Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Temp-to-Hire Research Technician – Project Technical Resources

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Ashburn, United States

About HHMI:

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is a science philanthropy whose mission is to advance biomedical research and science education for the benefit of humanity. We empower exceptional scientists and students to pursue fundamental questions about living systems, and work to share scientific discoveries with researchers, students, and science-curious individuals around the world.

Founded in 1953 by aviator and industrialist Howard R. Hughes, HHMI is headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and employs more than 2,500 people across the U.S. Visit to learn more about working at HHMI.


About Janelia:

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. To learn more about working at Janelia, visit



Research at Janelia includes a portfolio of team projects focused on neuroanatomy and neuronal function in several animal models, including Drosophila. Anatomical data of the fly brain are used to guide behavioral experiments aiming to elucidate neuronal circuits from sensory input to behavioral output. The Project Technical Resources team at Janelia provides technical support to various team projects and also to Janelia laboratories.

The Project Technical Resources team is seeking a research technician to assist projects in two areas: 1) the annotation of light or electron microscopy images to extract information about cellular structures and 2) quantitative behavioral assays. By either activating or inactivating specific neurons we study the behavioral readout of fruit flies, which aids in understanding how the nervous system functions. In addition, the technician may be involved in the preparation of samples for confocal microscopy. The technician will work under limited supervision, collaborating closely with other team members, support groups, labs, and other project teams to contribute to Janelia’s integrative effort to correlate brain anatomy, neural circuits and behavior.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of using both commercial and custom annotation software tools
  • Correctly identify, analyze, and collect relevant data from three-dimensional images as instructed by scientific staff
  • Review/correct existing automatically or manually generated annotations
  • Help design and execute day-to-day experiments for quantitative behavioral assays
  • Perform computer automated analysis and quality control on large data sets
  • Maintain accurate lab notes and databases of experimental results
  • Optimize experimental logistics and workflows
  • Perform preparative work for behavioral experiments, such as fly crosses and fly sorting
  • Prepare solutions and reagents, maintaining accurate logs of the same, and perform other routine lab chores as required
  • Communicate efficiently with the manager, team members, researchers, and other support groups at Janelia


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or Associate Degree with equivalent experience in biology, biomedical engineering, or computer science
  • Minimum of 1 year of experience in at least one of the following additional areas:
    • Drosophila genetics
    • Process or systems engineering
    • Systems neuroscience
    • Animal behavior research
    • High-throughput experimentation
  • Experience or strong interest in Drosophila biology and neuroscience
  • Demonstrated proficiency with computers
  • Ability to understand and apply guidelines for data entry
  • Ability to perform repetitive tasks while paying constantly close attention to important details
  • Precision and speed performing complex motor tasks (sometimes while looking through a microscope)
  • Good organizational skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to communicate efficiently with colleagues and customers
  • Work experience in a team-oriented environment and aptitude to be a good team-player


Physical Requirements:

  • Good color vision
  • Ability to sit for several hours at a computer or microscope (with breaks)
  • Fine motor skills to manipulate fruit flies


HHMI is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 1029