Job Listings

Research Assistant IV (Lab)

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


Job Summary

Primary support and oversight for Department of Anthropology labs for teaching and research, including training, maintenance, environmental health and safety, supplies, and ensuring the labs are run in accordance with all appropriate policies and guidelines.

Position Description

Coordinates technical staff, post-doc, or student positions to ensure the smooth functioning of multiple laboratory spaces; may supervise technical student positions.  (For example, such coordination may include setting up equipment, checking supplies, taking inventory, low-level maintenance of equipment, how to run certain experiments, which steps must be done in what order, etc.)

Collaborates with faculty, staff, students, facilities services, Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), core facilities, and outside vendors to ensure that facilities, samples, and finances are appropriately handled

Maintains and manages equipment, supplies, and chemicals in the laboratories including purchasing and servicing from outside vendors

Keeps sample records of the types of samples in the lab, ensures relevant permits at the Harvard, local, state, and federal level have been acquired, ensures proper storage conditions are available for potentially irreplaceable cultural heritage material, and assists with appropriate, ethical, and legal permanent storage, shipping, or disposal at the end of projects

Coordinates the room reservations and records room usage of the labs for research and teaching which includes managing calendars, list servs, and slack workspace

Provides support for classes, trainings, or workshops held in the lab spaces which can include ensuring EH&S guidelines are followed, liaising with campus units for specific support, setting up and/or cleaning up of equipment or chemicals, verifying SOPs that the class will follow, consulting with faculty or graduate students, and being present during classes depending on EH&S and department requirements

Assists in developing the budget for the laboratories, manages that budget, and reports on the budget throughout the fiscal year

Basic Qualifications

College background in related discipline (e.g., biology, biochemistry, archaeological science).  Master's or equivalent work experience.


Two or more years laboratory work experience (Master's degree work may count toward experience).

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Additional/Preferred Qualifications:  Demonstrated abilities in laboratory techniques, preferably related to protein mass spectrometry, stable isotope analysis, or genetics.  Experience with Microsoft Office Suite and project management software such as Slack, Teams, and Google Drive is important.  Good organizational and communication skills are necessary.

Desirable: Previous experience with ancient biomolecules or archaeological science is desirable. Laboratory management experience is desirable. 

Advantageous:  Previous experience with other archaeological science methods (e.g. microscopy, photogrammetry, geochemistry, physical anthropology, remote sensing, geospatial surveys, X-ray fluorescence, lithic analysis) is advantageous.  

Previous experience with managing EH&S compliance, customs and shipping of archaeological samples, and ethics of destructive sampling of cultural heritage material is advantageous.

Experience with some of the following: Buy2Pay, Assessment and Inspection Management System (AIMS), Scheduling and Payment for Instruments and Laboratories (SPINAL), MiniLIMS, FAS Research Computing, Globus (FASRC), RoomBook, File Transfer programs, RStudio, Microsoft Remote Desktop, and Team Viewer are desirable.  Experience with specific software related to genetics, microscopy, photogrammetry, or proteomics including: Agisoft Metashape, Artec Studio, BLAST, Byonic, FlexAnalysis, Geneious, MASCOT, MassLynx, mMass, MSFragger, Trans-Proteomic Pipeline, Zeiss ZEN or ZEN lite, or shell scripting are advantageous.

Physical Requirements

Pushing, pulling, and lifting light to medium loads, regularly walking between rooms and buildings, using a step ladder, repetitive motion (pipetting and typing)

Working Conditions

On-campus.  Office (Peabody), multiple lab locations (Peabody, Vanserg, Biolabs). Biolabs is a clean room which requires changing clothes and wearing additional PPE (including face masks)

Additional Information

Work with human and animal tissues, an X-ray device is present in the lab space.

We regret that we will not be able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

All formal written offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.

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
403125 Research Assistant IV (Lab)

Work Format

Social Sciences

Salary Grade


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening
Criminal, Education, Identity

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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