it makes perfect sense that Alex would jump.at the chance to do research, even for little pay. With her personality and demeanor, she belongs in a university lab, NOT a corporate boardroom. She wouldn't last long with her snarkiness, sarcasm and anti-social behavior. That stuff is far less important in a lab setting.
Maybe I missed it: why did she take a corporate job in the first place? All I remember is the episode where the family came to her fancy apartment. I don't remember a job search at all.