Student Affairs

Research Assistant I


Santa Clara University

Santa Clara, CA United States


To assist in the data acquisition and analysis of laboratory research.



1.Assist in the expression, purification, and analysis of proteins

  • Clone genes into suitable protein expression DNA vectors.
  • Express various proteins in E. coli using sterile technique.
  • Purify proteins using chromatography and a fast protein liquid chromatography (FPLC) system.
  • Perform gel electrophoresis during routine quality control and aid in troubleshooting protein expression/purification issues.
  • Perform peptide synthesis using a peptide synthesizer.
  • Characterize proteins using advanced instrumentation including matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS).
  • Analyze and process MALDI-MS data to generate figures for presentations and publications.
  • Execute routine troubleshooting and maintenance of commonly used instrumentation in the laboratory under the council of laboratory management staff and/or service representatives.
  • Prepare standard laboratory buffers and media.
  • Perform various cell assays using immortalized cell lines using sterile technique.
  • Maintain clear, detailed laboratory notebooks (using a digital format) with experimental procedures, calculations, and data.

2.Writing support

  • Conduct searches of the primary scientific literature and summarize findings at the request of the PI.
  • Proofread grant proposals and manuscripts produced by the PI.
  • Prepare drafts of various manuscript and grant sections, figures, tables, and presentations for associated research projects.

3.Laboratory support

  •  Prepare sterile stock solutions and growth media.
  • Wash and autoclave glassware.
  • Maintain lab equipment.
  • Maintain lab in general state of cleanliness and order.
  • Maintain lab electronic resources and data.
  • Keep a working inventory of routinely used chemicals and consumables.

4. Maintenance of laboratory safety

  • Execute and report regular online laboratory safety inspections via the university portal.
  • Remedy minor safety code infractions within the laboratory in accordance with university policy.
  • Write standard operating procedure (SOP) documents to train new lab members and execute routine laboratory procedures safely.
  • Monitor hazardous and biohazardous waste accumulation.

Other duties as assigned



Ensures that undergraduate student researchers maintain a safe laboratory environment and adhere to standard laboratory procedures. Trains undergraduate student researchers in standard laboratory practices and procedures.



1.Identifies and determines the causes of problems; researches, develops, and presents recommendations for improvement of established practices.

2.Maximizes productivity through use of appropriate tools.

3.Researches and develops resources that support timely and efficient workflow.

4.Maintains contact with PI and solicits feedback for improved work.

5.Prepares progress reports, informs PI of project status and deviation from timeline. Ensures completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of all operational functions.

6.Prepares and submits written and/or oral reports as requested and required.

7.Develops and implements SOPs to support laboratory functions.



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The items below are representative of the knowledge, skills, abilities, education, and experience required or preferred.

This position requires the ability to effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse multicultural environment and to promote and contribute to an inclusive and respectful workplace.


Basic understanding of the following: laboratory safety; principles of protein/peptide biochemistry, spectroscopy, thermodynamics, and kinetics; principles of molecular biology and microbiology.


  • Bacterial and cell culture using sterile technique.
  • Safe handling of hazardous chemicals and biohazardous materials
  • Protein expression in E. coli.
  • Protein purification using affinity and size-exclusion chromatography.
  • Gene cloning using PCR and standard molecular biology techniques.
  • Gel electrophoresis.
  • Spectroscopic data acquisition and analysis.
  • MALDI-MS data acquisition and analysis.
  • Use of routine laboratory equipment, including, but not limited to: micropipettes, gel electrophoresis, centrifuges, autoclave, and cell culture incubators.
  • Searching and critical reading of primary literature.
  • Scientific writing and figure generation.


  • Understand and follow laboratory safety regulations.
  • Work independently.
  • Work cooperatively as part of a multidisciplinary research team while providing regular progress reports to the PI and lab members.
  • Keep detailed records of work completed in digital laboratory notebook.


Bachelor's degree in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, or closely aligned field required.

5.Years of Experience

 0-3 years of laboratory research experience required.



The physical demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, and all other applicable laws, SCU provides reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities. A qualified individual is a person who meets skill, experience, education, or other requirements of the position, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

• Considerable time is spent performing hands-on work at a laboratory bench.

• Considerable time is spent at a desk using a computer terminal.

• May be required to travel to other buildings on the campus.

• May be required to attend conference and training sessions within Bay Area or in- or out-of-state locations.



The work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.

• Typical biochemistry laboratory environments, including handling hazardous chemicals and biohazardous materials.

• Indoor laboratory environment with windows.

• Offices and laboratory with equipment noise.

• Offices and laboratory with frequent interruptions.



Position Type:Fixed Term (Fixed Term)

Salary Range:  $20.54/hr - $22.16/hr

Pay Frequency:  Hourly


EEO Statement

Equal Opportunity/Notice of Nondiscrimination

Santa Clara University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and California State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged. For a complete copy of Santa Clara University's equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies, see

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Santa Clara University does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex/gender, and prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. The Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is Belinda Guthrie, Director of Equal Opportunity and Title IX, 408-551-3043,, Inquiries can also be made to the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Clery Notice of Availability

Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Santa Clara University report, please go to the Campus Safety Services To request a paper copy please call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4441. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Santa Clara University affirms its' commitment to employ qualified individuals with disabilities within the workplace and to comply with the Americans with Disability Act. All applicants desiring an accommodation should contact the, and 408-554-5750 and request to speak to Indu Ahluwalia by phone at 408-554-5750 or by email at

Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Santa Clara University report, please go to the Campus Safety Services To request a paper copy please call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4441. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.


To view the full job posting and apply for this position, go to


About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offering its 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s, Ph.D., and law degrees.

Santa Clara University does not sponsor work visas for staff positions. If hired, individuals must independently provide proof of their eligibility to work in the United States.


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  • Start Date: No Start Date
  • Education: Bachelor's Degree Required
  • Work Experience: 0 - 2 years
  • Part/Full Time: Full-Time

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