Research Assistant II

Research Assistant II

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 2/23/2024
Laboratory and Research
Full Time


Research Assistant II

Harvard Medical School


Position Description

The successful candidate for this position will contribute to an interdisciplinary research team that is working to understand the genetic and cellular basis of normal human brain function and of brain disorders including Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Huntington’s disease.

The McCarroll Lab (http://mccarrolllab.org) studies the human brain using a variety of approaches and technologies, many of which we invented in recent years and/or are further developing. These include approaches for analyzing RNA and proteins in thousands of individual cells simultaneously (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL7ptq2Dcf0)

Coordination and collaboration within interdisciplinary research teams (that combine biology, statistics and data science) is a key aspect of this research.

Job-Specific Responsibilities:

  • Contribute to experimental workflows for profiling the molecular contents and biological states of thousands of individual cells in human brain tissue, contributing to all aspects including planning experiments; creating DNA-barcoding reagents; extracting nuclei from human brain tissue; preparing molecular libraries; and high-throughput sequencing.
  • Optimize and execute molecular-biological reactions such as PCR and DNA extraction.
  • Independently troubleshoot and optimize techniques and technologies.
  • Maintain detailed experimental notes in the lab’s electronic lab notebook.
  • Report experimental results in weekly lab meetings.
  • Contribute to other projects as needed.

Basic Qualifications

  • College background or equivalent work experience, preferably in a related discipline.
  • One to two+ years related work experience (relevant course work may count towards experience).

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, neuroscience, chemistry, biomedical engineering, or other quantitative area of science or engineering. Extensive course work could in some cases be equivalent to a major.
  • At least one year of laboratory experience.

Subjective qualifications:
  • Clear and effective in verbal and written communication.
  • Able to critically read and discuss scientific research publications.
  • Collaborate with a diverse group including laboratory scientists, project managers, professional staff, and academic trainees.

Additional Information

This is a one-year term position from the date of hire, with the possibility of extension, contingent upon work performance and continued funding to support the position. 

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.

Please note that we are currently conducting a majority of interviews and onboarding remotely and virtually. We appreciate your understanding.

The Harvard Medical School is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

Not ready to apply? Join our talent community to keep in touch and learn about future opportunities! (https://www.gem.com ?formID=16341e35-cbc6-4904-88a3-09b35763307e)

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.


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


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

403112 Research Assistant II Lab

Work Format




Salary Grade





55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening



35 hrs. per week | Monday - Friday | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

We are committed to cultivating an inclusive workplace culture of faculty, staff, and students with diverse backgrounds, styles, abilities, and motivations. We appreciate and leverage the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals. Harvard Medical School Mission and Community Values


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.

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