Research Specialist

Job description

Position Type:

Permanent Staff (SHRA)

Is this an internal only recruitment?:


Position Title:

Research Specialist - Advanced

Working Title:

Research Specialist

Position Number:


Vacancy ID:


Budgeted Hiring Range:

$61,458 - $72,315

Pay Band Information:

To learn more about the pay band for this branch and role, please see the Career Banding rates spreadsheet.

Salary Grade Equivalent:


Full-time/Part-time Permanent/Time-Limited:

Full-Time Permanent

Hours per week:


Work Schedule:

Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm.

Department Name and Number:

Pathology Lab Med - Recharge-413805

Date First Posted:


Closing Date:


Position Location:

Chapel Hill, NC

Position Posting Category:

Research Professionals

Department Description:

The three coequal missions of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine are to: 1) provide exceptional, comprehensive, clinically effective and cost effective pathology and laboratory medicine services to UNC HealthCare patients; 2) teach clinical and scientific concepts of pathology and laboratory medicine, and mechanisms of disease to a wide variety of learners, including medical students, postdoctoral residents, MD fellows, PhD graduate students, and undergraduate students; and 3) advance the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine, and the knowledge of diseases and disease mechanisms through innovative research spanning the spectrum from basic to translational to clinical.

The Department of Pathology and Lab Medicine performs anatomic and clinical diagnostic tests on both an inpatient and an outpatient basis, and performs autopsies, when requested by clinicians. The Department has a MD Residency Training Program in the Office of Graduate Medical Education. In the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department is responsible for the teaching of undergraduate level courses. In the Graduate School, the department has a graduate program in experimental pathology which offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees.

This department is devoted to research in many diverse areas of expertise. Many of the research initiatives are nationally and internationally known, and the Chair is dedicated to further expansion of the breadth of the research endeavors. Most research is wholly managed and funded by contracts and grants within the Department.

Equal Opportunity Employer:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.

Position Description:

This Research Specialist position will lead the electron microscopy operations in the Microscopy Services Laboratory, an imaging core facility that serves hundreds of laboratories at the University of Carolina, as well as academic and commercial entities in the region and nation-wide.

The position requires a person that is hard-working, attentive to detail, with excellent organization and communication skills, and a dedicated team player. They will have the opportunity to contribute to a wide range of research projects in the biomedical sciences, including SARS-CoV-2 research.

Duties are varied and include:
- Meeting with clients to determine optimal electron microscopy techniques for their projects, as well as communicating expected timelines and costs for completion.
- Preparing samples for transmission and scanning electron microscopy, using a variety of techniques that include resin embedding, cutting and staining ultrathin sections, immunoEM, critical point drying and sputtering, among others.
- Imaging samples on transmission and scanning electron microscopes.
- Managing several sample preparation and imaging projects simultaneously while communicating expectations to clients and meeting deadlines.
- Teaching electron microscopy imaging and some aspects of sample preparation to researchers.
- Performing maintenance on electron microscopes and sample preparation instruments, troubleshooting equipment failures, and communicating with vendors to facilitate more complex maintenance and repairs. Maintenance will require the employee to be able to maneuver behind and under the equipment in a confined 3ft. × 3ft. space. Some equipment pieces that will need to be removed for servicing will weigh as much as 30lbs.
- Researching new electron microscopy sample preparation techniques and instrumentation.
- Supervising the work of another Research Specialist in electron microscopy.
- Occasionally collaborating with researchers at the level of authorship/co-authorship.
- Advising the director of the Microscopy Services Laboratory on strategic equipment purchases and improvements to operations in the electron microscopy domain.

Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to the area of assignment; or equivalent combination of training and experience. All degrees must be received from appropriately accredited institutions.

Essential Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

Proficient in transmission and scanning electron microscopy imaging.

Proficient in the following electron microscopy sample preparation techniques:
- Resin embedding for TEM using epoxy or acrylic resins
- Ultramicrotomy
- Staining of samples for transmission electron microscopy
- Special stains/cytochemical techniques
- Immunocytochemistry
- Negative staining of samples for transmission electron microscopy
- Critical point drying
- Sputter coating

Preferred Qualifications:

Masters degree or higher.

At least 5 years’ experience in electron microscopy sample preparation techniques.

At least 5 years’ experience in electron microscopy imaging.

At least 2 years’ experience in a core facility or similar shared resource setting

Position/Schedule Requirements:

Evening work occasionally, Laboratory

Stimulus/ARRA Funded:





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Job No:
Posted: 3/4/2021
Application Due: 3/25/2021
Work Type: Full Time