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Study Support Technician - Behavior & Experimental

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
United States, Maryland, Chevy Chase
4000 Jones Bridge Road (Show on map)
October 23, 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.


The Study Support Technician II (SSTII) position will provide advanced technical procedures and standard services related to animal husbandry to support scientific research at Janelia. This will include a variety of laboratory animal species, including, but not limited to mice, rats, and zebrafish. Under minimal supervision the position will be focused on ensuring the highest degree of animal care and welfare while supporting and working with Janelia researchers conducting basic science in a dynamic team-oriented environment.

We are recruiting for three Study Support Technicians at this time.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Performs at an intermediate level of independence and autonomy.

  • Ensures a high-level of care and scientific support to rodents in non-standard housing environments.

  • Conducts basic to mid-level support related to daily duties during weekdays and weekends (i.e. providing food and water to restricted animals, inventory stocking, etc.).

  • Provides basic to intermediate support for behavioral projects and other support of researchers' studies.

  • Monitors animals before, during, and after experimental procedures.

  • Maintains a variety of specialized equipment related to behavioral projects (i.e. rigs, arenas, etc.).

  • Utilizes a variety of software (i.e. MatLab, SharePoint, etc.) for specific projects.

  • Organizes and prioritizes tasks within daily duties to ensure project goals are met.

  • Actively contributes information and opinions to formal and informal problem-solving processes.

  • Participates and/or actively contributes to laboratory meetings and planning sessions.

  • Collects, records, and analyzes data related to behavioral studies, Vivarium-led projects, and other procedures performed to support researchers' studies.

  • May conduct literature reviews to assist in determining the most suitable behavioral methods or other procedures to support researchers' studies.

  • May train staff or researchers on routine and specialized tasks relating to behavior projects and/or other experimental support.

Technical Procedures:

  • Independently manage breeding colonies of rodents and zebrafish.

  • Independently perform tasks to manage breeding colonies, such as animal identification, tissue sampling for genetic analysis, and weaning.

  • Independently determine which animals to keep, pass along to researchers, breed, or euthanize, when managing breeding colonies.

  • Perform advanced health monitoring as per IACUC protocol requirements.

  • Provide assistance with behavior acclimations.

  • Provide other minor technical support for species housed (e.g. restraining animals, collecting blood, performing injections, clinical treatments) as directed.

Husbandry Services:

  • Perform animal husbandry and animal care support services to multiple species, including non-standard species (e.g. providing feed, water, clean cages, and daily observations of each animal).

  • Receive, examine and properly house incoming animal shipments.

  • Clean and sanitize animal holding or procedure rooms.

  • Provide environmental enrichment appropriate to the species housed.

  • Utilize databases for animal recordkeeping, including but not limited to, animal housing and study support.

  • Assist with receiving, stocking and maintenance of all supply inventories.

  • Maintain and record appropriate data for all duties completed.

  • Additional departmental/project specific activities as assigned and listed in the corresponding job description supplement.



  • Bachelor's or Associate's degree in life science or any other related field preferred.

  • ALAT certified with AALAS required; LAT certified within one year.


  • Two years of experience working with vertebrate animal species.

  • Experience in a basic or applied science research setting preferred. This could include academic, industry, or non-profit.

  • Alternative combinations of education and experience will be considered; e.g. High School diploma and 6 years of experience working with vertebrate animal species.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to identify changes in an animal's behavior or health and provide basic prescribed treatments.

  • Enthusiastic and self-motivated individual, with the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

  • Ability to learn tasks quickly.

  • Excellent skills in Microsoft Office and/or Google Docs.

  • Ability to balance multiple requests and assignments.

  • Ability to work effectively as part of a team effort.

  • Ability to make and meet commitments.

  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative, rapidly changing environment to accomplish mutual goals.

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication, written and verbal, skills to deal effectively with research scientists, laboratory technical staff, administrative staff, management, outside contractors, and vendors.

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).

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 site to learn more.

HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer