Job Opening

Position Title: Laboratory Technician
Part/Full:Full Time

POSITION SUMMARY and PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS are combined for any associated posting.

POSITION SUMMARY: Explain the purpose for the position and summarize the responsibilities.

The Department of Animal Science’s mission is to discover and disseminate new knowledge about the biology and management of domestic animals and to apply this knowledge to benefit society. Our department is devoted to undergraduate and graduate teaching, research, extension, and outreach.

We are seeking a talented individual to support research in dairy cattle biology, working under the direction of two Principal Investigators (PIs) with the research mission to improve dairy cattle reproduction, health, nutrition, and milk production efficiency. Current research includes laboratory work in Morrison Hall at Cornell University and works with dairy cattle at the Dairy Unit of the Cornell University Ruminant Center and commercial dairy farms. Each PI team is comprised of a diverse group of researchers, including graduate students, Postdoctoral Associates, undergraduate students, and research interns.

Technician’s tasks include but are not limited to:
• Conduct and support lab personnel with techniques commonly used by the PIs research groups, including radioimmunoassay (RIA), colorimetric and ELISA assay, PCR amplification and gel electrophoresis, liquid chromatography, histology, cell culture (e.g., neutrophils, adipocytes, myotubes, liver slices), and immunoblotting.
• Conduct and support lab personnel with animal research involving live animals. Common activities include experimental design, planning and implementation of on-farm data collection protocols, biological sampling, and animal monitoring.
• Data collection and management, including small and large data sets generated in database management systems, dairy herd management software, and precision technology software.
• Maintain complete and detailed laboratory records and protocols. Assist in basic training of laboratory safety and procedures for new trainees. Assist in meeting laboratory safety guidelines and processes mandated by the University and PIs.
• General laboratory and equipment maintenance. Ordering supplies, preparation of reagents, preparing standard proposal documents and invoices. Conducting basic internet or resource review as necessary.
• Maintain current chemical safety, hazardous waste disposal, biohazard and radioactive materials use and disposal and animal handling training.
• Maintain sample and chemical databases, ensuring adherence to lab safety and animal care and use protocols.
• Work collaboratively with other research groups. These activities will be dependent upon the project type, laboratory needs, and the candidate’s interests and abilities.

This position is full-time (39 hours/week) and will be located in Ithaca, New York.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: Specify required minimum equivalency for education, experience, skills, information systems knowledge, etc.

• Associate’s degree in Animal Science or related field and 2+ years of research and/or lab management experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
• Excellent computer skills, including word processing, spreadsheet software, presentation software, and basic statistical analysis.
• Ability to pay attention to detail and maintain high data quality standards.
• Ability to work quickly and effectively, while prioritizing workload.
• Possess excellent organizational skills.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills.
• Ability to efficiently manage laboratory procedures and facilitate research protocols.
• Ability to work independently and take initiative.
• Knowledge of laboratory safety protocols and guidelines.
• Ability to solve problems and improve research protocols.
• Ability to stay up to date with new research techniques and evolving projects.
• Experience in the collection of data and preparation of summaries and final reports.
• Ability to keep the equipment, materials, and lab organized.
• Ability to contribute to an inclusive, high-quality, and respectful work environment.
• Exercise sound and ethical judgment.
• Demonstrated ability to develop effective working relationships with students, faculty, and staff.
• Demonstrated ability to work with and care for large animals (i.e., livestock – dairy cattle).
• Must be able to work irregular hours occasionally.
• Ability to lift up to 50 pounds.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: Specify preferred specialized education, field and/or certifications.

• Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, Biology, Nutritional Science or related field
• Experience performing basic wet-chemistry techniques in the lab.
• Ability to conduct radioimmunoassay techniques for hormone analysis.
• Experience and understanding of basic concepts of biochemical, molecular, and cellular biology.
• Knowledge with collecting and handling blood, tissue, milk, and/or gastrointestinal samples.
• Experience with organizing, analyzing, and presenting data.

Skills for Success
(The following skills are essential for individual and organizational success.)

As a member of the Cornell Community I . . .

Interact with integrity . . . so people feel respected and engaged.
• Be honest and trustworthy, demonstrate high standards of personal conduct.
• Have a positive attitude.
• Involve others as appropriate when outcomes impact their work.
• Be diplomatic in your interactions with customers and stakeholders.
• Admit your mistakes and learn from them.
• Acknowledge the support and contributions of others.

Contribute positively to an inclusive environment . . . so people feel like they belong.
• Be honest and trustworthy, demonstrate high standards of personal conduct.
• Have a positive attitude.
• Involve others as appropriate when outcomes impact their work.
• Be diplomatic in your interactions with customers and stakeholders.
• Admit your mistakes and learn from them.
• Acknowledge the support and contributions of others.

Support the organization’s shared vision and mission . . . I am trusted to move university and team goals forward.
• Show commitment to unit and university goals in delivering results.
• Anticipate, embrace, promote and implement change.
• Balance short-term gains with long-term vision.
• Be open and receptive to new information, ideas and approaches.
• Be adaptable, modify your preferred way of doing things when it benefits the whole.
• Support ideas, solutions and changes to processes to ensure high quality outcomes.

Communicate clearly and consistently . . . people feel informed and heard.
• Seek to understand and then to be understood.
• Demonstrate active listening skills.
• Express thoughts clearly, both verbally and in writing.
• Share knowledge and information.
• Give, receive and act upon helpful and timely feedback.

Act and take initiative . . . I take ownership of my work and results.
• Adopt a culture of sustainability and efficiency.
• Strive to develop and implement best practices.
• Take responsible risks to innovate seeking advancements in products, processes, services, technologies or ideas.
• Identify opportunities in challenges and show initiative.
• Reach out in a timely and responsive manner to resolve problems and conflicts.
• Anticipate and adapt to changing priorities and additional demands.

Display sound judgment in problem solving . . . people seek me out to find solutions to deliver results.
• Exercise sound judgment to make decisions and meet deliverables.
• Assess environmental, economic, compliance and social impacts in decision-making.
• Demonstrate innovative, creative and informed risk taking.
• Apply analytical thinking, data and metrics to synthesize complex information.
• Anticipate obstacles and generate alternatives.
• Negotiate to find and orchestrate win-win solutions.

Proactively seek self-development and coaching opportunities . . . people see my commitment and passion to continuously develop
• Be self-aware.
• Work to continuously learn and improve.
• Take measures to ensure personal well-being and balance.
• Seek and act upon performance feedback.
• Apply learning to evolving assignments.
• Actively manage your career.
• Encourage others to develop themselves.

RESPONSIBILITIES/ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS: List the position’s assigned responsibilities and estimate percentage of annual time spent on each responsibility. Include only the essential functions that are fundamental and necessary to the position.
(Approximate % of time, Annualized)

Research Experiment Support (45%):

• Under the guidance of the Principal Investigators and compliance with university policy, conduct and assist in experiments with livestock and biological samples from large animals.
• Animal research involves the care and treatment of live animals (dairy cattle) for on-farm record collection, biological sampling, and data organization for analysis.
• Lab techniques commonly used include radioimmunoassay (RIA), colorimetric and ELISA assay, PCR amplification and gel electrophoresis, liquid chromatography, histology, cell culture (e.g., neutrophils, adipocytes, myotubes, liver slices), and immunoblotting.
• Prepare and modify animal care and use protocols.
• Conducting wet-lab procedures appropriate for nutritional physiology and biochemistry.
• Collect samples while ensuring sample integrity.
• Collaborate with lab members to support experiments and the development of new protocols.
• Under the guidance of the Principal Investigators ensure, that all trial close-out procedures are adhered to.
• Prepare media, buffers, and other reagents as necessary.
• Evaluate lab methods, procedures, and techniques and make recommendations for improvements.
• Meet with the supervisor and research group weekly to discuss research / laboratory needs and any concerns.

Laboratory Management Support (20%):

• Provide general laboratory and equipment maintenance
• Maintain precise, detailed experimental records, including data input and sample management within freezers and refrigerators.
• Maintain equipment including centrifuges, incubators, liquid chromatography systems, balances, electrophoresis units, pipettors, and consumable and chemical inventories.
• Order supplies as needed and assisting with the acquisition of quotes.
• Maintain and update standard operating procedures.
• Assist in the oversight and training of new lab members.
• Oversee packaging and shipping of samples and materials to/from other laboratories.
• Prepare standard proposal documents and invoices

Data Analysis and Reporting (20%):

• Keep detailed, accurate records, procedures and results of experimental activities and data both in notebook and computerized formats.
• Summarize research data into coherent and accessible form, create simple graphs, generate reports, and write standard laboratory operating procedures using various software packages.
• Data management, including extensive animal and laboratory records.
• Handle data uploads and downloads as necessary.
• Conduct basic internet or resource review as necessary.

Safety and Training (10%):

• In coordination with Principal Investigators monitor laboratory compliance of safety regulations, including Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), Biological Safety, Radiation Safety, and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
• Provide instruction to students and other technical staff on protocols, laboratory safety practices and waste disposal.
• Oversee biological and chemical waste disposal; oversee radioactive materials use compliance, communicate with EHS personnel and routine safety inspectors to ensure adherence to safety and training requirements.
• Attend EHS training courses to remain current in Chemical Safety, disposal of sharps and chemical and biohazardous wastes.

Personal and Professional Development/Other duties as assigned (5%):

• Actively participate in required training, in-service education, staff meetings, both locally and in other locations, as required.
• Develop and pursue a self-development plan that will enhance efforts within the program.
• Attend regular safety and process-related internal seminars as needed and communicate expertise and knowledge in the laboratory.
• Maintain good communications with PI, Postdoctoral Associates, graduate students, temporary staff, and other collaborators within Cornell and other institutions.
• Continuously maintain all required educational and position qualifications to fulfill job requirements.
• Perform other duties as assigned.


High School Diploma
Training 6 months to 1year, technical trade-no degree
x Associate’s Degree
Bachelor’s Degree
Training beyond Bachelor’s, less that Master’s Degree
Master’s Degree
PhD/EdD/JD/ or LLB

Less than 6 months
6 months to 1 year
1 to 2 years
x 2 to 3 years
3 to 4 years
4 to 5 years
5 to 7 years
7 but less than 10 years
More than 10 years

Limited; immediate group/department
x Moderate; beyond the department
Substantial; beyond college/admin unit
Significant; beyond university

x Receive/provide information
x Assist others; provide/obtain cooperation
x Provide guidance/coordinate activities/contribute to work groups
Coordinate major activities/sensitive situations
High level interaction; considerable diversity, highly sensitive and/or confidential

None to limited
Occasional; provide information
x Frequent; provide advice on complex issues or provide instruction on more complex equipment

x Conduct straightforward business; provide information
Conduct complex business; provide/receive/analyze/develop guidance and advice
Develop/make presentations and negotiate

No responsibility for others
x Occasional guidance to co-workers
Supervises others who perform similar work
Supervises, assigns and reviews work of others
Manages supervisors
Broadly directs managers

Predominantly follows established procedures, practice, policy; makes routine decisions within prescribed limits
Occasionally adapts procedures to resolve unusual cases; make some decisions requiring consideration of criteria
x Frequently adapts procedures to resolve questionable cases; often makes decisions requiring consideration of criteria
Occasionally develops practice, suggests policy changes to resolve difficult cases
Often develops practice, assists/influences decisions, recommends policy changes to resolve difficult cases and address emerging organizational change
Regularly develops policy to address organizational change; regularly makes policy-setting decisions

Functional area within department or minimal student/employee effect
x Multiple functional areas with limited student/employee effect
Entire department or moderate student/employee effect
Several departments or significant student/employee effect

x Detailed instructions or guided by standard policy/procedure
x General Supervision
Very general direction
Little guidance; considerable latitude for exercising judgment and self-direction

Limited writing required
Usually issues standard responses
x Frequently writes non-standard responses
Frequently writes extensive, non-standard responses based on specialized knowledge, interpretation of data and/or research

Limited use of computers; uses basic communication and time-collection tools
Uses basic business/technical programs/applications to perform responsibilities
x Uses a variety of basic and advanced business/technical programs/applications to perform responsibilities involving data management and analysis
Uses a wide-variety of advanced and complex business/technical programs/applications to manage data, systems, and information technology infrastructure; applies programming skills
Applies advanced programming skills for wide-variety of advanced and complex business/technical programs/applications to refine/develop systems, information technology, and data infrastructures.


Typically less than 10 lbs
Typically 10 to 20 lbs
x Typically 20 to 50 lbs
Typically more than 50 lbs

Normal concentration
Close concentration
x Close concentration/manual dexterity
Acute concentration/eye-hand coordination

Limited exposure
Chemicals/careful use
Chemicals/safety precautions
x Highly toxic chemicals

* Check applicable level after considering reasonable accommodations.

Company/Institution:Cornell University
City, State:Ithaca, NY
Zip Code:

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