quebecois secessionists don't have the cajones to leave the Dominion, since Quebec is heavily reliant on national government subsidies.

    8) Although there's nothing like eating fresh Dim Sum or Mezze with a view of English Bay, Vancouver cannot match the economic might of its cousin San Francisco, with exception of the film and online entertainment industries (for "adult" and general audiences). During the past 20 years, the Vancouver economy was bolstered largely by the influx of capital from communist-fearing Hong Kongers, who drove up real estate prices and drastically changed the cultural landscape (much to the dismay of Anglo-Canadians).

    9) Regarding your description of Ontarians running into each other in Montreal, folks from podunk Quebec talk the same smack (in French) when they visit the non-Francophone provinces. As much as I adore Celine Dion, her "compatriotes" can be just as racist (overtly more so) as a Manitoban.

    Bottom Line: Get the job first, then decide whether it's worth your time. Unlike their American counterparts, "prudence" has enabled most Canadians to endure and even prosper during the recent economic tumult.

  12. Not to pour gas on the fire, the first time I saw an adult theatre was near Chinatown in Vancouver. Never could quite figure out why my dad hurried by that place.

  13. Ooh...Canadian chemist cat fight! Reow! Reow! Hiss! Hiss! Scratch!

    Sorta coming back to the topic, exactly what "process development" would a BASF Potato Manager do? While I understand that a vegetable's appearance is an essential aesthetic concern, can you really call a potato ugly or pretty?

  14. @5:23: I immediately thought of Portal 2 and Potato-GLaDOS.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20