Research Laboratory Manager

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The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL, a Directorate of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory), is a national user facility providing synchrotron radiation for research in biology, chemistry, environmental science, material science, medicine, and physics. SSRL operates and maintains >30 synchrotron radiation beam lines.  The SSRL directorate also supports several cryo-electron microscopy facilities and instruments mainly for biological and biomedical research.  As part of the science and user facility programs there are 10+ laboratories that are available to external users and internal staff.

We have an immediate opening for an experienced Life Science Research Professional (LSRP) to support the research efforts of these laboratories. In this position you will work closely with visiting scientist users, graduate students and postdocs, and staff, to support them in achieving their scientific goals and to facilitate cutting-edge synchrotron x-ray and cryo-electron microscopy-based research, working within a team. There is strong emphasis on high-level service orientation, meeting user needs, varied levels of technical/scientific communication, detailed organization, and independent work in a fast-paced environment.

Note: SLAC is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) laboratory operated by Stanford University and based in Menlo Park; CA. Due to COVID-19-related curtailment of on-site activities, the job duties for this position may be required to be performed from home until full site access is restored

Organization-specific roles and responsibilities include:

  • Manage and coordinate the use of the SSRL chemistry/materials/biology sample preparation laboratories by users/collaborators/staff scientists in activities that range from biochemistry to biology, inorganic and physical chemistry, and materials science.
  • Be responsible for introducing new staff scientists/collaborators/users to laboratory procedures, including methodological safety, assignment of space, general laboratory rules and regulations, hazardous waste management and disposal, and training on specialized laboratory equipment and general instrumentation.
  • Serve as the primary contact for laboratory users for activities within the sample prep labs and for access to these labs during their experimental time at the SSRL synchrotron and user laboratory facilities.
  • Manage the laboratory access process via RFID systems.
  • Be responsible for biological and chemical safety processes in the laboratories, including to assess, negotiate and approve modifications to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as needed, for all laboratory work and experiments, often in consultation with resident Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and directorate ES&H coordinator.
  • Implement and manage chemical and hazardous waste handling protocols, and coordinate information and disposal processes with ES&H personnel.
  • Maintain laboratory records and inventories; specialized lab equipment (e.g. water purification systems, inert atmosphere chambers, fluid handling robots, centrifuges, protein purification instruments), hazardous materials (e.g. chemicals, compressed gases, cryogenics, biological materials), supplies.
  • Research and make recommendations on new equipment purchases based on the required specifications.
  • Procure laboratory equipment, chemicals, gasses, supplies, and services from outside vendors; manage reconciliations of orders; and delivery to laboratories.
  • Maintain and update the SSRL Sample Preparation Laboratory website.
  • May require occasional work without supervision on evenings and weekends.

Your specific core duties include:*

  • Perform more complex functions and activities involved in defined research projects, and independently conduct a portion of the research project(s).
  • Independently conduct a portion of the research project(s). Make recommendations on experimental design and/or research direction to principal investigator.
  • Independently conduct complex (lab and/or field) experiments to gather data for a portion of a major research project.
  • Interpret and analyze results, often where few guidelines exist, and make modifications to existing procedures and protocols.
  • Develop new research protocols where appropriate protocols are not described in the literature or where modification or adaptation of standard procedures and protocols is required.
  • Participate in multidisciplinary teams across different faculties or schools.
  • Perform ongoing literature review to remain current with new procedures and related research; apply to ongoing research and development of new protocols.
  • Contribute substantively to the preparation of papers for publication, especially in the results section, and to publication of findings. Present ongoing work to colleagues and/or academic conferences.
  • Oversee supply and equipment budget under supervision of principal investigator or business manager.
  • Work with health and safety department to ensure lab complies with regulations and all required trainings.
  • Supervise (either formally or informally) staff or students as needed, including oversight and direction on techniques, as well as consultation on project work. Serve as a technical resource for other research staff.
  • Oversee the daily activities of the laboratory including lab maintenance; maintain lab stock, manage chemical inventory and safety records, and provide general lab support as needed. May assist with purchasing laboratory equipment.
  • Other duties may also be assigned

To be successful in this position you will bring:

  • Bachelor’s degree in inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, or a related field and two years or a Master’s degree in a related scientific field, Laboratory experience in a scientific environment and discipline including supporting defined research projects and managing and coordinating complex laboratory functions.
  • Comprehensive understanding of scientific principles.
  • Strong analytical skills and excellent judgment.
  • Ability to work under deadlines with general guidance is essential.
  • Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated ability to accurately complete detailed work.
  • Ability to apply sound judgment in challenging and multi-tasking situations and be able to work independently with only general guidance.
  • Strong communication skills and a demonstrated ability to work effectively and congenially with others within a scientific team in a fast-paced dynamic environment are required.
  • General computer skills and ability to quickly learn and master computer programs, databases, and scientific applications.

Preferred requirements include:

  • A Master’s degree in inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, or a related field.
  • Experience from biosafety level 2 laboratories.
  • Previous experience in a research laboratory within a DOE research facility.
  • Familiarity with federal and state regulations (e.g. Cal OSHA, NIH Guidelines)
  • Scientific writing or safety document preparation.

SLAC employee competencies:

  • Effective Decisions: Uses job knowledge and solid judgment to make quality decisions in a timely manner.
  • Self-Development: Pursues a variety of venues and opportunities to continue learning and developing.
  • Dependability: Can be counted on to deliver results with a sense of personal responsibility for expected outcomes.
  • Initiative: Pursues work and interactions proactively with optimism, positive energy, and motivation to move things forward.
  • Adaptability: Flexes as needed when change occurs, maintains an open outlook while adjusting and accommodating changes.
  • Communication: Ensures effective information flow to various audiences and creates and delivers clear, appropriate written, spoken, presented messages.
  • Relationships: Builds relationships to foster trust, collaboration, and a positive climate to achieve common goals.

Physical requirements and Working conditions:

  • Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.

Work Standard:

  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide,


  • Classification Title: Life Science Research Professional 2
  • Job Grade: G; Job Code: 4952
  • Duration: Continuing

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