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Laboratory Research Assistant

The University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

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Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians
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Position OverviewThe Billings Lab at the University of Kansas (KU) explores terrestrial ecosystem ecology questions. The successful applicant for this position will serve as an Assistant Researcher in the Billings Lab at the University of Kansas, where we explore questions of terrestrial ecosystem ecology. The successful applicant will assist the lab PI, lab manager, and additional lab personnel in the pursuit of their research. Tasks include equipment maintenance and repair, organizing and archiving samples, organizing lab spaces according to changing research needs, sample preparation, ordering supplies, preparing for and implementing field work at local and remote sites, and some data analysis depending on applicant skillsets. Occasionally, non-standard work week hours may be required. Job Description35% - Sample processing in the lab. Processing samples and running them on various features of lab infrastructure that include but are not limited to a gas chromatograph and spectrophotometer, separating soil samples into water-stable aggregates, quantifying root biomass in soil samples, preparing for and assisting with field work, and training students in these skills as needed.

25% - Equipment and online space upkeep. Maintaining and organizing lab equipment, assisting with or managing equipment operation, updating lab protocols, managing online spaces for lab members

15% - Research implementation. Running analytical equipment, helping to schedule and train students, and entering and managing data, participate in occasional field work

15% - Lab organization. Organizing lab spaces, inventories, and contemporary and archival samples

10% - Other administrative assistance. Participates in other activities to assist the lab PI and lab manager as needed. Examples include ordering lab supplies and helping to arrange lab meetings and travel schedules. Position RequirementsThis position works on-site. Occasionally, non-standard work week hours may be required. Required Qualifications
    A Bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to terrestrial environmental.Previous experience doing fieldwork, lab work and running analytical equipment either as a student or an employee.Strong verbal and written communications skills as evidenced by application materials and interview process.Experience utilizing basic office software.Familiarity with basic lab safety policies and procedures.
Preferred Qualifications
    Experience with plant and soil nutrient analyses.Knowledge of quality control methods for plant and soil nutrient analyses.Experience preparing for and performing fieldwork in both local and remote locations.Experience working in a university research environment.
Additional Candidate InstructionsOnly complete application packages submitted online will be considered. A complete application will include: Online application form, Resume, Cover Letter, Names and contact information for three professional references.

Application review begins on September 6, 2021 and will continue as needed until a pool of qualified applicants is identified. To ensure priority consideration, apply before the review date.
Contact Information to ApplicantsSharon Billings, [email protected] Advertised Salary RangeStarting salary: $35,000 Work Schedule40 h/week, standard Application Review Begins06-Sep-2021 Anticipated Start Date20-Sep-2021


Working at the University of Kansas 

Join the University of Kansas, and you’ll become part of a Jayhawk family that spans the globe. Wear your KU shirt in London, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Nairobi or anywhere else, and you will likely hear a resounding “Rock Chalk!” from a stranger. Of course, the appropriate response is an enthusiastic “Jayhawk!” Because, after all, they’re not really strangers, they’re family.

The Jayhawk community is united by more than 150 years of tradition and by our commitment to pushing the boundaries of knowledge, transforming the academic experience, and creating solutions through innovative research. KU’s mission is to lift students and society by educating leaders, building healthy communities and making discoveries that change the world.  

The University of Kansas is the state’s flagship university and one of just 66 invited members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). We consistently earn high rankings for academics and recognition as a premier research university.

KU faculty and staff embrace our role as the state’s flagship university, AAU member and R1 institution that serves the state, nation and world. We celebrate the energy and compassion that infuse the Jayhawk spirit; and, we remain true to KU’s historic values: the elevating force of education, the transformative power of research and the healing power of service.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging 

The University of Kansas is committed to a learning and workplace environment that is representative of our nation and global society, accepts and values everyone, appreciates our common humanity and understands that our multiple differences are the cornerstone of academic preparation, professional excellence and distinction. KU must be a place where all people feel they belong and have access to resources and support that help them attain their educational and professional goals.

We recognize there are inequalities and privileges generated by historical and persistent intersecting differences by race, ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, abilities, religion, regional background, veteran status, citizenship status and nationality. And we hold ourselves accountable for policies, processes and programs that appreciate these and other differences and create more fair, safe and just learning, working and living environments for KU students, faculty and staff.


KU offers a broad array of undergraduate and graduate study programs, and we fulfill our mission through academic and research programs of international distinction, coupled with outstanding libraries, teaching museums and information technology. These resources enrich the academic experience for students from all 50 states and 112 countries, and provide enrichment resources for KU faculty and staff.


The university attains high levels of research productivity and recognizes that faculty are part of a network of scholars and academicians that shape a discipline as well as teach it. KU staff are integral to our research success, participating in and supporting discoveries that expand knowledge and improve lives.


The university and our employees serve society through research, teaching and the preservation and dissemination of knowledge. KU's academic programs, arts facilities and public programs provide cultural enrichment opportunities for the larger community. And, KU offers educational, research and service programs throughout the state. KU employees are encouraged to participate in and serve the campus and surrounding communities in a way that is meaningful to them.

International Dimension 

KU offers more than 100 programs of international study and cooperative research for KU students and faculty at sites around the world. The university offers teaching and research that draw upon and contribute to the most advanced developments throughout the United States and abroad. At the same time, KU's extensive international ties support economic development in Kansas.


The University of Kansas, our students and employees are committed to excellence. We foster a multicultural, inclusive environment in which the dignity and rights of individuals are respected. Intellectual diversity, integrity and disciplined inquiry in the search for knowledge are of paramount importance.

Our City and State 

KU sits atop Mt. Oread in the center of Lawrence, a town full of natural beauty and culture. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named Lawrence one of the best college towns in the United States. Lawrence is home to more than 100,000 people, and has a charming, Midwestern friendliness that welcomes visitors and celebrates diversity. In addition to KU, Lawrence is home to Haskell Indian Nations University, the premiere tribal university in the United States.

Lawrence’s historic and thriving downtown features restaurants, nightlife and local shops offering unique finds that you won’t find anywhere else. The town has more than 50 parks, an encompassing mixed-use trail, and quick access to biking/hiking trails along the Kansas River and around Clinton Lake. A five-minute drive from Lawrence, Clinton Lake offers fishing, boating, beaches, camping and other outdoor activities.

Located just 40 minutes west of Kansas City, Lawrence offers the appeal of a mid-size, suburban town with quick access to the amenities of a large city, including an international airport. The Kansas City metro area is home to world-class museums and cultural activities, Jazz clubs and other nightlife venues, expansive shopping options, and exciting professional sports with the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC.

Kansas is in the center of the country, making it convenient and cost effective to fly or drive to destinations throughout the United States. Far from flat, the Flint Hills, just 90 minutes from Lawrence, offer panoramic vistas that showcase the breathtaking beauty of America.

Making KU Your Home 

Something about Lawrence is magnetic. Long-time residents are never surprised when a KU student or employee from out of state decides to make Lawrence their permanent home. And, even those who do leave often find themselves returning to “the nest” at some point in the future. In fact, Lawrence has been named by several publications as one of the best places to retire.

At the University of Kansas, you’ll join a global Jayhawk family and find a place to call home.

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