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Senior Research Specialist (II/III) - Brangwynne Lab

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Princeton, New Jersey (US)
Competitive salary plus benefits
Closing date
May 27, 2022

View more

Life Sciences, Biology
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Research Scientist
Organization Type
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We currently have an opening for a Senior Research Specialist to join the laboratory Dr. Cliff Brangwynne at Princeton University. The Brangwynne lab works on understanding phase transitions in living cells, including the development of engineering technologies for probing and controlling how different states of matter affect biological function. Through combining concepts and tools from soft matter physics and molecular cell biology, they have revealed how the condensation of various liquid-like assemblies throughout the cell drive the flow of genetic information and its dysregulation in diseases such as cancer and ALS. More information on the Brangwynne lab can be found on their website.


This role will be responsible for helping coordinate and facilitate experimental and analytical work, as well as ensuring seamless operation of the lab through close partnership with the Investigator and Lab Manager. The position sits at the unique juncture of laboratory administration, management and benchwork, with the opportunity to play a key leadership role in helping to oversee the entire lab organization.  As such, we are looking for someone who not only has a passion for science, but an understanding of the importance of lab administration and the capacity for leadership, and a deep interest in helping the lab function at its highest level.


This person will serve a high-ranking scientific role within the lab, and will be responsible for many of the day-to-day operations.



Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Research Support:  65%. 

  • Support the collaborative research environment and provide guidance on technical and operational aspects of research. 

    • Identify methodological problems in research protocols and develop solutions to those problems. 

    • Develop innovative techniques and systems required to meet research goals, and may coordinate specialized research functions such as microscopy, genomic analysis/sequencing, DNA cloning etc.

  • Use and understand a wide variety of molecular and cellular biology protocols – such as cloning, DNA/RNA sequencing, cell culture, preparing reagents and protein gels

  • Orientation of new laboratory staff, including onboarding and training in DNA cloning, cell culture, and other standard cell/molecular biology techniques.

  • Support and mentor junior lab members in scientific methods, and instill in them a strong sense of lab citizenship

  • Participate in laboratory meetings and read literature applicable to the research area


Lab Operations:   35%. 

  • Oversee, implement, and/or ensure compliance on all policies governing the operation of the laboratory, such as laboratory safety, animal protocols, etc.

  • Coordinating with other laboratory staff to monitor laboratory inventory and oversight on ordering and budgetary questions

  • Oversight of process optimization in the lab, and be a change champion for improved policies and procedures

  • Serve as main point of contact for personnel issues

  • Assist with lab organization and maintenance of inventory, equipment, etc.


Along with other duties as assigned by the Principal Investigator, the candidate will serve as the senior member of the lab, acting as a resource for both students and staff for a variety of issues.




  • Master’s Degree in Biology or a related field, or equivalent experience and education

    • PhD preferred

  • At least 5 years of post-undergraduate experience working in a research laboratory, and familiarity with cell/molecular biology techniques

  • A strong desire to mentor and teach students of all levels

  • Excellent analytical, communication, problem solving, and organizational skills

  • Good writing skills, to support writing reports, corresponding with collaborators, etc

  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member

  • Able to learn complex tasks with general instruction, and to use experience to perform a variety of new techniques

  • Actively seeks opportunities to increase skills and expertise

  • Demonstrated leadership qualities


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 standard molecular biology hazards, including malodorous vapors, 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.

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