Research Specialist A

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • Apr 12, 2024
Full time Biology/Biotechnology/Life Sciences Institutional Research & Planning

Job Description


Research Specialist A

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Large Employers in 2023.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Research Specialist A

Job Profile Title
Research Specialist A

Job Description Summary
The Research Specialist A will play a vital role in assisting the Research investigator with research work. A successful candidate will be responsible for conducting research experiments, ordering supplies and equipment, as well as maintaining accurate documentation of research work, such as DNA vector analysis, DNA extraction, RNA production, DNA/RNA qualification and quantification analyses, etc. The successful applicant will be expected to perform/support in vitro and in vivo analyses, animal work, and troubleshoot issues as they arise, to assist the research investigator and will need to use sound scientific judgment in their day to day activities.

Job Description

Job Responsibilities

  • Use advanced molecular biology techniques to amplify and sequence DNA constructs.
  • Use advanced molecular biology techniques to engage in mRNA amplification and manipulation such as in vitro transcription, RNA extraction, RNA analysis, RNA storage, quality control, etc.
  • Animal experiments including mouse and rat immunization, bleeding, dissection, imaging, etc.
  • Maintain a limited number of mouse colonies.
  • Perform ELISA, western blot, etc. Assist in Flow staining panels, immunological assays.
  • Maintain cell lines, cell transfection, etc.
  • Maintain supplies and reagents for projects in the team, lab environment maintenance.
  • Prepare data records, entry, and preliminary analysis.
  • Manage inventory registration, documentation, work report.
  • Follow regulations, and up-to-date training.
  • Participate in team/lab meetings, events, seminars, as required.
  • Assist in the day-to-day operations including purchasing/ordering, package shipment, equipment maintenance.
  • Share lab duties as required.



  • Bachelor of Science and 0 to 1 year of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience is required.
  • The ideal candidate will be curious and possess a strong desire to conduct vaccine research. Knowledge of biological processes and microbiological assays required.
  • Willing to conduct animal research (bleeding, injection, dissection, imaging, etc.).
  • Possess good problem-solving skills, and be able to work with members of a team.
  • Communication, writing skills, and attention to detail are essential.
  • Multitasking abilities and a high-level of reliability and dependability.
  • Excellent organizational record keeping skills.
  • Basic knowledge of Excel functions and Google sheets functions required. Use of data analysis software such as Prism is preferred.
  • If you are a highly self-motivated individual who is excited about working in a world-famous scientific research lab and directly participating in cutting-edge research studies in a collaborative research team, this will be a fantastic opportunity for you.
  • Salary is based on candidate's qualifications, experience, skills and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Perelman School of Medicine

Pay Range
$36,368.00 - $57,000.00 Annual Rate
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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