Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Study Support Associate II - Aquatics

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Ashburn, United States

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is searching for a Study Support Associate II (SSAII) 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.



The Study Support Associate II (SSAII) 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. 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 and Responsibilities:


Technical Procedures:

  • Independently manage transgenic colonies of zebrafish.
  • Independently perform tasks to manage transgenic colonies, such as setting up and breaking down crosses, embryo care, tissue sampling for genetic analysis, fry promotions and embryo screenings.
  • Independently determine which animals to keep, pass along to researchers, breed, or euthanize, when managing breeding colonies.
  • Use established computer database to keep track of and manage transgenic zebrafish colonies.
  • Perform advanced health monitoring as per IACUC protocol requirements.
  • Provide other minor technical support for species housed (e.g. restraining animals, collecting blood, performing injections, clinical treatments) as directed.
  • Communicate with researchers on any changes with breeding colony status, and/or provide updates as needed.


Husbandry Services:

  • Perform animal husbandry and animal care support services to multiple species, including non-standard species (e.g. providing feed, water, clean tanks, and daily observations of each animal).
  • Culture live feeds.
  • 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.


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.  



This position will care for a variety of research animal species and provide technical support for basic science research, potentially impacting research objectives valued in excess of $10,000.





  • 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.


Physical Requirements:


The following is the minimum physical requirements.  Additional physical requirements are listed on the job description supplement.

  • 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. 


HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 1038