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Current Available Positions

UPDATED: May 21, 2021



We are recruiting undergraduate researchers for 4 positions in the lab. The description of each position is below. Please note the planned start dates for each project. 

Project areas for a summer start date:
1. Exosome therapeutics for newborn brain injury: A student will work on isolation and characterization of extracellular vesicles from the neonatal brain. In addition to characterization techniques like light scattering and measuring sample purity, a student will also learn techniques involving aseptic technique for cell and brain slice culture. No prior experience is required. This will be an in-person research project.

2. Characterization of age-related cognitive decline brain slice models: A student will characterize the effects of toxin exposure on cell health and cell metabolism. A student will work with colormetric and enzymatic assays and learn confocal imaging techniques. No prior experience is required. This will be an in-person research project.

Project areas for a fall quarter start date:
1. Managing and standardizing a nanoformulation-neurotherapeutic database: A student will work with database management and SQL tools to build a database of experimental data for the lab that looks at the relationship between various nanoparticle formulations and their effect on the brain. No prior experience is required. This will be a remote/virtual project.

2. Measuring cell-cell interaction in the developing brain: A student will work to quantify the interactions between neurons and microglia in the developing brain in response to stimuli, such as oxygen and glucose deprivation. A student will learn techniques for live cell imaging and for confocal imaging analysis.  No prior experience is required. This will be an in-person research project.


All projects are paired with a graduate student research mentor. Please make sure you have read our expectations for undergraduates below.

If you would like to apply, complete the following application form:

The priority deadline for submission of your application is June 2nd, 2021.


Graduate: To all those who accepted offers for UW ChemE, congrats! WE ARE RECRUITING PH.D. and M.S. STUDENTS FOR FALL 2021! Students who accepted at UW will have the opportunity to meet with Prof. Nance and Nance lab members, and discuss specific project details in September-November 2021. Placement into a lab is through a matching process in November of your first year.

If you are a student accepted into the MolES or BioE program, and you are interested in rotating in the Nance lab in Winter 2022 or spring 2022, please contact Prof. Nance directly via email.


If you are an MSTP (MD/PhD) student and interested in the lab, please email me ( directly.

Postdoctoral: We are currently pending funding on several grants. We will post postdoc positions upon confirmation of that funding. These positions will seek expertise in live cell or live tissue imaging, hands-on experience with animal models of non-cancer disease, and an interest in biological assessment techniques. 

High School students: We currently do not have remote or in-person research options available at this time. If you have emailed Prof. Nance ( and expressed interest in our lab, she will email you when a position becomes available. If you are interested in exploring other lab opportunities in UW Chemical Engineering, Prof. Nance can help facilitate that for you! 

Joining Our Team

We look for hard-working, independent, and creative individuals who are passionate about finding ways to better our understanding of, and our technology for, treating complex diseases, specifically those in the brain.

We work as a close-knit team to address the challenging needs of treating neurological diseases. Our work includes individuals from diverse backgrounds and expertise, including in chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, pediatrics, neurology, infectious disease, physiology and radiology. We collaborate extensively with the clinicians in these medical fields. Individuals who join our lab must be dedicated to continual learning, and to skill development in technical expertise and strong communication.

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Postdoctoral Fellows and Technicians

For postdoctoral applicants, we are looking for dedicated individuals who have an interest in model development and characterization, with backgrounds in non-cancer in vivo studies, and individuals who have a background in nanotechnology synthesis/formulation and applications.

It is of significant interest to hire postdocs who have their own funding. For potential funding applications, please check out our scholarship and funding opportunities page.

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Doctoral and Master's Candidates

If you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or thesis M.S. at the University of Washington, please review our website to become familiar with our mission, prior publications, and current research. We accept graduate students from those individuals who have been accepted to chemical engineering, MolES, or one of the health sciences programs at UW.

If you apply, please make sure you describe in your application how your past academic, industry and/or research experiences fit with our lab’s mission and your future career goals. Please e-mail Prof. Nance to let her know you have applied, which department you applied to, and highlight your primary research interests.

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Undergraduate Researchers

You do not need prior research experience or experience in our labs research areas of interest to join the Nance lab. Participating in research can give you an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you are learning in the classroom to important clinical challenges. Research is challenging ­by definition; most of what you will be doing has never been done before. As such, we are looking for students who are self-­starters, independent, and willing to explore uncharted territory, and who are willing to embrace failing (in a safe space!). Research opportunities are available on a volunteer or credit basis. Prof. Nance provides extensive support to students to secure research fellowships and scholarships. Please see our Personnel and Lab Alumni pages to get a sense of what scholarships and fellowships our undergraduate research members have received in past years.


Our general expectations for undergraduate researchers include:

  • Dedicating a minimum of three quarters to volunteer in the lab. During the academic year, classes are your top priority. These are challenging projects and three quarters will give you the time to dive in and make significant contributions to research. We prefer at least one summer of commitment.

  • During the academic quarters, spending an average of 10 hours per week working on research (including weekly meetings) - some weeks will be more and some weeks will be less, based on your schedule and project status. We know that classes, work, and other extracurricular activities keep your schedule busy. Ask yourself if you have time to responsibly dedicate to pursuing research.

  • Participating in monthly working group meetings. You should come prepared to these meetings with slides or other handouts to share your progress, discuss challenges, and help your peers with their research.

  • Helping with outreach activities. We ask for volunteers from the lab to help with tours and share their experiences with events focused on engaging K-12 students.

  • Keeping clear documentation and a lab notebook. Others will likely be building upon and learning from your work in the future. Thus it is important that everyone keeps clear notes (including comments in any computer code) so that you can easily share what you have done.

  • Defining clear goals and outcomes. We aim for everyone to produce a final report, abstract, or other publication based upon their project. We will work with you to help define these goals for your specific project and career goals!

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