Research Specialist I/ II

Requisition # 2024-18839
Date Posted 2 months ago(4/9/2024 9:53 AM)
Molecular Biology
Research and Laboratory
Job Type


A full-time Research Specialist I/II position is available in the Flow Cytometry Resource Facility (FCRF) laboratory in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. The FCRF provides support for Princeton University faculty and student research utilizing state-of-the-art flow cytometry and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) techniques and instrumentation.  We currently support over 40 Principal Investigator labs on campus and over 160 researchers working with a wide variety of model systems and assays that represent research areas that include immunology, cancer biology, neuroscience, virology, microbiology and more. 


Schedule:  Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5:30pm.  Please note that this position may require some flexibility of working hours, including occasional overtime to support research needs.  No weekend hours are required.


Work Location: In person, Princeton University main campus, Princeton, NJ.


Research Specialist I specific duties include:


  • Assist with and carry out routine single color and advanced multi-color flow cytometry experiments with users (students, research staff, post-docs and faculty) on analytical flow cytometry instruments.


  • Orient new users to the lab and directly contribute to the successful daily operation of the facility with minimal direction.  Assist in maintaining a welcoming and educational environment for all members of the Princeton community.


  • Upon demonstration of appropriate knowledge base, training to operate several cell sorters will be provided with the goal of independent execution of a wide variety of FACS sorting experiments in a BSL2+ level facility.


  • Provide instrument and software training to new and established clients with minimal supervision.  The lab is equipped with Cell Sorters:  BD Biosciences FACSAria Fusion, Sony Biotechnology MA900, UnionBiometrica COPAS Vision; Flow Cytometers: Cytek Biosciences Aurora, BD Biosciences FACSymphony A3, BD Biosciences LSRII; Other equipment:  Z2 Particle Counter, CytoSpin Centrifuge and FlowJo, FCS Express, FACSDiVa, and SpectroFlo software platforms.


  • Provide technical assistance and consultation to clients on experimental design, including appropriate sample preparation techniques and necessary control samples for a wide variety of model systems and assays.


  • Perform daily quality control checks on the benchtop flow cytometers and cell sorters. Keep accurate, legible records to monitor instrument performance. In concert with Facility Director, complete scheduled and unscheduled system maintenance as needed.


  • Assist in maintaining instrument/experiment calendars and become expert in the use of iLab scheduling and usage reporting software.


  • Have the ability to multi-task in a fast-paced multi-user research environment while maintaining excellent attention to detail.


  • Troubleshoot instrument and assay performance, assisting researchers with optimizing their experiments and data analysis.


  • Archive all facility data and maintain workstation computers monthly.


  • Organize and maintain a resource reference library for users.


  • Perform routine laboratory duties including ordering of lab supplies with comparison cost sourcing, general lab upkeep, preparation of reagents, disposal of laboratory waste, and routine maintenance of laboratory equipment, including weekly sterilization and monthly cleaning protocols. Must be able to lift 50 pounds.


  • Other duties as assigned by the FCRF Director.


Research Specialist II duties include all items outlined above plus:  Independent operation of several cell sorters to successfully execute a wide variety of FACS sorting experiments in a BSL2+ level setting; knowledge of and adherence to standard cell sorting biosafety practices; interfacing with vendor service engineers; assisting in creating and editing facility standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training materials.


Essential Qualifications:  Bachelor's degree in biology, biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, biotechnology or related field is required. The candidate should have:

  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, both written and verbal. This position requires constant interaction with a large user base of varying personalities and experience, so patience, willingness to teach and troubleshoot, and the ability to interact in a professional and effective manner is critical for success.
  • Independent critical thinking and problem solving ability. Successful instrument troubleshooting, which is a major component of this position, requires implementing a logical deductive workflow, based on knowledge of flow cytometry principles and instrument components, to discover root causes and resolve issues.
  • Flexibility and excellent attention to detail.
  • Aptitude for continued learning and development, especially with regard to complex instrumentation and technology.
  • Experience in a fast-paced, multi-tasking environment and the ability to work independently is required. 
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) software is essential. 
  • For Research Specialist II level: a minimum of 3-5 years of hands-on analytical flow cytometry and/or cell sorting experience; knowledge of standard cell sorting biosafety practices; and demonstrated knowledge of FACSDiVa and/or SpectroFlo and FCS Express and/or FlowJo software platforms.

Preferred QualificationsResearch Specialist I:  Previous flow cytometry knowledge and hands-on experience with routine and advanced multi-color experiments and cell sorting is desirable. One to three years’ work experience in a laboratory environment is preferred.   Research Specialist II:  Hands-on experience and proficiency with the operation and maintenance of current instrumentation in the FCRF is preferred, especially the Cytek Aurora system.  Demonstrated experience with advanced flow cytometric data analysis and interpretation is desirable.  Previous experience in a shared resource laboratory environment and in the training of new users is preferred.


Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Standard Weekly Hours


Eligible for Overtime


Benefits Eligible


Probationary Period

90 days

Essential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)


Physical Capacity Exam Required


Valid Driver's License Required




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