Research Technician - Open Chemistry

11 Nov 2022
04 Apr 2023
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time


Open Chemistry is a collaborative research group whose mission is to produce and distribute small-molecule research tools to enable discovery science around the world. Open Chemistry is associated with the Lavis Lab located at the Janelia Research Campus, a world-class research institution supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. For more information about Open Chemistry and the Lavis Lab, please visit

About the role:

In this role, you will support the vision of Open Chemistry by designing and synthesizing fluorescent dyes and other small-molecule tools for biological research. You’ll spend most of your time carrying out multistep synthesis and characterization of small-molecule organic compounds. This role also involves aliquoting compounds for world-wide sharing—strong organizational skills and attention to detail are important. This would be an excellent role for a recent Bachelor’s degree-level graduate in the sciences who wants to spend 1–2 years in a dynamic research environment before graduate school. Some experience in organic synthesis is desired but not essential—we will teach you what you need to know!

About Open Chemistry:

Members of the Open Chemistry team are embedded in the Lavis Lab, a leader in using organic chemistry to solve biological problems. More information can be found here:

What we provide:

  • A competitive compensation package, with comprehensive health and welfare benefits.

  • One on one mentorship relationship with a senior researcher in the lab.

  • A team that believes in continuous learning and cultivates an environment of collaboration.

What you’ll do:

  • Carryout multistep syntheses of organic molecules including reaction setup, work up, purification, and analysis of products. May work with biochemical samples such as DNA, RNA, or protein samples for experimental purposes.

  • Collect, record, organize and verify the accuracy of data in a laboratory notebook. Use software applications to assemble, format data and/or perform statistical analysis for eventual publication.

  • Analyze data, formulate conclusions and create appropriate statistical presentations, including graphs and charts, and prepare and present written or oral progress reports regarding studies.

  • Prepare, aliquot, and maintain dye stocks for their distribution to research labs worldwide as part of HHMI’s commitment to open science.

  • Energetically interact with other Janelia scientists with the goal of initiating collaborative projects regarding the use and implementation of molecular research tools.

  • Configure, operate, and maintain laboratory apparatus and instruments.

  • Order chemicals, reagents, and other laboratory supplies as needed. chemicals, reagents, and other laboratory supplies as needed.

  • Participate in and actively contribute to laboratory meetings and planning sessions.

  • Conduct literature reviews applicable to research areas.

What you bring:

  • A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field is required.

  • Completion of college-level organic chemistry course and lab.

  • Undergraduate research experience in chemistry or a related discipline is preferred.

  • Experience with multi-step organic synthesis is preferred.

  • Strong initiative, self-motivation, and capacity for creative problem solving.

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.

  • Strong organizational skills and time management skills.

  • Strong attention to detail and recordkeeping skills.

Physical Requirements

Remaining in a normal seated or standing position for extended periods of time; reaching and grasping by extending hand(s) or arm(s); dexterity to manipulate objects with fingers, for example using a keyboard; communication skills using the spoken word; ability to see and hear within normal parameters; ability to move about workspace. The position requires mobility, including the ability to move materials weighing up to several pounds (such as a laptop computer or tablet). Work may involve possible exposure to malodorous vapors, low dose radiation, contamination by toxic chemicals and acids and presence of carcinogenic substances or other hazardous materials. 

Persons with disabilities may be able to perform the essential duties of this position with reasonable accommodation. Requests for reasonable accommodation will be evaluated on an individual basis.

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.

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