Lab Administrator

Lab Administrator

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 3/7/2024
Full Time


Lab Administrator

Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences


Job Summary

Reporting to the Director of Faculty Support and Administration and the Harvard Biodesign Lab faculty PI, the Lab Administrator performs a wide range of complex and confidential administrative and financial duties that support research, teaching, advising, travel and related activities. The Lab Administrator anticipates and resolves problems and provides updates on the status of projects and tasks as needed. This position will work closely with Research Portfolio Managers (RPMs) and Finance Procurement Specialists to support the faculty and research group(s) with their financial portfolios.

Position Description


  • Serves as principal administrative contact for faculty, researchers, and students in the lab(s)/group(s) on daily administrative lab activities including business operations, purchasing/procurement, shipping, compliance, electronic document organizing, etc.
  • Takes the lead to problem solve, on behalf of the faculty, critical lab issues with lab group members, other offices at SEAS (research administration, human resources, financial operations, faculty affairs), and external parties (vendors) using business judgment and project management skills.
  • May support lab related functions as needed, including material transfers, core facility charge logistics, equipment inventory and asset tagging. May also maintain lab roster, coordinate onboarding and offboarding of lab members, and handle related tasks.
  • Responsible for keeping lab physical and electronic files organized.  Ensures ease of access to materials and processes for faculty and lab members. 
  • Works independently with minimal supervision in collaboration with faculty PI in a work environment with multiple and conflicting priorities.
  • Interacts with research group(s) on a daily basis, building knowledge of lab structures and needs, developing lab/group processes as needed.
  • May manage lab group websites; may assist with preparing slides for group meetings.


  • Prepares appointments (including Harvard Sponsored Roles) for incoming lab members, including paperwork for visa information data sheets, and may assist with onboarding and orientating new group members (including liaising with IT for access, internal lab file sharing and communication access, lab safety officer), building access. Maintains lab roster and updates PI when appointments are ending. 
  • Maintaining updated electronic access to lab file/data sharing and communication platforms (e.g. google drive, HUIT services, HMS services, slack etc.). Adding people when they join and removing people once they leave.
  • Coordinate hiring of temp research members and consultants and manage submission of timesheets and invoices, to ensure people get paid. 
  • Manages complex calendars for faculty, and coordinates scheduling and logistics for meetings (including catering when appropriate), visitors, tours, appointments, and travel. 
  • Maintains and updates biographical information including CVs/biosketches for faculty, publication, and collaborator lists.
  • Provides general administrative assistance to lab members such as travel, conference registration, reimbursement, etc.
  • Provides support on submitting forms and reports within Harvard such as yearly faculty activity report, OTD forms, advising forms etc.
  • May assist with planning events, including group retreats, seminars, and conferences hosted by faculty and receiving of visitors/guests.
  • May provide course assistance by maintaining a course website, tracking grades, and general support for semester-end presentations.
  • Assists with hiring and recruitment in collaboration with faculty affairs and HR (e.g. posting and managing job openings on ARIES).
  • Makes sure publications are posted to relevant websites.
  • Processing of recommendation letters. 


  • Uses Harvard financial systems to process financial transactions, such as purchasing supplies and/or equipment, reimbursements for travel, corporate card payments, purchasing card transactions, and manages transactional activities for internal and external vendors.
  • Collaborates with grant managers to review grant expenditures to stay up to date on funding sources


  • Accomplishes related duties and takes on new responsibilities in response to changing office needs. 
  • Learns new software and systems as needed. 
  • Participates in team meetings, trainings, and activities for faculty support staff. 
  • May provide back-up to other labs as needed in consultation with the PI and Director for Faculty Support. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

Basic Qualifications

Five or more years of related experience. Education beyond high school may count towards experience. 

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • College degree, or an equivalent of college level coursework preferred.
  • Relevant experience in an office environment; experience supporting faculty or executives, particularly with documents and file organization, calendar management and travel; and experience supporting multiple principals strongly preferred.
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills, and the ability to prioritize competing demands in a fast-paced environment. Ability to work with interruptions, adapt to change, and respond quickly to last-minute alteration requests regarding calendars, schedules and travel.
  • Prior work experiences that called for independent initiative, and ability to work independently with minimal supervision, make appropriate adjustments to work flow, and problem solve.
  • Strong attention to detail, accuracy, follow-through, and dependability is essential.
  • Project management skills and experience preferred.

Communication Skills:

  • Ability to establish effective work relationships across all levels.
  • Excellent customer service and oral and written communication skills.

Computer Skills:

  • Competency using a variety of computer software, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Adobe Suite and Zoom. 
  • Must possess the ability to learn and adapt to new systems quickly, including emerging office technologies and communication tools. 
  • Experience with updating websites and using Harvard systems a plus.

Additional Information

  • Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter.
  • The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences does not provide visa sponsorship for administrative and staff positions.
  • This position will be on campus 5 days/week in Allston, MA. 
  • The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Work Format Details

This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.

About Us

About SEAS
The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences serves as the connector and integrator of Harvard’s teaching and research efforts in engineering, applied sciences, and technology. Our core tenets are educating broad-minded students; interdisciplinary research; integration across disciplines; and balancing theory, experimentation and practice to create an unmatched environment for learning and exploration. Through collaboration with researchers from all parts of Harvard, other universities, and industry, we bring discovery and innovation directly to bear on improving human life and society. For more information about us, please visit www.seas.harvard.edu.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website (https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function

General Administration

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Allston

Job Code

403040 Coordinator II

Work Format




Salary Grade



SEAS Faculty and Lab Administration


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

SEAS Commitment to Diversity
The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) is dedicated to building a diverse community of individuals who are committed to contributing to an inclusive environment. Some of our core values include respect for all, serving the greater good, and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.