Doctor246853

5+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2010
1,224
10
Stuck in cold weather....
Status
Pre-Medical
I have a opportunity for a position at UTSW medical school research department but dont know if it qualifies as "real research". Its for a paid animal care assistant postion and these are the duties from the site if you want to know...
1. Operates cagewash equipment start-up and shut-down procedures. Thoroughly cleans and monitors equipment throughout day and reports equipment failures. Maintains high quality sanitization. Recognizes equipment needs and rapidly processes appropriate equipment.
2. Operates autoclave equipment. Cleans and maintains autoclaves equipment. Reports equipment failures and maintains log books. Evaluates and prepares extra equipment and delivers sterile equipment to appropriate storage rooms.
3. Maintains proper bedding levels in cages; accurately sorts equipment by bedding type and building. Maintains quality and rejects unclean equipment. Maintains steam strip logs.
4. Cleans and maintains multiple support areas (storage rooms, restrooms, breakrooms, procedure labs) as well as main hallways. Utilizes appropriate techniques and chemicals to ensure sanitization of all surfaces. Completes multiple loads to laundry to meet area needs. Keeps machines cleaned and well maintained. Accurately requests, sorts, organizes routine supplies to meet area needs. Provides supply requests in timely manner.
5. Correctly applies appropriate techniques and chemicals to maintain facility floors. Routinely sweeps and mops. Utilizes floor machines to effectively remove buildup of wax and debris. Follows appropriate safety procedures.
6. Performs other duties as assigned.


I already work at parkland as a PCA so if this will not count as research (I have none and really need some) I wont do it and will just focus on my grades for now. Please answer if you know I will greatly appreciate it guys. Thanks:oops:
 
Aug 5, 2010
809
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Nope.

Now, if the position starts off as that, and then leads to actively working on a specific project, then it counts. For it to count 'as research', there has to be a project that someone (ie your PI, postdoc, etc) is working on, and you have to do things within the project (like PCR, or surgery, etc). The more responsibility you have within that project, the better. But the minimum level is at least working on some project, which, from the job description, you will not be doing.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,360
11,961
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
It sounds like the job is 100% animal care and floor/laundry/supply maintenance, without animal assessment, measurement, or data collection of any kind. Maybe there are other responsibilities they don't list, but from what I see, it's a big, "No."
 
Sep 29, 2009
1,054
25
Cleveland
Status
Medical Student
I work in an animal lab, and the people that clean the cages/replace bedding, etc. are NOT considered to be part of the research team. Usually they work in several different labs, actually. Those of us involved with research are hired by the PI, whereas the animal care folks are hired by Research Animal Resources (organization affiliated with IACUC...aka the animal equiv of the IRB). If you've been hired by a PI, you might get a chance to move up in the ranks and do some actual research. Otherwise, your chances are nil. Basically, you're a janitor.
 

kami333

10+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2007
1,454
27
Status
Medical Student
I work in an animal lab, and the people that clean the cages/replace bedding, etc. are NOT considered to be part of the research team. Usually they work in several different labs, actually. Those of us involved with research are hired by the PI, whereas the animal care folks are hired by Research Animal Resources (organization affiliated with IACUC...aka the animal equiv of the IRB). If you've been hired by a PI, you might get a chance to move up in the ranks and do some actual research. Otherwise, your chances are nil. Basically, you're a janitor.
^ This.

I'll also add that PIs love to poach the vivarium techs into their labs for animal work so if you need money and don't have an easy "in" to a lab, it's not the worst job you could get in that regards.
 
OP
Doctor246853

Doctor246853

5+ Year Member
Feb 14, 2010
1,224
10
Stuck in cold weather....
Status
Pre-Medical
It sounds like the job is 100% animal care and floor/laundry/supply maintenance, without animal assessment, measurement, or data collection of any kind. Maybe there are other responsibilities they don't list, but from what I see, it's a big, "No."
Thanks, can you guys give me a good research entry level position to look for? I would really appreciate it.:)
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,360
11,961
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
Getting a paid position if you have no experience might be difficult. I think that most start by taking a research class or by volunteering in a lab that is doing projects they have an interest in. At my school all recent research abstracts are available through the university's main website. You can read through them and pick out Principal Investigators that are doing work you find interesting. Pick out a few of them, and start emailing the PIs with a statement of interest, your CV, and a copy of your transcript so they can see what educational background you have so far. It seems to me that for every 7 you email, you might get a positive response or two. Many won't answer at all. If you want a spot for next term, this is the time to start looking for it.
 
Sep 29, 2009
1,054
25
Cleveland
Status
Medical Student
Another good idea is to talk to professors/TA's in the departments you want to do research in. There are usually a couple of professors, especially newer/untenured ones, that are known for recruiting inexperienced students.

Also, look into whether your school has scholarships for undergraduate research opportunities. At my university if you find a prof to work with you can write a proposal and apply to be funded for a semester of work. I'm sure it's not a unique program.

Good luck!