Thursday, September 19, 2019

Daily Pump Trap: 9/18/19 edition

A few of the positions posted at C&EN Jobs:

Kalamazoo, MI: Kalsec looking for a senior scientist to work on antioxidants.

Newark, DE: FMC is looking for a MS/PhD analytical chemist (MS: 7-10 yrs exp., PhD: 3-5 yrs) to be a crop and livestock residue chemist.

Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory chemistry postdocs for its Linus Pauling Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship program.

West Point, PA: (via Twitter) The Merck 2020 Computational and Structural Chemistry internships across all sites in computational chemistry, cheminformatics, structure (xray, cryo) and protein design/expression.

Remote positions represent: (via Twitter) USPTO is hiring patent examiners. 

13 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 13 new positions for September 14.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 26 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 26 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The funniest obit you will read today

Via Twitter, a very funny obituary:
Joe Heller made his last undignified and largely irreverent gesture on September 8, 2019, signing off on a life, in his words, "generally well-lived and with few regrets." When the doctors confronted his daughters with the news last week that "your father is a very sick man," in unison they replied, "you have no idea." 
I noticed this interesting line:
Joe was a self-taught chemist and worked at Cheeseborough-Ponds* where he developed one of their first cosmetics' lines.
I imagine that the number of employed 'self-taught chemists' has fallen quite a bit over the years in the United States. It would be interesting to know the number of production operators and technicians that have moved into research, formulation and testing laboratories in the American chemical manufacturing industry, and what the overall trend has been. Having worked with a couple of these folks, I value their experience, but I suspect their numbers are few and far between these days.

Rest in peace, Mr. Heller. (If you haven't had a chance, read the obituary - it's genuinely funny and warm-hearted in a way that I aspire my own obituary (and life) to achieve.)

*context here

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The 2020 Faculty Jobs List: 290 research/teaching positions, 7 teaching faculty

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 290 research/teaching positions and 7 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor."

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On September 18, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 278 positions.

Here's the link to the latest open thread.

Postdoctoral position: chiral organofluorine chemistry, Le Lab, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

From the inbox, a postdoc at the University of New Mexico: 
The Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology at the University of New Mexico is looking for a candidate to be hired as a Postdoctoral Research Associate working in the laboratory of Dr. Christine Le. The successful candidate will develop catalytic methods to synthesize chiral organofluorine compounds. Experience with mentoring graduate students and undergraduate students is preferred. It will also be their responsibility to maintain some of the lab instruments and ensure compliance with environmental, health and safety requirements.
Full ad here (apply there as well.) 

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 31 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 31 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 31 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 31 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 5% growth in chemists for 2018-28 period

Credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its biennial projections of job growth for the next 8 years, which include their projections for the growth of chemists. A few comments:
  • Most importantly, they have revised the overall occupational growth for the 2018-2028 decade down to 5% from 7% for the 2016-2026 period. I find that quite concerning. 
  • The expected increase in the number of chemists is 5% for the 2018-28 time period, which is slightly lower than the 6% number for 2016-2026. 
  • Also, the absolute number of chemists has been adjusted down from 88300 for the 2016 period to 87700 for 2018. 
I don't actually think this is cause for too much alarm for chemists in particular, in the sense that I imagine that these downward trends are more reflective of their overall projections for the trajectory of all employment growth in the US workforce than any particular problems within employers of chemists. At the same time, we would all hope for higher numbers than lower ones. 

I think that we have seen a warmer employment market for younger and mid-career chemists over these past two or three years, and I think it is interesting to not see that really reflected in these numbers. It would be interesting to know if the seemingly more active employment market for chemists is illusory, or I am missing trends in retirements. 

The number of chemistry professors (also known as "postsecondary teachers, chemistry" for the Bureau of Labor Statistics) will see a 6% growth over the 2018-28 period. Interestingly, they project growth of just 2000 new professors (4-year schools) during that time frame. If (a big if!) the ~500 or so that we see from the Chemistry Faculty Jobs List is an accurate number as well, then perhaps we are seeing the retirement numbers play a significant role in the overall growth in jobs? (i.e. every year, we're adding 400 or so new professors, but we're also seeing 200 or so retire?) Or, it's entirely possible that neither of these numbers are particularly accurate? Hard to say. 

Overall, not too much bad news, just kinda moving sideways...

Friday, September 13, 2019

Advice on age discrimination

From the New York Times, some advice:
So what is an older person who still has bills to pay supposed to do? Even seemingly tiny changes can help. Ms. McCann’s advice: Keep up with trends in résumé-writing (for example, opening with a career objective is passé, she says); emphasize your technological skills to the point of overkill; develop a social-media presence. 
Leave graduation dates and other giveaways off your résumé so you’re not making it easy for employers to reject you. Some online hiring platforms won’t allow you to move through the system without including those dates — which AARP has asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to address — so avoid them whenever possible. And everyone can take a lesson from New York: Bite back when someone makes prejudicial assumptions or treats you unfairly at work!
I'm not to the point where I have to worry about age discrimination, but I know it's coming sooner rather than later....

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles in this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Daily Pump Trap: 9/12/19 edition

Some of the positions posted at C&EN Jobs:

Wilmington, NC: Celanese looking for a process chemist (B.S., 8+ years experience), sulfur, polymer chemistry experience. 

Baltimore, MD: Avidea Technologies looking for a director of chemistry (PhD, 10+ years).

Darien, IL: The Hallstar Company is looking for a MS chemist (5 yrs exp+) for a position working on applied suncare research.

Ledgewood, NJ:  Vertellus seeking a colloid chemist (Ph.D., 5-10 years), Experience working in lubricant, glass sizing or personal care industries.

Grand Forks, ND: USDA postdoc, looks to be applications of mass spectrometry towards biomedical/nutritional assays.

Los Alamos, NM: LANL searching for a postdoc for novel explosive synthesis.

62 new positions at Organic Chemistry Jobs

Over at Common Organic Chemistry, there are 14 new positions for September 9, 18 for September 7, 8 for September 5 and 22 for September 1.

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List: 26 positions

The Analytical Chemistry Jobs List has 26 positions; this is curated by the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry. Want to help out? Fill out this form. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Warning Letter of the Week: pre-approved batch records

A missive from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to the President of Enprani Co., Ltd. in Seoul, South Korea (emphasis mine) 
2. Your firm failed to establish an adequate quality control unit with the responsibility and authority to approve or reject all components, drug product containers, closures, in-process materials, packaging materials, labeling, and drug products (21 CFR 211.22(a)). 
During the inspection, our investigator observed that your quality unit (QU) lacks adequate oversight for the manufacture of your OTC [redacted] drug products. For example:
  • Your QU failed to review entire batch records, including raw data and calculations for accuracy, before making appropriate release determination.
  • Your batch records were pre-printed as “approved” indicating the assay results were in specification, even before these values are recorded.
  • Label review and line clearance were not performed and documented in batch production and control records.
Pre-printing approvals - how come I never thought of that? 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The 2020 Faculty Jobs List: 254 research/teaching positions, 7 teaching faculty

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 254 research/teaching positions and 7 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor."

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On September 11, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 242 positions.

Here's the link to the latest open thread.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 20 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 20 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Employers being more flexible about hiring the disabled?

ROUND ROCK, Tex. — When Kate Cosway completed her master’s degree in 2014, her résumé drew plenty of interest, but she rarely advanced far in the hiring process. She was pretty sure she knew why: She is on the autism spectrum and struggles in traditional interviews. 
Her luck finally turned this summer when she landed a 12-week internship at Dell Technologies, which this month will turn into a full-time job working on automation in the company’s audit department. 
A year ago, Ms. Cosway probably wouldn’t have been hired at Dell, either. But last year, the Texas company started a program aimed at hiring people with autism.... 
...With the national unemployment rate now flirting with a 50-year low, companies are increasingly looking outside the traditional labor force for workers. They are offering flexible hours and work-from-home options to attract stay-at-home parents, full-time students and recent retirees. They are making new accommodations to open up jobs to people with disabilities. They are dropping educational requirements, waiving criminal background checks and offering training to prospective workers who lack necessary skills. 
Those policies are having an effect. In recent months, nearly three-quarters of people who have become newly employed have come from outside the labor force — meaning they hadn’t even been looking for jobs. The share of adults who are working is now the highest in more than a decade, after adjustments are made for the aging population....
Readers, have you found employers in the chemical and pharmaceutical space to be more flexible, either around disability or other issues? I personally haven't seen a lot of evidence of that, even as I note the number of industrial employers insisting on postdoctoral fellowships seemingly dropping.

What are you seeing? 

Money for psychedelic compound research

Not often you see a microsyringe in the New York Times
credit: Bettmann/Corbis/NYT
Via the New York Times, interesting new philanthropy: 
The announcement on Wednesday that Johns Hopkins Medicine was starting a new center to study psychedelic drugs for mental disorders was the latest chapter in a decades-long push by health nonprofits and wealthy donors to shake up psychiatry from the outside, bypassing the usual channels. 
“Psychiatry is one of the most conservative specialties in medicine,” said David Nichols, a medicinal chemist who founded the Heffter Research Institute in 1993 to fund psychedelic research. “We haven’t really had new drugs for years, and the drug industry has quit the field because they don’t have new targets” in the brain. “The field was basically stagnant, and we needed to try something different.” 
The fund-raising for the new Johns Hopkins center was largely driven by the author and investor Tim Ferriss, who said in a telephone interview that he had put aside most of his other projects to advance psychedelic medicine... 
...Mr. Ferriss provided funds for a similar center at Imperial College London, which was introduced in April, and for individual research projects at the University of San Francisco, California, testing psilocybin as an aide to therapy for distress in long-term AIDS patients....
This is cool, here's hoping something comes of it. (When will antibiotics get a really passionate billionaire? (Yes, I know that Bill Gates does a little bit.)) 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Vitamin E acetate is bad actor in vaping illnesses?

Health officials in New York State said on Thursday that they are investigating a possible cause of a recent surge in severe vaping-related illnesses: a compound called vitamin E acetate. 
The state Department of Health said in a news release that “very high levels” of the compound had been found in 13 samples from eight of 34 patients who have gotten ill in New York. The samples were analyzed as part of an investigation by the Wadsworth Center, a state laboratory. 
This finding by no means ends the search for what is causing the illnesses, particularly given that vitamin E acetate has not been confirmed as a factor in the majority of cases in which patients have gotten sick in New York. 
...“As a result, vitamin E acetate is now a key focus of the Department’s investigation of potential causes of vaping-associated pulmonary illnesses,” New York State said in its release. “Vitamin E acetate is a commonly available nutritional supplement that is not known to cause harm when ingested as a vitamin supplement or applied to the skin. However, the Department continues to investigate its health effects when inhaled because its oil-like properties could be associated with the observed symptoms.”
I'm glad they are getting close to blaming it on one specific chemical... 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Were you ever asked to pay for broken laboratory equipment?

Credit
An interesting query from Twitter:
A friend post doc-ing in the US told me that they were going to have to fund some replacement glassware that they broke. Is this normal?
I have broken lots of glassware, and I was never once asked to pay for the broken items by a PI. I've never heard of this. Readers, have you ever had:
  • a PI ask you to pay for 
    • a broken piece of a equipment 
    • when you were either an undergraduate, graduate student or a postdoc in an university research lab 
    • in the United States? 
  • If so, what were the circumstances? Did you pay up? 
(Is this illegal? I'm sure there are rules about this sort of thing, albeit poorly enforced ones. Also, there is the classic "is the postdoc an employee" question...)

Readers, please comment.

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles from this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The 2020 Faculty Jobs List: 216 research/teaching positions, 7 teaching faculty

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 216 research/teaching positions and 7 teaching assistant professor positions.

Want to add a position? Here's a Google Form to enter positions. In 2019-2020, we will be adding teaching professor positions, targeting positions that demonstrate an intention to renew permanently, 3 year terms and a promotion ladder and/or are titled "assistant teaching professor" or "associate teaching professor."

See an error? Please contact us at chemjobber@gmail.com

On September 4, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 201 positions.

Here's the link to the latest open thread.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 15 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 15 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 31 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 31 positions.

This list is curated by Sarah Cady. It targets:
  • Full-time STAFF positions in a Chem/Biochem/ChemE lab/facility at an academic institution/natl lab
  • Lab Coordinator positions for research groups or undergraduate labs 
  • and for an institution in Canada or the United States
Want to help out? Here's a Google Form to enter positions.

Want to chat about staff scientist positions? Try the open thread.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day!



To my American readers, a very happy Labor Day to you and your family. To people in the rest of the world, happy Monday! Back tomorrow.