Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

Philadelphia, PA, United States

Job Description

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 2500 people across the U.S.  Visit to learn more about working at HHMI



Support Investigator and research staff by providing analytical and specialized administrative support through performance of wide range of advanced administrative duties. Duties and tasks are complex in nature where considerable judgment, independent action and a high degree of initiative are required in resolving problems and making recommendations.  Work is performed under limited supervision. Acts independently to determine methods and procedures on new assignments. Performs administrative duties in areas such as budget preparation, monitoring, and control, grant and manuscript preparation and special projects.  Collects, prepares, edits, and assembles information in support of the Science Operations Office (SOO) or laboratory operations.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities May Include the Following:


  1. Maintain office records of Institute policies and procedures and communicate changes to appropriate personnel.
  2. Collect and assemble data used in preparation of SOO or laboratory budget. Implement approved budgets and monitor expenditures of funds; review monthly budget reports and investigate variances.
  3. May assist in office space and facilities planning; make recommendations for changes; maintain inventory of furniture and equipment. May assist in arranging repairs on equipment.
  4. Maintain office calendar. Schedule and coordinate meetings, committee activities, conferences and special events.
  5. Coordinate activities between department and host institution and other outside parties.
  6. Answer routine and non-routine inquiries without further consultation and respond to minor problems or complaints.
  7. Perform complex document preparation assignments. Compose, proofread, research, and compile letters and/or special reports. Conduct library research. Review and edit written materials such as publications or manuscripts from draft form.
  8. Perform miscellaneous secretarial duties as required.
  9. Make travel arrangements and appointments.


Organizational Scope and Impact of Position

Short to Intermediate term impact.  Contributes to and shares in the results of the lab or SOO.  Influences short to intermediate range and limited scope activities.  Errors, though potentially significant, are usually contained within control systems and thus are limited in impact.


Interactions with Others

Establishes goals and schedules work to meet those goals.  Work is reviewed at key stages by supervisor but individual is largely self-directed.  Resolves conflict in the work unit within established policies and guidelines.  Recognizes when to escalate resolution to superiors.

Actively contributes information and opinions to formal and informal problem solving process. 

May train others in specialized tasks within their own area of expertise.


Preferred Qualifications:


Education and Experience:

  • Associate degree or equivalent including courses in bookkeeping principles, accounting, and office management AND at least three years of increasingly responsible experience in office management and bookkeeping in a research environment. Knowledge of scientific terminology and familiarity with research laboratory operations are essential.


Knowledge/Understanding/Skills & Abilities:

  • Excellent keyboarding and common word-processing and spreadsheet software skills, as well as being skilled in the use of calculators and other office equipment.
  • Understands operation of basic equipment. While some activities performed are routine and repetitive, others are complex.
  • Generally experienced in job duties and in the principles and practices associated with those duties with an understanding of the underlying principles.
  • Fully understands their role in the laboratory or SOO and in related units as well as understanding how the job relates to the organization as a whole.
  • Ability to learn tasks independently and to apply experience to develop new techniques. Actively seeks opportunities to increase skills and expertise.  Remains technically and administratively current in job.
  • Ability to communicate required information, draft routine correspondence and basic reports, keep accurate records of work performed.


HHMI is an equal opportunity employer.

Required Skills

Required Experience

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)-hhmi-746-908