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Position Detail

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Research Technician (#975)

Date Posted:
Staff in Chemistry
Search Status:
Position Filled - not Accepting Applications
Apply Now:
We are not accepting applications for this position at this time.

The Berry Lab in the Chemistry Department and Biochemistry Program at Mount Holyoke College has an opening for a full-time research technician in our bacterial molecular genetics and biochemistry lab.  The primary goal of our lab is to investigate the protein-RNA interactions that allow bacteria to adapt to stress. In particular, we are developing and applying a unique genetic assay (a “bacterial three-hybrid” (B3H) assay that facilitates detection of RNA-protein interactions inside of living E. coli cells.  

The successful candidate will contribute to all aspects of the lab’s activities through independent research projects that will involve molecular cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, bacterial genetic assays and screens, and enzymatic reporter assays. There will also be potential opportunities for the successful candidate to be involved in protein purification and in vitro RNA-protein binding experiments. In addition, the successful candidate will provide support duties for the laboratory, including ordering of supplies, general maintenance of laboratory equipment, making media, making competent cells, etc.).  This position would be ideal for a recent graduate looking to acquire expertise in bacterial genetics before attending graduate or medical school.

This is a two-year appointment with the possibility of renewal contingent upon funding. The start date is May 1, 2020, with flexibility for an earlier or later date if necessary.

Duties and responsibilities

  • Independently carry out original research into bacterial RNA-binding proteins (specific projects will be selected based on candidate’s interest and priorities of the laboratory)
  • Maintain a well-organized and detailed laboratory notebook.
  • Summarize results weekly and quarterly results and record data carefully for future publication.
  • Present work-in-progress at lab meetings, as well as local, regional and/or national meetings.
  • Support the daily running of the laboratory (ordering supplies, making media, washing and sterilization of dishware, maintenance of chemical stocks)
  • Support the long-term running of the laboratory (preparation of competent cells, large-scale plasmid preps, repeating experiments)
  • Coordinate and communicate with Primary Investigator and undergraduate researchers.
  • Contribute to training of new laboratory members.


Minimum qualifications are:

  • Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, molecular biology or related discipline;
  • Experience performing biochemical laboratory research.
  • This position also requires: strong communication skills, enthusiasm to perform a broad spectrum of job duties, attention to detail, flexibility, initiative, curiosity, and ability to work effectively as an individual and as a member of a team. 

Preferred Qualifications

Preference will be given to candidates who have:

  • Substantial independent research experience in which they have demonstrated intellectual ownership.
  • Experience with molecular cloning and mutagenesis, bacterial transformation and manipulation, sterile technique, Western Blotting, bacterial two/three-hybrid assays and/or purification of proteins and RNAs for in vitro biochemical analysis.  

Background Checks

Mount Holyoke College is committed to providing a safe and secure environment, supported by qualified employees that will allow all of its students, faculty, staff and those associated with them to successfully carry out the mission of the college. As a condition of employment, the College will conduct appropriate background checks for all new hires.    Mount Holyoke has designated the Office of Human Resources as the office responsible for ensuring that background checks (CORI, SORI, Credit History, & Driver Credential) are completed and utilized in the hiring process and Five College Office of Compliance and Risk Management as the office responsible for facilitating background checks as articulated in this policy.  

Compliance Requirements


Required safety training must be successfully completed after hire, before working independently in the lab.

Working Conditions

Laboratory work includes work with hazardous chemicals, such as organic solvents, acids and bases and liquid nitrogen, as well as BSL-1 biohazardous materials. Mandatory safety training will be provided regarding proper practices for the handling of these chemicals and biohazardous waste. Occasional work on evenings and weekend may be necessary for particular experiments.

Physical Demands

Laboratory work can be physically demanding. This position will require standing and walking for multiple hours each day. In addition, laboratory work can entail repetitive tasks with hands and wrists.  

Direct reports

As described in duties and responsibilities, this position will contribute to the training and mentoring of undergraduate student researchers during both the summer and academic year.

Special Instructions for Applicants

Applications must be made on-line at by submitting a CV and a cover letter with a brief description of your research interests and career goals. Please also include the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three references. The position will remain open until filled.

Reasonable Accommodation Statement

Mount Holyoke College complies with federal and state disability laws and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities. If a reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and/or to receive other benefits and privileges of employment, please contact the Human Resources Department at 413 538-2503. 

Mount Holyoke College is committed to enriching the educational experience it offers through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff members. Mount Holyoke seeks to recruit and support a broadly diverse team who will contribute to the college's excellence, diversity of viewpoints and experiences, and relevance in a global society. In furtherance of institutional excellence, the College encourages applications from individuals from underrepresented groups, including faculty, staff, and administration of color, diverse gender identities, first generation college students and individuals who have followed non-traditional pathways to college, and individuals with a demonstrated leadership commitment to including diverse backgrounds and perspectives.             

Effective January 1, 2020 all new hires will be required to complete the background check process prior to commencing their Service Activity (employment) with the College. All offers of employment and continued employment at Mount Holyoke College are contingent upon satisfactory results of thorough background checks. For additional information about the Mount Holyoke College Background Check Policy, please visit Background Checks.

Mount Holyoke College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Mount Holyoke College is a women's college that is gender diverse. The College is committed to providing equal access and opportunity in employment and education to all employees and students. In compliance with state and federal law, Mount Holyoke College does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, genetic information, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, ancestry, veteran or military status, or any other legally protected status under federal, state or local law. The College does not discriminate on the basis of gender in the recruitment and admission of students to its graduate program.