Ocean Career: Research Assistant at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is seeking a Research Assistant to join the Geology & Geophysics Department. This will be a full-time, non-exempt position and is eligible for benefits. This position is available for a period of one year from the date of hire and is renewable depending on performance and funding availability.

The successful candidate will be hired as a Research Assistant and will work in Dr Susan Lang’s lab, in Woods Hole, MA, to assist in the day-to-day running of the laboratory. Duties will include the maintenance and operational support of instruments devoted to organic analysis, carrying out chemical analysis of environmental samples, and adapting methods as needed for different sample types. This person will also participate in lab user training, method development, and the implementation of safety protocols. Candidates should have relevant experience with wet chemistry and organic or environmental geochemistry. Experience with instrumentation such as GC/MS, HPLC, and IRMS is a benefit.

The internal working title for this position will be Research Assistant II or Research Assistant III. The final level of the position will be determined commensurate with the selected candidate's level of education & experience.

Essential Functions


  • Carries out chemical analysis of samples independently, and adapts methods as needed for different sample types
  • Collects field samples for trace-level analyses without supervision
  • Independently maintains and operates laboratory instrumentation including high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) instrument and isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS)
  • Trains new users on protocols and instrument usage
  • Participates in design of experiments
  • Maintains records related to the research and/or research equipment
  • Maintains safety standards in the laboratory, including hazardous waste management
  • As time permits, executes designated research tasks, makes use of selected laboratory experiments, equipment, library research, data acquisition and processing, statistical analyses or other investigative techniques
  • Non-essential Functions as deemed necessary by supervisor


Education & Experience

Research Assistant II:

Bachelor’s degree in related field, or Bachelor’s degree in non-related field plus two years' related experience, or Associate's degree in related field plus three years' related experience, or High School diploma or equivalent plus five years' related experience.

Research Assistant III:

Master's degree in related field, or Bachelor’s degree in related field plus three years' related experience, or Bachelor's degree in nonrelated field plus five years' related experience, or Associate's degree in related field plus six years' related experience, or High School diploma or equivalent plus eight years' related experience.

Special Requirements

WHOI is a federal contractor required to comply with Executive Order 14042. As such, WHOI has enacted a Mandated COVID19 vaccination policy effective December 8, 2021 where you must register your vaccination status in order to begin your employment. The registration process entails confidentially submitting a vaccination card and/or your vaccination status or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason.

Physical Requirements

Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, ability to lift less than 25 lbs independently, 2 times per day; carry 10-25 lbs, 2 times per day. Visual abilities to include near, far, peripheral, depth perception, and ability to distinguish basic colors. Hearing requirements include the ability to hear and respond to instructions, communicate effectively in loud areas (pier/dock, warehouse). Other physical tasks include occasional prolonged standing/walking; use of hands for basic /fine grasping and manipulation, repetitive motion, reaching above and below the shoulders, pushing, pulling, kneeling, bending, twisting, and stooping. Other occupational requirements include talking, traveling, working around others, and with others. Will be exposed to dust or other irritants and electrical/mechanical/power equipment hazards. Physical duties are subject to change.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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