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Research Technician - Fly Facility

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
United States, Maryland, Chevy Chase
4000 Jones Bridge Road (Show on map)
December 10, 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.


Perform professional work in support of scientific research. Assist in determining suitable methods to be used in research and perform scientific investigative procedures requiring application of professional judgment and technology. Perform preliminary interpretation of results and determine whether they are consistent with experimental goals. Review literature. Assemble and organize data and assist and the interpretation of that data.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Maintaining collection of Drosophila and C.elegans strains for experimental purposes - manually and utilizing robotics.

  • Independently perform genetic experiments. Must be able to score utilizing complex phenotypes or fluorescent markers.

  • Maintain and record data in FileMaker database. May use software applications to assemble, manipulate, format and/or perform statistical analyses of data.

  • Document progress of daily tasks and long term projects for independent and team tasks.

  • Continually improve processes and protocols. Develop new protocols when necessary.

  • Shipping of strains to collaborators.

  • Perform technical procedures such as microinjection.

  • 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.

  • Perform the duties of a Research Technician I as required.

Organizational Scope and Impact of Position

Contributes to research results on an on-going basis. Manages routine aspects of research projects. Some errors may not be caught due to level of autonomy; however, individual is supervised to contain errors. Plays a significant, but not central, role in the success of the unit.

Interactions with Others

Schedules work to meet assigned goals and may develop goals. Work is reviewed at key stages by supervisor but individual is self-directed to a degree. Brings conflicts to the attention of their supervisor for resolution. Actively contributes information and opinions to formal and informal problem solving process. May train others in technical areas.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in an appropriate field of science or technology or equivalent in education and experience AND two to four years of related research experience; or, an advanced degree in an appropriate area of science or technology AND one or more years of related laboratory experience.

  • Experience with Drosophila genetics preferred.

  • Experience with Excel, FileMaker or other relational databases preferred.

Skills & Abilities:

  • 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.

  • In depth knowledge in a specific areas of responsibility.

  • Fully understands role in the work unit and in related units as well as understanding how the job relates to the organization as a whole.

  • Good color vision

  • 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.

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