Human Resources Employment Opportunities

Laboratory Coordinator

Apply now Job no: 503592
Position Type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Boston
Department: Biology
Pay Grade: 31
Date opened: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

General Summary: 

The Laboratory Coordinator within the Biology Department will be responsible for the daily operation of the biology teaching laboratories in the Integrated Science Complex (ISC). The incumbent will provide technical support to the department and its operations in the ISC; will supervise the execution of course experiences and will follow through on evaluation and implementation of new laboratory exercises and courses.  S/he will be responsible for organizing and providing entry-level lab technician opportunities for undergraduate students and will train and manage lab assistants to meet the responsibilities of the position; and will assist in the training of graduate student teaching assistants, while providing technical knowledge of experimental protocols, equipment and techniques used in courses.  The Laboratory Coordinator will also serve as a help desk for technical support by coordinating resources for researchers and instructors.  This position is one of the technical representatives of the Biology Department for the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM) Dean’s Office and provides technical support of a biological nature to other departments, both within CSM and the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), as required. 

Examples of Duties: 

  • Provide assistance to faculty, graduate teaching assistants, staff and students in the set up and operation of laboratory equipment, instruments and experimental apparatus used in teaching and research environments; maintain contact with the Department of Environmental Health and Safety to ensure that the operations of the biology laboratories meet safety  requirements;
  • Oversee the production and logistics of all biology lab technicians; check in with technicians to evaluate issues, recommend solutions and acknowledge and promote the continuation of successful procedures; confer regarding materials and instruments shared or needed and provide instruction or direction, as needed; monitor the status of technicians’ work and make recommendations regarding support and logistics; mentor junior technical staff;
  • Oversee the hiring of student employees interested in laboratory positions on a semester basis; review resumes, interview hire and train student laboratory assistants; provide oversight over their production, testing and clean-up of course experimental stations in laboratories using the appropriate equipment, apparatus, cultures and reagents; mentor student laboratory assistants regarding lab experience and other career building opportunities and issues;
  • Assist in the development of new laboratory exercises, workshops and courses at the undergraduate and graduate level; provide quality control and incorporate changes into the lab manuals and preparatory notes; acquire, demonstrate and incorporate updates in equipment and protocols;  
  • Supervise lab courses as they take place to ensure correct execution, operation of equipment and compliance to standard operating procedures; troubleshoot issues as they arise to control the quality of the student lab experience; instruct and supervise assistants, instructors and students as required; 
  • Provide replacement or repair of experimental set ups when needed; confer weekly with faculty and teaching assistants for advance training and supervise trial training run of experimentation with new graduate student teaching assistants prior to their teaching; provide data at weekly meetings along troubleshooting tips;
  • Maintain the safe operation of the Biology laboratories ensuring the proper and safe storage and handling of hazardous materials, including chemicals, pressurized gases, liquid nitrogen, hazardous/bio-hazardous waste and mercury and UV lamps; inform faculty, teaching assistants and students in the proper use of these materials; provide safety protocols associated with experiments, equipment or protocols that may be injurious if not performed correctly; supervise teaching lab environments to insure compliance;
  • Research and recommend the purchasing of equipment and supplies primarily for but not limited to the Biology department teaching labs; maintain knowledge of current support and equipment to be available and resourceful to faculty, when requested; offer recommendations regarding equipment purchases of a scientific or laboratory nature including but not limited to lab and field sample collection or measuring devices, computers, peripherals, software, centrifuges, microscopes, reagents, disposables, and general lab support items like freezers and refrigerators to individuals in other departments;
  • Maintain overall institutional knowledge of the department’s teaching and research facilities, while carrying out and maintaining space and equipment inventories; make recommendations regarding teaching lab logistics and operations, including the planning of the ISC and the renovations of biology allotted space remaining in other buildings;
  • Provide help desk and technical support and offer services to those requesting help or use of facilities within the department;
  • Maintain electronic copies of lab manuals and produce student packets in preparation of the start of each semester for select courses; assist in with editing and/or rewriting exercises or developing new exercises; assist in writing lab practical exams; prepare and set up for lab practical exams and help proctor when required;
  • Oversee the secure use of rooms and equipment and provide security for computers and peripherals, as well as other departmental equipment;
  • Monitor the general operation of equipment and provide maintenance, calibration and repair when needed; request equipment maintenance from the vendor when necessary; recommend new equipment purchases to replace outdated or broken instrument; surplus obsolete and broken equipment and when possible, salvage and reconstitute devices;
  • Maintain shared departmental facilities in the ISC; maintain logs of use and performance tests and create and provide training, including written support, on best practices and safe use of equipment;
  • Maintain and adjust laboratory and prep space environments to accommodate the needs of laboratory preparation, classes, experiments and presentations; relocate lab furnishings and equipment as needed;
  • Maintain the inventory of lab disposables, as well as reusable hardware and equipment; maintain inventories of chemicals, preserved specimens, frozen samples;
  • Keep records of equipment in use, borrowed for research or teaching, and track the distribution and state of equipment upon return; supervise the use of departmental teaching, prep and certain departmental shared space;
  • Prepare labs and spaces for special events and presentations by the department, as well as those run by other departments, groups or workshops; move equipment, adjust the lab and room environment, setup experiments, present demonstrations and provide the required audiovisual support;
  • Interact with the support services of Facilities to ensure that laboratories provide a safe, secure, clean and healthy environment for lectures and labs;
  • Provide full support for teaching lab computers; set up, secure, monitor and provide support for digital imaging or general use, as requested; surplus computers as required and recommend the purchasing of new models, when appropriate; resolve software and hardware conflicts and problems and/or confer with IT or software companies, when needed; reserve IT mobile or other computer labs when more computers are needed for laboratory exercises and assist with the set-up and secure  the use of the mobile computer lab in the biology labs;
  • Monitor written and/or electronic materials and attend seminars to stay abreast of current changes in equipment and protocols used in the training and safety in laboratories;
  • Create and maintain websites for teaching and departmental laboratory facilities utilizing University online software to post lab course related information;
  • Perform other duties as assigned. 

Qualifications: 

Bachelor’s Degree in Biology or a closely related field, Master’s Degree in Biology or Biochemistry preferred, and a minimum of three-five (3-5) years of experience in the management of experimental laboratories handling various electronic and optical components is required. The incumbent may be required to work flexible hours, including evening and/or weekends, to undertake a variety of assignments and to complete work expeditiously. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in the use of photographic equipment, audiovisual equipment and digital imaging devices. 
  • Experience in sterile technique, basic microbiology and maintaining live cultures of bacteria (i.e.- algae, plants, invertebrates (Drosophila and C. elegans) and protists). 
  • Experience in collecting and maintaining specimens for teaching (i.e. – plants, marine invertebrates and vertebrates). 
  • Experience in website maintenance and the use of electronic storage and sharing software. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge in the use of computers, software environments and interfacing computers with experimental apparatus;
  • Knowledge of the use, maintenance and calibration of electronic equipment;
  • Ability to assemble, test, troubleshoot and modify experiments in biology and biochemistry;
  • Ability to make presentations to students(both graduate and undergraduate) and faculty in both a classroom and laboratory environment and to provide instruction in the operation to faculty, teaching assistants and students;
  • Ability to generate reports and maintain records;
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team setting;
  • Ability to create and analyze results of surveys to track student lab experiences;
  • Ability to organize logistics of on-going teaching activities in multiple spaces;
  • Ability to generate and work with large databases of departmental information;
  • Ability to answer general technical questions, generate ideas and/or offer guidance and training to individuals regarding the use of equipment and experimental protocols for both teaching and research;
  • Ability to prioritize duties in a changing environment, to undertake a variety of  assignments  and  to complete work in a timely fashion;
  • Physical ability to move equipment and materials to required locations;
  • Willingness to work with chemicals, pressurized gases, liquid nitrogen and to handle hazardous waste;
  • Willingness to adapt to and learn new protocols and instrumentation, as well as maintaining a mix of resources;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Strong organizational and problem-solving skills;
  • Strong commitment to customer service. 

Application Instructions: 

Please apply online with your resume, cover letter and list of three professional references.

Review of candidates will begin following the application closing date. 

Only Internal candidates in the Professional Staff Bargaining Unit will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting.  All other candidates will be considered after that period. 

Salary Ranges for the appropriate Pay Grade can be found at the following link: 

Salary Ranges

All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

The University of Massachusetts Boston provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, genetic information, pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, or membership in any other protected class. The University of Massachusetts Boston complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the university operates. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is committed to providing a safe and secure environment that is supported by qualified employees for all of its students, faculty and staff to carry out the University's teaching, research and public service missions. As a condition of employment, the University will conduct appropriate background check reviews. For more information, please see the University of Massachusetts Boston campus policy and procedures for employee background reviews.

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