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West Virginia University

Department of Biology

Research Technician

Job #21629

The Department of Biology in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences with West Virginia University Research Corporation is currently accepting applications for a Research Technician.

About the Opportunity

The individual to fill this position will assist in the setting up a laboratory space and animal facility for invertebrate planarian flatworms, as well as performing experiments to gather and analyze data in a regeneration and developmental biology lab. They will perform overall lab management duties with input and oversight of the lab supervisor (PI) be responsible for maintaining and managing animal care for our planaria colony that is essential to our research. The individual will help recruit, interview, hire, train individuals, including students, who work in the lab as well. 

At WVU Research Corporation, we strongly believe in work-life balance and keeping time for things we love outside our work. WVU Research Corporation offers a comprehensive benefits package with a variety of options to suit your needs:

  • 13 paid holidays (staff holiday calendar)
  • Paid Time off (PTO)
  • 403(b) retirement savings with a fully vested 3% employee contribution match, (Employees have the option of contributing an additional 1-3% of their earnings to the plan, which is also matched by the WVURC)
  • A range of health insurance and other benefits
  • Dependent Education Scholarship
  • WVU Perks

What You'll Do

General Lab and Experimental Duties

  • Assist with ordering, receiving, unpacking, and setting up of equipment and reagents in laboratory space.
  • Maintain excellent records of all orders, planaria care logs, experimental procedures, and experimental outcomes.
  • Abide by, maintain knowledge of, develop, and teach all animal care use and practices and laboratory safety standards of the University.
  • Prepare laboratory and planaria facility stock solutions.
  • Ensure lab and animal facility equipment is maintained, operating, and properly calibrated as needed.
  • Stay current on best practices for managing a small university laboratory and planaria facility through reading publications and attend relevant conferences, workshops, and webinars on these topics.
  • Assist in the development of SOPs for experiments and the care and usage of research animals.
  • Stay current on best practices for managing a small university laboratory and planaria facility through reading publications and attend relevant conferences, workshops, and webinars on these topics.
  • Carry out independent laboratory experiments in compliance with all safety protocols in order to gather primary data for analysis, discussion, and reporting to the PI and at lab meetings.
  • Attend weekly meetings discussing progress with lab supervisor and biweekly lab meetings to discuss ongoing lab projects.

Planarian Facility Duties

  • Raise and maintain planarian colony.
  • Amputation and/or dissection of planarians for colony expansion and experimentation.
  • Assure that the laboratory and planarian facility is clean and organized per required safety and operating procedures.
  • Daily checks of planarian health and water quality and maintenance of detailed facility records.
  • Ordering, receipt, preparation, and management of planarian food supply of beef liver.
  • Ability to lift and move water carboys and occasionally lab reagents and equipment up to 50lbs by hand or via cart.
  • Respond to and alert supervisor to all planaria facility and laboratory emergencies including those occurring after business hours, on weekends, and on holidays.

Personnel management

  • Maintain a good working relationship, with supervisors, other lab members, and the faculty and staff in WVU biology.
  • Assist lab supervisor in recruiting, evaluating, hiring, training, and supervising lab personnel, including students, in planaria care and standard laboratory and experimental techniques.
  • Assist lab supervisor in decisions and implementation of the firing of lab personnel when necessary.
 Bachelor’s Degree in Biology or related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Master’s degree preferred.
  • A minimum of six (6) months of experience involving:
    • Primary laboratory research or coursed-based laboratory teaching experience using at-the-bench techniques.
    • Basic math, statistics, and introductory chemistry (calculations for stock solution preparation reagent addition).
  • Knowledge of, willingness to learn and/or experience performing the following laboratory techniques: DNA and RNA extraction, PCR, molecular cloning, bacterial competent cell transformation, bacterial inoculation and culture for plasmid preparation, dsRNA synthesis; gene and protein expression analysis via in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and RNAseq; microscopy analysis using a dissecting scope or brightfield, fluorescence, and confocal imaging.
  • Computer skills: Microsoft Office or equivalent (Excel, Word, Power Point), image acquisition and processing software, and searching of biological and publication databases.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform biological experiments and analyze data.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively, ask questions, seek out new knowledge, troubleshoot, and navigate laboratory issues in an honest, open, and efficient fashion.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines, manage and multiple ongoing tasks simultaneously.
  • Demonstrated ability of detailed record keeping and organization with appropriate notation so that the Principal Investigator can review raw and analyzed results. 
  • Ability to perform duties with full professionalism and integrity.
  • Must be able to lift up to 50lbs of water carboys or equipment or transport items via cart.
  • Must be okay with cleaning water tanks including submerging hands and elbows in water while wearing appropriate PPE.
To apply, please visit WVU Careers.

West Virginia University Research Corporation is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We value diversity among its employees and invites applications from all qualified applicants regardless of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, nationality, genetics, disability, or Veteran status.

West Virginia University

Department of Biology

Academic Lab Manager I

Job #21494

The department of Biology within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University is currently accepting applications for an Academic Lab Manager I.

About the Opportunity

This position provides high-level support to a complex science unit under the direction of the upper-division Academic Laboratory Manager.  Supervise and oversee general operational activities for Biology majors laboratories, primarily BIOL 219 and BIOL Capstone 320/321

We strongly believe in work-life balance and keeping time for things we love outside our work. WVU offers generous benefits, including:

  • 13 paid holidays (staff holiday calendar)
  • 15 annual leave (vacation) days per year or more depending on years of service.
  • 18 sick days per year, and the flexibility to use that time to care for immediate family members
  • WVU offers a range of health insurance and other benefits  
  • 401(a) retirement savings with 6% employee contribution match, eligibility to continue health insurance, and other retiree perks. Looking for more retirement benefits information? Check out retirement health insurance benefits, retirement income, and FAQ’s.
  • Wellness programs

What You'll Do

  • Prepare, maintain, and clean up laboratory activities for the majors Biology laboratory classes (BIOL 219 and Biology Capstone 320/321) including, but not limited to, preparing, restocking, cleaning and/or removing supplies, reagents, media, solutions, glassware, and equipment.  There are 19 sections of BIOL 219 lab offered in the fall semester, 12 sections of 320/321 lab offered in the spring semester, and 1 section of 219 offered during the summer. Each section is 2 hrs and 50 minutes in length. Approximate attendance of 600 students annually. 
  • Maintain healthy stock of a wide range of organisms, including but not limited to yeast, bacteria, and plants. 
  • Maintain clean and safe work surfaces in all teaching labs and prep rooms.  Clean and sterilize glassware and instruments and other materials using sterile techniques.  Operate autoclave and other lab equipment.  Collect and properly dispose of lab waste as mandated by Federal, State and University regulations.
  • Inventory and maintain supplies in a manner that will facilitate lab operations in an orderly manner.  Conduct annual chemical and equipment inventories.  Conduct supply inventories throughout the year.
  • Maintain laboratory equipment including but not limited to, autoclave, centrifuge, shaker, water bath, pH meter, balance, and gel imaging and electrophoresis apparatus. Train teaching assistants and students on the proper use of this equipment.
  • Maintain first aid and safety equipment such as a well-stocked first aid kit, and be ready to put them to use in the event of an emergency.
  • Provide support for approximately 10-12 teaching assistants per semester in lab procedures to teach biology laboratories.
  • Perform all aspects of weekly laboratory preparatory sessions related to majors labs including but not limited to, preparing supplies, reagents, solutions, glassware, and equipment.  Preparatory sessions are scheduled each semester at the discretion of the Academic Lab Manager II and the course instructor.
  • Monitors graduate teaching assistants grade records to ensure that they are maintained, accurate, and up-to-date.
  • Train and supervise work study students in proper handling and storage procedures for chemicals, solutions, supplies and equipment.
  • Make recommendations to the Academic Lab Manager II and the course instructor regarding setups, equipment, curriculum, policies, and procedures.
  • In the absence of the Academic Laboratory Manager II, the employee must be able to maintain and direct majors biology lab classes and computer facility.
  • Work with instructors of BIOL 106 and upper-division lab courses (BIOL 493A, BIOL 350, NRSC 320) when they need help with lab setup or ordering specific things.

Pay Grade: 15

  • Bachelors in Biology, Life Sciences, Chemistry or related field. 
  • A minimum of 6 (six) months of demonstrated job-related experience in ecology/evolutionary/cell and molecular based laboratories with an excellent background in biology and good knowledge of chemistry. Must have experience dealing with laboratory and safety issues. Must have experience in methodology commonly used in higher education biology teaching laboratories.  
  • Demonstrated ability to mix reagents, solutions and buffers for use in experiments in the teaching facilities.  Therefore, a working knowledge of how to calculate molar concentrations is necessary.  
  • Demonstrated ability of proper chemical storage, handling and removal and knowledge of lab safety procedures.  
  • Demonstrated ability to make good decisions in emergency situations.
  • Strong scientific background for understanding, preparing, and performing experiments.
  • Knowledge of bacterial culture including knowledge of aseptic techniques, autoclaving and media preparation.  
  • Knowledge of stress and/or illness in plants, animals and microorganisms used in experiments in the teaching facilities and ability to take corrective measures when necessary.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Microsoft Excel for inventories and grade record keeping.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in written and oral form.
  • Demonstrated ability to train and supervise work study students.
  • Demonstrated ability to evaluate and resolve problems that may arise in lab experiments or student and graduate teaching assistant situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task.
  • A valid driver’s license is required (in-state residents must have a WV driver’s license and non-residents must have a valid driver’s license for the state in which they reside).  The state of West Virginia requires that all drivers have a valid license.  The person in this position must be able to drive, unassisted and upon immediate notice, to other parts of the campus, around the city and/or state(s) when necessary.  The person in this position must also have their own vehicle, as state vehicles are not provided for this position.
  • Employee is responsible for keeping current the certifications needed (CPR, First Aid), supervisor's preference and mandated training for Hazardous waste, hazard communications and Laboratory safety, state and federal law.
  • Ability to carry up to 50 lbs.
  • Delicate equipment is used within the laboratory that must be handled with precision movements.  Hand eye coordination is necessary for the loading of gels, and pipetting of precise amounts of liquids.
  • This position works with and is exposed to living bacterial cultures, insects, etc., which may be harmful to individuals with impaired immune systems.
  • Some views through microscopes, colorimetric testing of water samples, and other laboratory tests require differentiation of color.

To apply, please visit WVU Careers, and upload (1)  a CV, (2) an application cover letter, (3) a statement of teaching and advising philosophy, and (4) a list of references with complete contact information. Finalists may be required to submit additional materials.

WVU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and the recipient of an NSF ADVANCE award for gender equity. The university values diversity among its faculty, staff, and students, and invites applications from all qualified individuals, including minorities, females, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.