Research Scientist, Virology (#1556)

Frederick, Maryland
September 20 2019
Life Sciences, Virology
Organization Type

Research Scientist, Virology (#1556)



The National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) federal laboratory sponsored by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate and operated by the Battelle National Biodefense Institute, LLC (BNBI).


The Research Scientist will leverage significant technical expertise and research laboratory experience in molecular virology, synthetic biology, and/or other biotechnology applications to complement an interdisciplinary team of scientists in the National Biological Threat Characterization Center (NBTCC) at the NBACC. Working within the Virology Group, the successful candidate will be expected to develop and refine research methods, to execute approved research study plans, and to directly support Principal Investigators in the quality control, processing, and analysis of scientific data. Research projects will be designed to examine the physical properties, infectivity, and/or pathogenesis of viral agents. This work will be conducted in state-of-the-art laboratories fully CDC-accredited to work with Select Agent viral pathogens at BSL-2, -3, and -4 biocontainment.

  • Bachelor of Science (or equivalent) in a scientific discipline or engineering, and a minimum of 9 years related experience or a Master’s degree and a minimum of 7 years experience.
  • Demonstrated success in providing technical leadership and resource coordination to multiple research projects.
  • Experienced technical mentor and/or trainer of research personnel on multiple laboratory instrument platforms and/or experimental processes.
  • Proficiency in multiple molecular and/or synthetic biology techniques (e.g., PCR, qPCR, RT-qPCR, molecular cloning into eukaryotic expression vectors, Gibson assembly, Sanger or NGS sequencing, genome editing utilizing CRISPR/Cas systems).
  • Proficiency in multiple molecular virology techniques (e.g., transfection and transduction of eukaryotic cells, virus rescue and reverse genetics systems, generation of recombinant viruses and/or viral vectors).
  • Proficiency performing techniques required for virus infectivity assays (e.g., maintenance of continuous mammalian cell cultures, plaque assay, TCID50 assay, fluorescence microscopy, virus stock production, virus isolation).
  • Highly skilled scientific proficiency in laboratory functions.  Possesses the ability to identify issues and recommend solutions to institutional science protocols, procedures and experimental plans. 
  • Proficiency and clarity of oral and written communications are essential.
  • Exemplary organizational skills with a proven track record of working effectively both independently and as a team player.
  • Knowledge or experience with biocontainment facilities and procedures, laboratory safety, biosurety, and decontamination desirable.
  • Skills and experience to support laboratory activities and work in accordance with NBACC’s management system (e.g., ISO).
  • Must be a citizen of the United States, able to obtain an interim secret clearance leading to a top secret clearance, suitability for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a favorable adjudication of the Department of Justice (DoJ) for select agent access, and enrollment in the Personnel Reliability Program (PRP).  Current clearance(s) desirable.
  • Participation in the Immunization Program through Corporate Occupational Health Solutions, LLC (CorpOHS) is required.
  • May be required to participate in NBACC’s alternative work and/or on-call schedule, dependent upon business needs.


  • Provides technical leadership and/or support to multiple projects simultaneously, while exercising considerable judgment and initiative to effectively and efficiently conduct virology threat characterization studies in BSL-2, 3, & 4 biocontainment laboratories.
  • Provides mentorship and training to personnel on techniques where the employee is considered to be a subject matter expert (SME).
  • Identifies opportunities for technical refinement of existing processes while also working with the Technical Staff Supervisor and Principal Investigators to coordinate the development of new capabilities. 
  • Provides direct support to Principal Investigators in the quality control, processing, and analysis of scientific data; makes significant contributions to the preparation of project technical reports and other data deliverables.
  • Applies extensive direct experience in virus culture and infectivity measuresments, molecular virology, and/or synthetic biology in support of research project plans. 
  • Participates in and/or leads the testing and evaluation of new technologies and protocols to improve the NBACC’s ability to serve its customers.
  • May support other research areas of NBACC with appropriate training as program demands dictate.
  • Determines methods and procedures and develops high quality draft protocols, task-specific procedures and SOPs.
  • Maintains continuous cell cultures and participates in general laboratory upkeep duties as needed.
  • May serve as a Laboratory Space Manager, Assistant Laboratory Space Manager or BSAT designee.
  • Provides programmatic support to principal investigators to plan and monitor the progress of projects and provide input to programmatic documents.
  • Consistently performs work on complex scientific projects requiring independent action and high degree of initiative, while developing scientific experimental plans to produce a consistent high quality science product.
  • Determines methods and procedures on new assignments.
  • May be an informal team leader who makes institutional-level contributions, anticipates issues and opportunities to improve, and builds group consensus approaches.
  • Maintains a safe work environment by participating in specialized training and review of safety manuals and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Identifies departures from the Quality Management System (QMS) and initiates actions to investigate and prevent such occurrences.
  • Maintains and evaluates records of analysis and reviews laboratory results, plans and reports. 
  • Ensures that equipment, reagents and supplies are maintained and used properly. 
  • Maintains appropriate records.
  • Performs other assigned duties.

BNBI is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.