Research Technician, Ancient D

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

ID: 7134659 (Ref.No. hh-61760BR)
Posted: March 17, 2023
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Position Description
Under the direction of the PI and senior scientists, the Laboratory Technician will help with analyzing ancient human DNA data.

Using established protocols and technical procedures and working as part of a team of up to six technicians all rotating into and out of the same set of activities, the person who fills this position will be trained in and under the direction of the lab head and will perform diverse tasks.

Working in a dedicated clean room, the Lab Technician will prepare powder from human skeletal remains, will extract DNA from the powder, and will prepare libraries for sequencing. Outside of the clean room, the Lab Technician will perform enrichment of the libraries for positions of the human genome of scientific interest, will prepare the enriched libraries for sequencing, and will perform analysis and quality control of the data. The Lab Technician will also participate in weekly meetings as an equal member of the team.
This position is ideal for candidates who have finished college and are interested in ancient DNA and anthropology. It is a unique opportunity for interacting in a highly collaborative and dynamic environment and to be trained in a variety of experimental approaches. Direct training by other Lab Technicians and by the Lab Director will be provided.

Responsibilities include:
  • Sample preparation in a clean room environment to prepare for DNA extraction.
  • Extracting of DNA and preparation of Next Generation sequencing libraries in a clean room environment.
  • Amplification of DNA, cleanup, and enrichment of libraries.
  • Working with liquid-handling robots.
  • Keeping a meticulous record of experiments and analyses in a lab book and database.
  • Decontaminating equipment and work surfaces after every experiment.
  • Cleaning the clean rooms and equipment on a regular basis.
  • Frequent discussions with laboratory colleagues working on ancient DNA.
  • Occasional sample preparation in a non-cleanroom environment such as a museum.
  • Preparing, ordering, and maintaining stocks of necessary consumables.
  • Documenting, compiling, and analyzing experimental data.
  • Updating supervisors by presenting oral and written reports.
  • Reading relevant scientific literature.
  • Working well in a team of research technicians with identical duties.
Basic Qualifications
  • College background or equivalent work experience, preferably in a related discipline.
  • At least 1 year of related work experience.
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Bachelor's degree preferred.
  • Strong understanding of molecular biology principles.
  • Excellent fine motor skills.
  • Meticulous work habits – including keeping a detailed and accurate lab notebook.
  • Ability to apply critical thinking to experiments and outcomes.
  • Strong ability to multitask.
  • Excellent written, documentation, and oral communication skills.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Familiarity with genomics (library preparation and sequencing) and sterile techniques.
  • Previous work in an Ancient DNA laboratory.
  • Skilled at troubleshooting experiments.
  • Familiarity with genetics and next-generation sequencing, Medical Diagnostics, or microarray fabrication (either in academia or industry).
  • Familiarity with Cell Culture, including training in sterile techniques.
Additional Information
This is a one-year term position from the date of hire, with the possibility of extension, contingent upon work performance and continued funding to support the position. 

This is an in-person position based on our campus in Boston.

Harvard University continues to place the highest priority on the health, safety and wellbeing of its faculty, staff, and students, as well as the wider community. Please note that all new employees will be required to provide confirmation of primary series COVID-19 vaccination upon hire, as detailed on our COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Webpage. Harvard University Health Services employees and other health care individuals are also required to be up to date on vaccination as described by the CDC. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. Additional information regarding this requirement, exemptions, verification of vaccination status, and other related policies and resources may be found on the University’s COVID-19 Information Website.

Please note that we are currently conducting a majority of interviews and onboarding remotely and virtually. We appreciate your understanding.

Harvard University offers an outstanding benefits package including:
  • Time Off: 3 - 4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: We offer a variety of excellent medical plans, dental & vision plans, all coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, incredibly affordable classes directly at the Harvard Extension School, and discounted options through participating Harvard grad schools.
  • Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as additional options to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complementary health services.
  • Harvard access to athletic facilities, libraries, campus events, and many discounts throughout metro Boston.
The Harvard Medical School is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

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We are committed to cultivating an inclusive workplace culture of faculty, staff, and students with diverse backgrounds, styles, abilities, and motivations. We appreciate and leverage the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals. Harvard Medical School Mission and Community Values
EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Harvard Medical School strives to cultivate an environment that promotes inclusiveness and collaboration among students, faculty and staff and to create new avenues for discussion that will advance our shared mission to improve the health of people throughout the world.