Research Technician II – Stern Lab

Location: United States
Application Deadline: Open until filled
Published: 2 months ago

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The Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Janelia Research Campus is a pioneering research center in Ashburn, Virginia, where scientists pursue fundamental questions in the life sciences. Our integrated teams of biologists, computational scientists, and tool-builders innovate research practices and technologies to solve biology’s deepest mysteries. HHMI launched Janelia in 2006, establishing an intellectually enriching environment for scientists to do creative, collaborative, hands-on work. We share our methods, results, and tools with the scientific community.

Lab Overview:

The Stern Lab studies how aphids manipulate plants by injecting effector proteins into plant cells. Aphids are major crop pests, and we seek a molecular understanding of how aphids manipulate plants to their own advantage and to the detriment of plant.

About the role:

We are seeking a Research Technician who will work closely with a Research Scientist in the laboratory to perform experiments to test the roles of specific genes in aphid biology. Some experience in laboratory science is desired, especially experience working with insects and performing basic molecular biology experiments. We work as a highly collaborative team to study these problems and prior experience working successfully with a team in a laboratory is an advantage.

What we provide:

  • Training in new research methods and exposure to ground breaking science in a supportive environment
  • A competitive compensation package, with comprehensive health and welfare benefits.
  • An opportunity to gain research experience in a collaborative environment
  • Professional development opportunities including attending conferences.

What you’ll do:

  • Prepare aphid eggs for microinjection and inject aphid eggs.
  • Prepare DNA from aphids and perform Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to identify mutated aphids.
  • Prepare plants and plant samples for experiments with aphids.
  • Perform quantitative measures of aphid performance on plants.
  • Perform Electrical Penetration Graph measurements of aphids feeding on plants.
  • Use software to analyze and visualize data.
  • Document progress of daily tasks and long-term projects.
  • May develop new protocols when necessary to improve processes.
  • Conduct literature reviews to assist in determining the most suitable methods to be used in research.
  • May demonstrate and explain various laboratory techniques to laboratory personnel, students, and others.
  • Actively contribute to laboratory meetings and planning sessions.

What you bring:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in an appropriate field of science or technology or equivalent in education and experience AND one to two years of related research experience.
  • Experience with a laboratory model system, and preferably experience working with aphids or other Hemipterans.
  • Enthusiastic and self-motivated individual with the ability to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Excellent communication skills, written and verbal. Ability to communicate with all levels of the organization.
  • Ability to take initiative, prioritize tasks, work independently, use good judgment, and monitor completion of assigned duties. Accountable for projects.
  • Ability to operate complex scientific equipment.
  • Must be able to work in a dynamic and agile environment.
  • Must be able to work in a team environment effectively.
  • Good documentation and organizational skills.

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances or other hazardous materials.

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Please Note:

This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however.  Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Compensation and Benefits

Our employees are compensated from a total rewards perspective in many ways for their contributions to our mission, including competitive pay, exceptional health benefits, retirement plans, time off, and a range of recognition and wellness programs. Visit our Benefits at HHMI site to learn more.

Compensation Range

$44,880.00 (minimum) – $56,100.00 (midpoint) – $72,930.00 (maximum)

Pay Type:


HHMI’s salary structure is developed based on relevant job market data. HHMI considers a candidate’s education, previous experiences, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity when making job offers. Typically, a new hire for this position in this location is compensated between the minimum and the midpoint of the salary range.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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