Research Assistant I (Biological Science)

Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN4.0

Full-timeEstimated: $26,000 - $37,000 a year
A molecular biology and genetics lab seeks an outstanding self-motivated Research Assistant I (RAI) who is passionate about research. This is especially an ideal position for a recent graduate with a Bachelor’s degree who wants to get the full ‘lab experience’. The research assistant will be the ‘go-to person’ for all lab-related help. The research assistant will also be the liaison and coordinator between the lab and ‘outside world’, including members from other labs, administrators, facilities personnel, and company sales reps. Hence, the candidate must be able to take initiative, have strong work ethic, be capable of working independently, have outstanding organizational and communication skills, be detail oriented, and work well with others. The candidate must be able to oversee multiple areas of the lab, perform administrative duties, assist undergraduate lab aides, perform experiments, and generally be resourceful when and where required.

The Department of Biological Sciences is currently chaired by Brandt Eichman and has an excellent staff to facilitate issue resolution involving personnel, financial management, supply and equipment orders proposal submission, and infrastructure. The faculty in the department carry out diverse research projects and often collaborate with other members within the department and in nearby departments.

The Department of Biological Sciences covers a broad spectrum of biology, from molecules and cells to tissues and organisms to populations and ecosystems. Award-winning faculty and graduate students teach and carry out research in Biochemistry, Structural Biology and Biophysics, Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Computational Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Ecology, Developmental Biology, and Neurobiology.

Duties and Responsibilities

Under supervision, plan, conduct and evaluate experiments and assays of varying complexity.
Plan and coordinate experiments directly or in conjunction with Principal Investigator (PI)
Understand and follow experimental protocols.
Take initiative and independently troubleshoot failed experiments and optimize procedures.
Employ proper molecular biology techniques to ensure consistency across samples and minimize contamination of valuable reagents.
Keep detailed records of experiments in a lab notebook.
Master technique to generate CRISPR knockout and transgenic lines.
Ensure smooth and effective laboratory operations.
Make common lab reagents and solutions as required.
Oversee preparation of media plates by undergraduate lab aides.
Maintain inventories and order supplies as needed.
Help Laboratory submit expense reports.
Serve as an emergency contact (e.g. in case of -80C failure).
Ensure all safety codes in the lab are up to date according to University guidelines. Maintain proper safety-related documentation.

Other duties as assigned

This position requires supervising of undergraduate lab aides. This position reports administratively to the Department Administrative Manager and functionally to Principal Investigator

Profile of an Ideal Candidate

A Bachelor’s degree is necessary.
At least one year of undergraduate research experience working in a molecular biology laboratory.
Strong references that can attest to the candidate’s experimental skills, attention to detail, and ability to work with others.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Vanderbilt University is committed to achieving the goal of a diverse and inclusive academic community of faculty, staff, and students. We seek individuals who are committed to this goal and our campus values.


Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.

Job: Research / Lab Tech / Paraprofessional
Primary Location: United States-Tennessee-Nashville
Organization: 12510 - Biological Sciences