Job Listings

Fungal Taxonomy Assistant

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Laboratory and Research
Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

The Farlow Herbarium (FH) through Harvard University seeks to hire a Fungal Taxonomy Assistant to work on a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project titled: "ARTS: A North American monograph of the powdery mildews (Erysiphaceae)".  The FH houses approximately 500,00 specimens of fungi and about 2,000 collections of powdery mildews of which many are type specimens.

Position Description

The incumbent will play a pivotal role in conducting morphological analyses of the fungal specimens in the large powdery mildew collection at FH.  Under the direction of the PIs, this position will perform a variety of research tasks independently to achieve the goals outlined in the award.  Specific tasks include: 

  1. Prepares specimens for viewing under the microscope.  Makes morphological measurements and writes taxonomic descriptions of newly described species. The specimens at the Farlow are extremely important and the Fungal Taxonomy Assistant will be expected to handle them with great levels of care.  
  2. Operates a compound microscope with digital camera and puts together publication quality figures requiring a high degree of skill and precision. 
  3. Responsible for isolating RNA/DNA from mycological tissues of these specimens.
  4. May collect project data.
  5. Conducts curatorial work such as labeling, databasing, depositing and other curatorial tasks relating to the powdery mildew collection at the FH. 
  6. Performs other related job duties as required. 
Basic Qualifications

College coursework in botany, plant science, plant biology or biology and one year of independent research experience. 

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Bachelor's degree in botany or related area of study, and 3 or more years of independent research experience, or substantive independent experience and education preferred. Experience working with fungal herbarium collections. High levels of experience working with a compound microscope and making publication ready figures.  Proficiency in aseptic techniques is essential. Experience working with hard to culture fungi, plants, plant pathogens. Exposure to applicable computer technologies, and software including MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint, R, Photoshop and Illustrator, etc.  Successful candidates will have strong organizational skills, and work well independently and in a team. Strong oral and written communication are essential.  We seek individuals excited to work with fungi and with a desire to learn more skills in morphology of fungi and DNA isolation.  We encourage candidates who are self-motivated and detail-oriented, with excellent interpersonal skills.   

Working Conditions
The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Additional Information

This is a one-year term position with the possibility of extension based on funding. In order to be considered for this position, a cover letter and resume must be submitted.

***All formal written offers will be made by FAS HR.

We are unable to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

The Harvard University Herbaria (HUH) include six collections and more than five million specimens of algae, bryophytes, fungi, and vascular plants. Together they form one of the largest university herbarium collections in the world and the fourth largest herbarium in the United States. With their state-of-the-art research laboratories and world-class libraries, the HUH has been a centerpiece of biodiversity science since the early 1800s.

Work Format Details
This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Job Function

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
403108 Research Assistant I Lab

Work Format


Salary Grade

Harvard University Herbaria (HUH)

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Identity

Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and 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.
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