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Research Assistant III

Back to search results Apply now Job no: 842800
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 13
Major Administrative Unit / College: College Of Veterinary Medicine
Department: Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory 10046059
Sub Area: AP- Professionals
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Health Care Support, Veterinary/Animal Care, Administrative Professionals- AP, Full Time (90-100%), Union

Position Summary

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL), is seeking applicants for a Research Assistant III position in Immunodiagnostics/Parasitology.  This is a full-time position without a predetermined end date. 

The VDL is a full-service, AAVLD-accredited laboratory and occupies a state-of-the-art facility comprising over 152,000 sq. feet of space.  The Immunodiagnostics/Parasitology Section is responsible for performing standard, real-time, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for detection and classification of parasites, bacteria, fungi and viruses.

The successful candidate will operate and maintain multiple standard and real-time thermocyclers, establish service contracts with vendors, and monitor changes in reagent prices and disposable supplies related to PCR assays; work as a team with the Lab Manager to establish work schedules for staff that rotate through the PCR area; perform routine and complex PCR assays for diagnostic purposes, quantify samples of RNA and DNA, optimize PCR reaction conditions, perform calculations to determine concentration of an infectious agent in clinical samples, and report results of PCR assays in a laboratory information management system; take a lead role in research and development projects that augment and/or improve PCR assays, use molecular methods including cloning of DNA into vectors and in situ hybridization, develop internal and external controls for PCR, assemble and edit nucleic acid sequences, design PCR primers and probes, analyze data from next generation sequencing projects, and provide training in new diagnostic procedures as needed; and manage and review quality control data, prepare and revise laboratory SOPs, participate in the quality system at VDL, and help prepare for internal audits and external audits of PCR area. 

This position will also provide excellent customer service by consulting with veterinarians, veterinary technicians, laboratory supervisors, researchers, pathologists, residents, and interns on laboratory findings, interpretations of findings, availability of tests, and cost of tests; provide training and technical assistance to graduate students and visiting scholars.

Familiarity with laboratory information systems, excellent computer skills, and knowledge of laboratory quality systems are highly desired. A willingness to work under biosafety level 3 conditions is desired.  An MS or PhD in molecular biology or related academic field is also desirable.

Michigan State University, the pioneer land-grant school, is one of the top research universities in the world where veterinary science has been taught since its 1855 founding.  East Lansing’s collegiate atmosphere is complemented by low cost of living with convenient access to large cultural centers such as Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Chicago.  East Lansing and surrounding communities provide excellent public school systems. In addition, Michigan, the Great Lakes State, with its numerous inland lakes and rivers, state and national parks, national lakeshores, world-class golf courses, and ample snowfall offers a broad variety of seasonal outdoor recreational activities. Visit the Pure Michigan© website for more details.

The position is available immediately.  Salary is commensurate with training and experience. 

The College's vision is to be the destination for teaching, innovation, care, and service. Six goals, backed by specific strategies, guide our organization as we move forward. Read more at https :// to learn about the MSU College of Veterinary Medicines goals, strategies and progress.

The College of Veterinary Medicine is committed to promoting the principles of equal opportunity and multiculturalism where all individuals are valued, respected, provided opportunity to flourish and open doors in their pursuit of excellence. We encourage and welcome our community to share ideas with us surrounding opportunities to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired through completion of one or two years of post-bachelor degree work, such as a Master's in the specific field of research employment; one to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in research methodologies, writing reports, supervision, software, data interpretation and handling in area related to research being performed; or an equivalent combination of education and experience; and may require special licensing or certification in the field related to the area of employment.


Desired Qualifications

An MS or PhD in molecular biology or related academic field is desirable. Willingness to work under biosafety level 3 conditions is desired. A successful candidate will be a professional who is organized, does not sweat the small stuff, but also sees the details, and is able to remain calm, cool, and collected under pressure. The ideal candidate for this role will be team oriented, collaborative by nature, customer service focused, independent problem solver, and have a positive attitude, while maintaining a professional demeanor at all times; ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced, demanding environment; ability to multi-task and meet deadlines without overlooking details and maintain a high quality of work standards; work independently as well as in a team environment; demonstrate a high level of initiative.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Application Materials

Please provide a current resume/CV, cover letter, and 3 professional references.

Together-we-will Statement

The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at:

Work Hours

Working hours are Monday through Friday between 7:30am and 5:30pm set in consultation with the position supervisor and may include weekends and holidays on a rotational basis.



Summary of Health Risks

Exposure to unfixed animal tissue

Bidding eligibility ends January 31, 2023 at 11:55 P.M.

Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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