Research Coordinator

Job description

Job Title: Research Coordinator
Location: PMI
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Job ID: 605082
Workplace Culture

NAU is a community devoted to student success and sustained by an unshakable commitment to our shared mission, vision, and values. We—faculty, staff, and administrators—thrive by combining our efforts and working side by side to further NAU’s culture of excellence.

Core Values One NAU side by side Student Centered | Integrity | Diversity | Service | Discovery | Excellence Northern Arizona University

Immigration Suppt/Sponsorship

NAU will not provide any U.S. immigration support or sponsorship for this position.

Furlough/Pay Reduction Program

Northern Arizona University has implemented a salary reduction with personal flex time program in fiscal year 2021, as a result of COVID-19. It is possible for this position to be subject to this program. Details can be found on the HR website.

Job Description

The Pathogen and Microbiome Institute (PMI) at Northern Arizona University (NAU) seeks a Research Coordinator for the purpose of managing and operating the day-to-day business of our next-generation sequencing pipeline. PMI is a mission-driven, collaborative research institute that combines the academic genomic research focus of NAU and the translational genomics capacity of TGen (Translational Genomics Research Institute). Specifically, this position is part of the Joint Sequencing Core for PMI whose mission is to provide readily accessible sequencing for all faculty and staff in the Institute; we are not a fee-for-service facility nor do we provide services outside of our Institute. The position itself will operate out of TGen North at 3051 W. Shamrell Blvd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 but will require commuting between TGen North and the NAU campus in Flagstaff, AZ.

Experience with basic and applied laboratory techniques such as DNA extraction, PCR, PCR-product quantification and clean-up, library preparation protocols for next generation sequencing technologies, use of Illumina platforms, the ability to work independently as well as with a diverse team, prior experience managing multiple projects simultaneously, as well as supervisory experience are highly desired qualifications.

Primary duties fall into four major categories: Coordination/Communication, Laboratory Duties, Troubleshooting, and Development of the Pipeline and Core, each of which is detailed below.

1. Coordination/Communication

  • Assist the Core’s Associate Director in coordination of sequencing runs among all research groups at PMI and TGen North.
  • Attend weekly, monthly, etc. meetings specific to the Joint Sequencing Core.
  • Provide regular updates to researchers as to the status of their samples within the sequencing pipeline.
  • Inform and educate all research teams of new developments and new systems in the field, as necessary, primarily through a monthly newsletter.
  • Work closely with product vendors and obtain yearly quotes for supplies and reagents.
  • Perform administrative functions such as: placing orders for reagents and supplies, sequencing kit tracking, managing inventory, updating sequencing calendar, updating price lists for faculty grant writers, preparing various reports and presentations.
  • Provide user-friendly resources to researchers for their sequencing submissions and library preparation.
  • Provide reports with sequencing statistics and metrics for Core meetings, supervisor(s), and/or researchers.

2. Laboratory Duties

  • Operate and maintain all sequencing instruments (five Illumina instruments).
  • Operate and maintain additional laboratory and experimental equipment such as: sonication systems, automated liquid handler, QuantStudio7, BioAnalyzer.
  • Assist researchers in the planning and execution of sequencing for research projects.
  • Serve as a resource for all users in best practices for sequencing and library preparation.
  • Perform skilled procedures, tests, and analyses at various points in the sequencing process, dependent on the researcher’s needs, from initial DNA quantification through the transfer of electronic files containing sequencing data back to the researcher.
  • Assist in the design and implementation of a database for tracking metadata and sample preparation progress.
  • Maintain an organized and neat laboratory notebook and other records.

3. Troubleshooting

  • Perform repairs and/or make arrangements for repairs to be performed on instruments as necessary.
  • Evaluate and analyze data to ensure high quality. May also summarize the quality of a sequencing run for participating investigators and/or supervisors.
  • Initiate measures to improve sequencing library preparation practices and other procedures related to sequencing.
  • Assists in the development of written standard operating procedures and performs quality control checks to ensure procedures are followed.

4. Development of the Pipeline and Core

  • Self-educate on current methodologies, technologies, and available reagents to keep the sequencing core in the modern sphere. Identify when changes should be made to the pipeline, as needed.
  • Work with the Bioinformatics Core to develop technological/web-based initiatives to improve flow and use for the sequencing pipeline.
  • Supervise, monitor, or coordinate work of one or more student employees.
  • Implement and disseminate novel methods to researchers in the Institute.
  • Provide training for new laboratory staff in sample preparation and pipeline submission procedures.
  • May assist in the preparation and writing of manuscripts for publication.
  • May be responsible for the training of new staff and/or student employees.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Master’s degree in Biology, Bioinformatics, or related field; OR
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Bioinformatics, or related field plus 2 years of relevant laboratory experience; OR
  • Combination of education and experience in a related field/research lab.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Knowledge and technical expertise in next generation sequencing with Illumina platforms.
  • Experience with molecular genetic analysis and sequencing techniques, such as: DNA extraction and purification, mechanical and chemical DNA shearing techniques, polymerase chain reaction, clean-up of PCR products, quantification of PCR products, agarose gel usage, real time-PCR.
  • Experience with storage, maintenance, and tracking of various sample types and genomic DNA products.
  • Experience working with and organizing large data sets.
  • Experience managing and/or balancing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Ability to work well as part of a team and independently.
  • Expertise with Microsoft Office Software (Word, Excel) as well as Google applications (Docs, Sheets, Slides).
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent communication skills.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
  • Knowledge of targeted and/or amplicon sequencing techniques.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Skill in analyzing and evaluating data and performing quality control.
  • Skill in coordinating and supervising the work of others.
  • The ability to work effectively with people from a variety of culturally diverse backgrounds.

Background Information

This position has been identified as a safety/security sensitive position. Therefore, per AZ Revised Statute, Northern Arizona University requires satisfactory results for the following: a criminal background investigation, employment history investigation, degree verification (in some cases) and fingerprinting.

If you are applying for a job that requires a CDL, you will be required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse and adhere to the clearinghouse requirements.

Additionally, as an employer in the state of Arizona, NAU is required to participate in the federal E-Verify program that assists employers with verifying new employees' right to work in the United States.

Finally, each year Northern Arizona University releases an Annual Security Report. The report is a result of a federal law known as the Clery Act. The report includes Clery reportable crime statistics for the three most recent completed calendar years and discloses procedures, practices and programs NAU uses to keep students and employees safe including how to report crimes or other emergencies occurring on campus. In addition, the Fire Safety Report is combined with the Annual Security Report for the NAU Flagstaff Mountain Campus and NAU-Fort Defiance as these campuses have on-campus student housing. This report discloses fire safety policies and procedures related to on-campus student housing and statistics for fires that occurred in those facilities.

If you would like a free paper copy of the report, please contact the NAUPD Records Department at (928) 523-8884 or by visiting the department at 525 E. Pine Knoll Drive in Flagstaff.


Commensurate with experience.

**The starting salary will be determined by the qualifications of the selected applicant balanced with departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information.

FLSA Status

This position is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and therefore will not earn overtime or compensatory time for additional time worked.


This is a Classified Staff (CLS) position. NAU offers an excellent benefit package including generous health, dental and vision insurance; participation in the Arizona State Retirement System; paid vacation and 10 holidays per year; and tuition reduction for employees and qualified dependents. More information on benefits at NAU is available on the Human Resources benefits website. Classified Staff employees are in a probationary status for their first six months at NAU.

NAU is a tobacco and smoke-free campus.

Employees offered a position will be eligible for state health plans (including NAU's BCBS Plan). New employees are eligible for benefits on the first day of the pay period following their enrollment, after their employment date. Employees will have 31 days from their start date to enroll in benefits. Additionally, new employees will begin participating in the Arizona State Retirement System, and the long-term disability coverage that accompanies it, on the first of the pay period following 6 months after the new employee's start date.

Learning and Development

Your career at Northern Arizona University includes the opportunity for professional development. New employee on-boarding training includes courses to be completed within the first 30 days. If your position includes the supervision of a benefit-eligible employee, we offer the NAU Supervisors Academy for you to complete within your first 2 years.

Application Deadline

October 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please click on the "Apply" button on this page. You must submit your application by clicking on the "Submit" button by midnight of the application deadline. If you need assistance completing your application there are instructions available on the Human Resources website or in person in the Human Resources Department located in Building 91 on the NAU Campus - on the corner of Beaver and DuPont Streets.

If you are an individual with a disability and need reasonable accommodation to participate in the hiring process please contact the Office of Equity and Access at: 928-523-3312/TDD - 928-523-1006 or PO Box 4083, Flagstaff AZ 86011.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Northern Arizona University is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution. Women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. NAU is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

EEO is the Law Poster and Supplements

NAU is an Employer of National Service. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other National Service alumni are encouraged to apply.




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Job No:
Posted: 10/7/2020
Application Due: 10/23/2020
Work Type: