Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 523 research/teaching positions and 54 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 523 research/teaching positions and 54 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." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

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

On January 22, 2019, the 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 543 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifthsixthseventh. Current: the eighth.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, January 20, 2020

Imagine having to worry about this in your backyard

Residents catch truck dumping chemical waste into Vrishabhavati river 
Alert residents of a gated community caught a truck driver trying to dump chemical waste into the Vrishabhavathi river on Saturday night. 
The truck was seized and the keys were taken away by the residents. But, when the residents, accompanied by the beat police, went to the police station to file a complaint, the driver vanished along with the truck.  
Nagaraju, Ramaraju, M.K. Kulkarni, C.J. Prakash, all residents of GoodEarth Orchard, noticed the truck belonging to a factory trying to dump the waste and caught hold of the driver. But he managed to escape....
I'm sure there was a time when this was a problem in America, but I'm guessing it's not very common now... 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Spanish ethylene oxide plant explosion kills 3

Reactor part crashed through an apartment in Spain
credit: Mossos/BBC
Bad news from the chemical manufacturing world from Spain:
MADRID (AP) — A massive explosion at a petrochemical plant in northeastern Spain on Tuesday killed one person and injured at least nine others, three seriously, regional authorities said. 
A press spokesman for the port city of Tarragona, where the plant is located, said a preliminary investigation indicated the force of the blast killed an individual in a nearby neighborhood. 
The spokesman said he had no further details. He spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with City Hall regulations. The regional fire service tweeted that the man had died in a building affected by the blast. They said one other person was injured in the building. 
The interior minister of Spain’s Catalonia region said eight workers at the factory were injured, three seriously, and one person remained missing....
The video of the explosion is pretty horrifying, and the aftermath of the plant blast is awful. As someone who works in a plant environment, I am particularly haunted by the photograph above, which is a part of a reactor who killed a man in his apartment 3 kilometers away. We work in a dangerous business. Best wishes to all involved. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Newest Periodic Bagel episode: Derek Lowe, medicinal chemist (not the former MLB pitcher)


Sixth episode of The Periodic Bagel, with guest Derek Lowe (@Dereklowe), chemistry jobs, the future of pharma and rock music.

Rate and review us on iTunes!

Feel free to ask questions, add comments and suggestions for guests and topics in the comments.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 516 research/teaching positions and 51 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 516 research/teaching positions and 51 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." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

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

On January 15, 2019, the 2019 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 538 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifthsixthseventh. Current: the eighth.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

Faculty position: assistant/associate professor of computational chemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

The University of Georgia Department of Chemistry (chem.uga.edu) invites applications for a tenure track faculty position in computational chemistry, beginning August 1, 2020, at the level of either Assistant or Associate Professor. Tenure upon appointment is possible at the associate level. All areas of computational chemistry will be considered, but priority will be given to candidates whose research interests complement existing expertise in the Center for Computational Quantum Chemistry (ccqc.uga.edu) and who can engage in collaborations with faculty within the Department of Chemistry and other units across campus, including the Center for Drug Discovery, the New Materials Institute, the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, the Institute of Bioinformatics, the Department of Microbiology, and the Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases.
The selected candidate will be appointed in an Assistant Professor or Associate 
Professor. To be eligible for tenure upon appointment, candidates must be appointed as an associate professor, have been tenured at a prior institution, and bring a demonstrably national reputation to the institution. Candidates must be approved for tenure upon appointment before hire.  
To receive full consideration, completed applications should be received by February 15, 2019.
 Best wishes to those interested. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Decent job growth gains in December 2019

The American labor market completed a decade-long marathon of hiring in the final month of 2019, and still shows few signs that it is running out of breath. 
Payroll gains in December capped a year of steady but slowing gains in employment, the government reported Friday, nudging the year’s total past 2.1 million jobs. That was fewer than 2018’s additions but more than enough to outpace population growth. 
“We had relatively strong and steady job growth over the year despite a number of headwinds including a trade war with China, weaker global activity and heightened policy uncertainty,” Gregory Daco, the chief United States economist at Oxford Economics, said. Employers added 145,000 workers in December. 
Cooling job creation is normal in the 11th year of an economic expansion and a record-breaking streak of job gains. Looking ahead, Mr. Daco said the nation’s job machine was likely to crank down further.
The chemical manufacturing subsector had 861600 employees in December 2019 (down 200 since November), 564500 production employees (up 1100) and the unemployment rate was flat at 1.2%. Not too shabby since the high of 10.3% or so in 2010. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Seen at the chemical shop

Credit: @difluorine
Context here. Difluorine's Twitter account is very clever (I am in love with this drawing), very much worth a follow.

(Before this week, I had never heard of male-to-male power cords.)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Warning Letter of the Week: aborted HPLC run edition

From a missive from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to the managing director of GPT Pharmaceuticals Private Ltd in Balanagar, India:
3.  Your firm failed to exercise appropriate controls over computer or related systems to assure that only authorized personnel institute changes in master production and control records, or other records (21 CFR 211.68(b)). 
Our investigator observed your laboratory equipment lacked appropriate controls. For example, from January 1, 2018, to June 25, 2019, audit trails from [redacted] Agilent 1260 Infinity Series II high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) instruments showed a pattern of aborted runs and single run entries for testing [redacted]. Single run entries included analyses of multiple peaks or split peaks without documented investigations or adequate scientific justifications. Your employees used the Agilent Service Account login, with full administrative privileges, to abort HPLC testing runs without being attributable to a specific individual. 
Your response identified the number of deleted, aborted, and single runs during your HPLC testing. However, your response did not provide adequate investigations or evidence of corrective actions put in place to prevent these data integrity issues from recurring.
Clever move, with the extra account. 

This week's C&EN

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

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List: 508 research/teaching positions and 49 teaching faculty positions

The 2020 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List (curated by Andrew Spaeth and myself) has 508 research/teaching positions and 49 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." As of 9/20/19, we are adding community college positions if they explicitly offer tenure.

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

On January 8, 2018, the 2018 Chemistry Faculty Jobs List had 530 positions.

Open threads: firstsecondthirdfourthfifthsixthseventh. This will be the eighth open thread.

Can't see additional comments? Look for the "load more" button underneath the comment box.

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List: 85 positions

The Chemical Engineering Faculty Jobs List has 85 positions. It is curated by Lilian Josephson (@lljosephson). 

The Academic Staff Jobs List: 28 positions

The Academic Staff Jobs list has 28 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, January 6, 2020

Frances Arnold retracts 2019 Science paper

American scientist Frances Arnold, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry, has retracted her latest paper. 
Prof Arnold shared the award with George P Smith and Gregory Winter for their research on enzymes in 2018. 
A subsequent paper on enzymatic synthesis of beta-lactams was published in the journal Science in May 2019. It has been retracted because the results were not reproducible, and the authors found data missing from a lab notebook.
Sounds like there's a story here, but I don't think we're going to hear it any time soon.

Manufacturing numbers not looking so great

American manufacturing activity contracted last month more than it had in a decade, data released Friday showed, a sign that economic damage from President Trump’s trade war could linger even after the United States and China sign an initial trade deal. 
An index published by the Institute for Supply Management dropped to 47.2 in December, the lowest reading since June 2009 and the fifth straight month of contraction. A reading below 50 indicates the manufacturing sector is contracting.
Definitely not good news - will be interesting if this shows up in hiring numbers for the chemical manufacturing subsector before long... 

Friday, January 3, 2020

Chinese researcher pulled off Boston plane with medical research samples

Via the New York Times, this rather interesting story about a researcher (postdoc?) at Beth Israel Hospital who was detained by the US government:
Zaosong Zheng was preparing to board Hainan Airlines Flight 482, nonstop from Boston to Beijing, when customs officers pulled him aside. 
Inside his checked luggage, wrapped in a plastic bag and then inserted into a sock, the officers found what they were looking for: 21 vials of brown liquid — cancer cells — that the authorities say Mr. Zheng, 29, a cancer researcher, took from a laboratory at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 
Under questioning, court documents say, Mr. Zheng acknowledged that he had stolen eight of the samples and had replicated 11 more based on a colleague’s research. When he returned to China, he said, he would take the samples to Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital and turbocharge his career by publishing the results in China, under his own name....
Presuming this is what it looks like, I can't really feel very sorry for Mr. Zheng. Outside of ethics and morality, if you steal something, being caught within federal law enforcement jurisdiction is really dumb. (Here's a redacted copy of the affidavit, apparently.)

It is rather shocking to me how heavily federal law enforcement seems to be taking (waves hands wildly) the acquiring/stealing (?) of scientific work product from the United States in the life sciences. I think it's pretty reasonable to really crack down on industrial IP theft from the US (i.e. this is material that someone is already making money on), but the taking of random samples from biology labs? It's really hard to believe any one (or 21) vials are worth anything.

Still, a story like this will encourage those who are being dumb about stealing stuff (like this guy) to be a little smarter or perhaps not to do it. Not an altogether bad thing.