Study Support Technician (Aquatics) - Howard Hughes Medical Institute


Janelia Research Campus
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Date Posted: 01/08/2021
City: Ashburn
State: Virginia
Primary Category: Research 
Type of Position: Technician

Description & Details:

Janelia Research Campus is a pioneering research center in Ashburn, Virginia, where scientists pursue fundamental questions in neuroscience and imaging. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) launched Janelia in 2006, establishing an intellectually distinctive environment for scientists to do creative, collaborative, hands-on work.   Our integrated teams of biologists, computational scientists, and tool-builders pursue a small number of scientific questions with potential for transformative impact.  We share our methods, results, and tools with the scientific community.  It is a uniquely innovative and collaborative atmosphere that reflects HHMI’s reputation for excellence.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is searching for a Study Support Technician I (SSTAI) based in the Aquatics Team at the Janelia Research Campus in beautiful Ashburn, VA just 30 miles west of Washington D.C. Janelia is more than just a place to work. It is a place that one can call “home,” a place with competitive salary and benefit packages, state-of-the art athletic facilities, a movie theater, bikes and Zipcars, onsite daycare, shuttle service to/from the Washington DC metro, and free coffee!

The Vivarium at Janelia is an AAALAC accredited facility that supports ground-breaking research in a variety of animal models (currently with a focus on mice, rats, and zebrafish) and is one of the highest regarded in the world. Vivarium operations are designed to maximize scientific progress and impact, while providing best-in-class welfare for, and responsible use of, laboratory animals. Our approach involves Vivarium staff working very closely with our scientists by taking responsibility and ownership of processes that involve animals, but are not data driven, to allow researchers to focus on data intensive tasks.

This position will provide standard services related to animal husbandry and technical procedures in the Aquatics department, however, this individual may also have responsibilities in the rodent departments within the Vivarium. Under minimal supervision the position will be focused on ensuring the highest degree of animal care and welfare while supporting and working with Janelia researchers conducting basic science in a dynamic team-oriented environment.  

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Perform animal husbandry and animal care support services to multiple species (e.g. providing feed, water, clean cages, and daily observations of each animal).
  • Receive, examine and properly house incoming animal shipments.
  • Clean and sanitize animal holding or procedure rooms.
  • Provide environmental enrichment appropriate to the species housed.
  • Provide other minor technical support for species housed (e.g. restraining animals, collecting blood, performing injections, clinical treatments) as directed.
  • Set-up breeding units of rodents and zebrafish as directed.
  • Utilize databases for animal recordkeeping, including but not limited to, animal housing and study support.
  • Assist with receiving, stocking and maintenance of all supply inventories.
  • Maintain and record appropriate data for all duties completed.
  • Additional departmental/project specific activities as assigned and listed in the corresponding job description supplement.

This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by this employee. He or she will be required to follow any other instructions and to perform any other duties requested by his or her supervisor.  


  • Education:
    • College degree in life science or any other related field preferred.
    • ALAT certified with AALAS within one year.
  • Experience:
    • Six months of experience working with vertebrate animal species.
    • Experience in a basic or applied science research setting preferred.  This could include academic, industry, or non-profit.
    • Alternative combinations of education and experience will be considered.
  • Skills & Abilities:
    • Ability to identify changes in an animal’s behavior or health and provide basic prescribed treatments.
    • Enthusiastic and self-motivated individual, with the ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
    • Ability to clearly communicate in English, in writing and speech.
    • Ability to learn tasks quickly.
    • Excellent skills in Microsoft Office and/or Google Docs.
    • Ability to balance multiple requests and assignments.
    • Ability to work effectively as part of a team effort.
    • Ability to make and meet commitments
    • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative, rapidly changing environment to accomplish mutual goals.
    • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills to deal effectively with research scientists, laboratory technical staff, administrative staff, management, outside contractors, and vendors.
  • Physical Requirements:
    • Regularly required to sit, stand, move from one area to another, and reach with arms and hands.
    • Regularly lifts, moves, and/or carries objects weighing up to 50 pounds
    • Occasionally stoops and bends
    • Regularly required to type at a computer.
    • Work is performed in a research animal facility where personnel are exposed to laboratory animal caging, sounds, and smells of various species including, but not limited to mice, rats, and aquatic species.  Personnel may be exposed to wet, above average temperatures, and/or humid conditions, fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals, biohazard materials and risk of electrical shock.
    • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate and occasionally high.

Please Note:
This job description sets forth the job’s principal duties, responsibilities, and requirements; it should not be construed as an exhaustive statement, however.  Unless they begin with the word “may,” the Essential Duties and Responsibilities described above are “essential functions” of the job, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To Apply: