Study Support Technician II: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Organization: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Janelia Research Campus
Date Posted: 6/09/2022
City: Ashburn
State: Virginia
Primary Category: Technician
Type of Position: Aquatics 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.

Summary:  The Study Support Technician II (SSTII) position will provide advanced technical procedures and standard services related to animal husbandry to support scientific research at Janelia. This will include a variety of laboratory animal species, including, but not limited to mice, rats, and zebrafish.  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 and Responsibilities:

Technical Procedures:

  • Independently manage breeding colonies of rodents and zebrafish.
  • Independently perform tasks to manage breeding colonies, such as animal identification, tissue sampling for genetic analysis, and weaning.
  • Independently determine which animals to keep, pass along to researchers, breed, or euthanize, when managing breeding colonies.
  • Perform advanced health monitoring as per IACUC protocol requirements.
  • Provide assistance with behavior acclimations.
  • Provide other minor technical support for species housed (e.g. restraining animals, collecting blood, performing injections, clinical treatments) as directed.

Husbandry Services:

  • Perform animal husbandry and animal care support services to multiple species, including non-standard 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.
  • 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.

Additional duties:

  • Primarily responsible for tasks in the aquatic areas of the vivarium.
  • Perform moderate technical procedures related to maintaining a zebrafish colony (embryo care, setting up and breaking down crosses, promoting fry, fin clips, embryo screening etc.).
  • Use established computer database to keep track of transgenic zebrafish colony.
  • Culture live feeds.
  • Communicate with researchers on any changes with breeding colony status, and/or provide updates as needed.

Technical duties include:

  • Breeding, husbandry, and surgeries using model system zebrafish.
  • Molecular biology including making DNA constructs.
  • Generation of mutant or transgenic animals by microinjection.
  • Determine and set up instruments, material and apparatus and operate laboratory equipment required for specific tests. 
  • Prepare chemicals, reagents and solutions. 
  • Obtain, prepare, mount and stain tissue for microscopic examination. 
  • Compile, analyze, document and draw conclusions from experimental results.
  • Review laboratory methods manual, scientific journals, abstracts and other literature for information applicable to research experiments. 
  • Assist in training new personnel. 



  • Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree in life science or any other related field preferred.
  •  ALAT certified with AALAS required; LAT certified within one year.


  • Two years 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; e.g. High School diploma and 6 years of experience working with vertebrate animal species

Skills and 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 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, written and verbal, skills to deal effectively with research scientists, laboratory technical staff, administrative staff, management, outside contractors, and vendors.

To Apply:

Apply here



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