We use cookies. Find out more about it here. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
Back to search results

Vivarium Support Supervisor

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
United States, Maryland, Chevy Chase
June 21, 2022

Primary Work Address: 19700 Helix Drive, Ashburn, VA, 20147

Current HHMI Employees, click here to apply via your Workday account.

Janelia Research Campus is a pioneering research center in Ashburn, Virginia, where scientists pursue fundamental questions in neuroscience and imaging. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) launched Janelia in 2006, establishing an intellectually distinctive environment for scientists to do creative, collaborative, hands-on work. Our integrated teams of biologists, computational scientists, and tool-builders pursue a small number of scientific questions with potential for transformative impact. We share our methods, results, and tools with the scientific community. It is a uniquely innovative and collaborative atmosphere that reflects HHMI's reputation for excellence.

Summary: The Vivarium Support Supervisoris responsible for managing and distributing the workload within the departmentand/or project. The Leadwill perform tasks associated with completing the workload, alongside other members of the department.This person will have a strong knowledge of the department's/project'soperation, the skills and abilities of the departmental/project'sstaff, and the needs of the researchers they are providing services foror collaborating with. Additionally, the Leadwill have primary responsibilityfor trainingstaff on the techniques and services the department/projectprovides.Theymay alsomanageadefinedproject-specific budget and mayor may nothavedirectsupervisory responsibilities.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for the onboarding, training, and supervision of Vivarium Support Technicians (VST's), including scheduling, evaluating, and ensuring completion of assigned duties.
  • Ensure VST's and other Vivarium staff operate and maintain equipment (e.g. tunnel washer with dirty-side and clean-side robots, rack washer, autoclaves, small cabinet washer, and misting tunnel) according to guidelines, performance standards, and in adherence to safety procedures and policies.
  • Work with outside contract organizations (e.g. ECHO) that support the Cagewash operation.
  • Develop and maintain facility guidelines, procedures, and policies for Cagewash and facility support operations.
  • Implement continuous improvement to the Cagewash operation and facility support processes, procedures, and equipment.
  • Responsible for the use, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of all Vivarium equipment critical the support of animal husbandry operations. This includes but is not limited to: cage washers, automatic watering, lighting controls, ventilated racks and blowers, and autoclaves. This may involve working with Janelia Facilities, EH&S, and/or equipment manufacturers to effectively troubleshoot and coordinate necessary repairs.
  • Responsible for maintaining sufficient quantities of Vivarium supplies on hand, including but not limited to: PPE, feed, bedding, caging equipment, enrichment, and other supplies as needed.
  • Assist in the development, implementation, and delivery of departmental training programs.
  • Work with Janelia Facilities as the Vivarium representative on facility construction and renovation, facility maintenance, movement of equipment in and out of the Vivarium, and special facilities requests by researchers. May include communicating with outside vendors.
  • Communicate with Vivarium staff, researchers, and other Vivarium users regarding planned or emergency construction and/or maintenance projects and the potential impacts to their work in the Vivarium.
  • Work with EH&S as the Vivarium representative to ensure Vivarium waste and hazardous and non-hazardous materials are properly disposed per institutional requirements.
  • May provide supervisory on-call support on a rotating basis for the Vivarium, for all species and duties covered. With potential to include weekend and holiday rotations.
  • Conduct or participate in interviews of applicants for open positions.
  • Lead and/or collaborate with Vivarium leadership in developing recommendations regarding personnel actions, including hiring, promotions, performance reviews, and rate increases.
  • Clean and sanitize animal rooms, support areas, and other areas as needed.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned.


  • Education: College degree preferred; High school diploma required with 8 years related experience.
  • Experience: A minimum of two years successful performance in automated animal research Cagewash facility operations and one-year leadership/managerial experience.
  • Certification/Licensure: Certification by AALAS at the LAT level required, and LATg required within one year of hire.

An equivalent combination of education, experience, and certification may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated proficiency in detergent/disinfectant usage, use of autoclaves, automated washing machines and conveyors, bedding dispensers, and liquid proportioners.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain and repair facility equipment.
  • Demonstrated ability to train new employees to competency in all aspects of facility Cagewash performance.
  • Basic computer skills for recordkeeping preferred.
  • Must be able to follow verbal and written instructions and exhibit interpersonal skills that are conducive to effective communication and that contribute to a congenial work environment.
  • Maintain positive work atmosphere by behaving and communicating in a professional manner with clients, customers, coworkers, and supervisors.
  • Ability to read, write, speak, and understand English.

Physical Requirements:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee frequently is required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls. The employee is regularly required to stand and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee is regularly required to stand and sit and move from one area of the facility to another. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. Ability to read, write, speak, and understand English.

Additional Information:

While performing the duties of this job, the employee frequently works near moving mechanical parts; with laboratory animal caging of various species including but not limited to mice, rats, and other rodents, as well as fish and other aquatic species; may also be frequently exposed to wet and/or humid conditions, fumes, or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals, biohazard materials and risk of electrical shock. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate and occasionally high. Generally, 40 hours per week. May be required to work some weekends or later hours to complete duties.

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 site to learn more.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Applied = 0