Research Specialist

Johns Hopkins University

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Research Specialist
The Pathology Department is seeking a Research Specialist who is proficient in research and has a firm understanding of techniques and a solid foundation in the underlying science, gained from some professional experience.

Under minimal supervision, this role performs clinical and/or research laboratory experiments by following established procedures and protocols. Participates in the design of experiments and analyzes data. Works independently and manages daily research projects. The Research Specialist will assist the principal investigator in the development and coordination of projects, experimentation, data collection/maintenance, and organization of the laboratory. Runs lab tests and completes measurements as assigned. Identifies and resolves problems and uses analytical and decision making skills to implement assigned projects.

Specific Duties & Responsibilities:
  • Performs clinical and/or research lab tests and experiments.
  • Has experience with mycobacteria cultivation and susceptibility testing techniques including broth microdilution, and disk diffusion.
  • Also has experience with monitoring growth curves, determination of viable counts, and the use of various staining techniques for microscopic examination of samples. Plans and runs set of experiments after discussion with investigator.
  • Follows established procedures and protocols, utilize appropriate technique to develop, perform and analyze laboratory tests and/or experiments which may include making protocol modification within the parameters set by investigator.
  • Record outcomes/results of all experiments by writing.
  • Report experimental procedures, results, and problems to PI through planned communication verbal and written/reports and logs.
  • Maintain database and organize specimens and resources.
  • Exchange routine information in an appropriate manner.
  • Regular interaction with students, vendors, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members.
  • Train students, staff members, and postdoctoral fellows with established SOPs for sample preparation and instrument operation.
  • Assist the principal investigator to coordinate the responsibilities for different projects and manage the laboratory operation.
  • Interfaces with outside contacts, including presenting at meetings, leading multi-institution work groups, representing Johns Hopkins among research colleagues.
  • Responsible for routine operational activities such as: ordering supplies and materials, reviewing inventory, maintaining up to date records of tests, etc.
  • Preventative maintenance of equipment and laboratory operation procedures.
  • Perform miscellaneous related duties as assigned.

Equipment, Machine, or Tool Requirements:
  • Computer and Laboratory equipment maintaining and operation lab such as: incubators, centrifuges, biological safety cabinets, spectrophotometers, freezers, Gene Xpert, etc.

Minimum Qualifications (Mandatory):
  • Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, or related field required.
  • Minimum 1 year experience in a comparable laboratory performing relevant techniques.
  • Master's Degree courses, with related graduate research and laboratory experience, may substitute for experience to the extent permitted by the JHU equivalency formula.*

* JHU Equivalency Formula: 30 undergraduate degree credits (semester hours) or 18 graduate degree credits may substitute for one year of experience. Additional related experience may substitute for the required education on the same basis. For jobs where equivalency is permitted, up to two years of non-related college course work may be applied towards the total minimum education/experience required for the respective job.

** Applicants who do not meet the posted requirements but are completing their final academic semester/quarter will be considered eligible for employment and may be asked to provide additional information confirming their academic completion date.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Course work in related areas like microbiology.
  • Master's Degree preferred.

Special Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
  • Have strong communication skills.
  • Uses various software applications, such as spreadsheets, relational databases, statistical packages, and graphics packages to assemble, manipulate and/or format data and/or test reports.
  • Knowledge of good lab practices required.
  • Individual must be able to work independently, under minimal supervision with strong decision making skills and good judgment.

Physical Requirements:
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee may remain in a stationary position (sitting or standing) up to 70% of the time.
  • Occasionally required to traverse throughout the laboratory or to retrieve equipment, supplies, or specimens from other locations on campus.
  • The employee is required to operate computer keyboard, laboratory instruments, and small laboratory tools such as pipettes, cutting instruments, glass tubes, dishes, and/or slides.
  • Constantly repositions self to perform duties at laboratory work stations, gathering specimens, and loading equipment.
  • Prolonged vision requirements including viewing computer screen, paper reports/documents, charts and results. Visual acuity is required to distinguish fine gradation of color or structure and closely examine specimens (including via a microscope).
  • May transport equipment and supplies usually less than 40 pounds from one area to another (in the laboratory or on campus (specify).
  • May be required to lift and/or move up to 50 pounds with proper training, or precautions/lifting aides (example: supply boxes). In some areas work space is limited.

Laboratory Environment:
  • Exposure to toxins and infectious agents exist, but potential for personal injury or harm is minimized if established safety and health precautions are followed.
  • Must refer to and are expected to comply with procedure manuals, follow proper laboratory protocols and safety policy/procedures, and be familiar with material data safety sheets in assigned work areas.
  • Able to read and understand all Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) guidelines applicable to assigned work area.
  • Working in laboratory where there may be discomforts due to odors, noise, temperature fluctuations, and working around lab equipment.
  • Research areas may include animal, human, human products, DNA, and other bio-hazardous materials. Use of personal protective equipment may be advised or required.

Additional Information:
  • Staff may be required to complete annual competency review, and must insure compliance with Johns Hopkins Policy, Laboratory Policy & Procedure, Health, Safety & Environment regulations, and all applicable privacy & confidentiality laws/practices.
  • Rotating on-call, weekend, or pager duties are required.
  • Many department laboratories operate 24/7 with schedules on day, evening, or night shift.
  • Rotating schedules which may include weekend work and holiday assignment. (Overtime possible when authorized/needed to meet business and patient needs).
  • In the event of unexpected university closings including inclement weather or declared emergency, the employee in this position is required to report to work and/or remain at work.

Classified Title: Research Specialist
Role/Level/Range: ACRP/03/MA
Starting Salary Range: $16.29 - $22.38 (commensurate with experience)
Employee group: Full Time
Schedule: M-F, 9:00am-5:00pm
Exempt Status: Non-Exempt
Location: ​​​​​​​School of Medicine Campus
Department name: ​​​​​​​SOM Pat Pathology Medical Microbiology
Personnel area: School of Medicine

The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check.

If you are interested in applying for employment with The Johns Hopkins University and require special assistance or accommodation during any part of the pre-employment process, please contact the Talent Acquisition Office at [email protected]. For TTY users, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.

Johns Hopkins has mandated COVID-19 and influenza vaccines, as applicable. Exceptions to the COVID and flu vaccine requirements may be provided to individuals for religious beliefs or medical reasons. Requests for an exception must be submitted to the JHU vaccination registry. For additional information, applicants for SOM positions should visit and all other JHU applicants should visit

The following additional provisions may apply, depending on campus. Your recruiter will advise accordingly.

The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas, laboratories, working with research subjects, or involving community contact requires documentation of immune status against Rubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella (chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received the Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may include documentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicella vaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratory testing. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases are ordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except for those employees who provide results of blood tests or immunization documentation from their own health care providers. Any vaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no cost in our Occupational Health office.

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