Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An unpaid volunteer biology postdoc? This is a joke, right?

Unpaid Volunteer in a Basic Science Research Laboratory 
Currently looking for a part-time (15-30 hours a week) Biological Sciences un-paid volunteer researcher for an Academic Immunology, Inflammation, and Microbiology lab in La Jolla. Particularly interested in individuals who are highly motivated, function independently and efficiently, are already trained in microbiology and immunology, who have an excellent academic record, and who already have a graduate degree (PhD). 
Skills Required:
• Isolate DNA, run PCR reactions (singleplex and multiplex), and analyze via agarose gels.
• Microbiologic techniques: bacterial culture, minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) assays, agar microdilution, broth microdilution, colony counting
• Identification of bacterial virulence factors
• Experience works with methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in the lab setting.
• Protein extraction and purification, quantification, SDS page gel electrophoresis, staining
• Carefully record all experimental details and results.
• Analysis of data utilizing GraphPad Prism and Microsoft Excel
• Writing manuscripts about data produced, and submission to journals
• Present data at conferences 
• PhD
• 2-3 years of experience in a research lab beyond PhD degree (postdoc or otherwise)
• Able to rapidly learn new techniques and multi-task. Good organizational skills.
• Hard working, highly motivated and reliable.
• Personable, plays well with others. 
About the Research: 
The research goals of the laboratory are to elucidate the effects of cigarette smoke on bacterial virulence and myeloid cell function. The focus is on in vitro cellular human and mouse assays and bacterial function assays.  
Please submit a cover letter (brief statement about yourself and your goals), and attach a current resume or CV. 
Location: La Jolla
Compensation: none
This is a non-profit organization
Compensation: none
This is a part-time job.
This is at a non-profit organization.
This is a joke, right? Please?  


  1. Someone needs to EMAIL these folks and ask them if they have a soul and/or a conscience..

  2. Hmm. NPOs do have a reputation for not paying for work and hoping you'll do something for them as 'charity' or an 'internship.' Strangely the senior managers tend to be pretty well paid professionals.

    Say, i do believe The Xenobe Research Institute is an NPO in the La Jolla area. But this would probably be well beneath them.

    1. Oh geez... this is probably the Xenobe Institute, isn't it? Well, at least you probably won't have to do a lot of unpaid work since they don't actually have a lab.

  3. A joke? Guess what my old man did after immigrating for a year at the local university... H still had to make money of course, so in the evenings he would deliver pizza. Eventually someone at the university who needed complicated compounds made fast saw that he was really good at organic synthesis and hired him for a lowly wage away from the 'volunteer' group and fired two techs instead. It's only now that he has quit those series of badly paid jobs at the university. He definitely immigrated to the wrong city for PhD chemists.

  4. They want a cover letter and CV for an unpaid post doc? Seriously?

  5. For The Love of the Game.

    Wonder if this is a registered non-for-profit or a traditional non-profit company, a start-up biotech...

    A friend of mine after losing his pharma job was looking to do volunteer research at a local academic research hospital. They wouldn't take him due to liability/insurance issues. If they manage to get any inquiries about that job, and I suspect they will, someone needs to ask that question...

  6. I know a nice lady whose husband is doing a postdoc (paid) in La Jolla. She has a PhD and for a while she was doing volunteer work in a lab similar to this. She has since quit and is now looking for a paid job, but being from China and limited to the La Jolla area makes that a bit difficult. But this is the sort of person I imagine actually applying to such a job.

  7. Those techniques are not too far off from what I do in the lab (My PhD was Chemistry but more biochemical). Yup, I see what Im worth.....And my parents wonder why I dont have a good job.

  8. someone ought to chuck a jar of whole milk into their A/C intake while the weather is stil warm. Maybe add few pieces of raw chicken too. Rank abuse deserves rank stench

  9. i nominate chuck kolb for the position

  10. I can understand people taking unpaid volunteer positions if they're changing to a new career where they don't have any of the normal background and skills and they want to gain experience, but not paying someone who already has experience is just ridiculous and insulting.

  11. a bunch of postdocs I know are replying to the ad thanking the poster for the good laugh. Perhaps we should all do the same. If anyone figures out exactly where the posting came from, flaming bags of dog poo on their door step might also be effective.

  12. Fortunately, living in La Jolla is cheap so volunteering is a reasonable goal.


    PS: Looks like the ad's been taken down. Too much heat I imagine.

  13. Matching research interest keywords, it seems that this is a possible location:


  14. Over here in blighty some universities have been trying to pull the same stunt. The union managed to get the jobs squashed fortunately. Could be a slippery slope if people start filling those roles...

  15. This is the typical Italian job alert, tons of skill needed, no payment and photosynthesis-based body required to survive in the lab without money. Probably they want to go back to the eighteenth century when scientists were only rich Lords.


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