Human Resources

Assistant Research Scientist - Environmental Biotechnology

Apply now Job No: 24074
Department: Great Lakes Research Center
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Sciences, Research, Biology

Department: Great Lakes Research Center

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) seeks to create, expand, and accelerate research activities in environmental biotechnology. As a leading research Institute, the GLRC is a flagship Center of Excellence integrating faculty and professional researchers in multidisciplinary research collaborations to address critical challenges facing society. The Institute provides a full spectrum of research services, currently to more than 70 affiliated researchers from eighteen academic and non-academic units across campus, with annual research expenditures approaching 10M.

The GLRC is seeking a research scientist to join our organization and the launch of a new thrust area in environmental biotechnology, including genomic biology, computational biology, systems and synthetic biology, bioenergy, and biosecurity. Ideal candidates will have a PhD in biology, environmental engineering, chemical engineering, or closely related discipline; have education or experience in translational research and/or commercialization; and must be able to obtain a U.S. Department of Defense security clearance, which requires United States citizenship.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

  • Seek and develop a sustainable research program that includes leading a portfolio of externally funded research
  • Contribute to the research success of others including faculty and other research staff through proposal development, submission, and successful project implementation
  • Participate in research dissemination through publication in peer-reviewed journals and through presentations at conferences and participation in technical workshops and working groups
  • Cultivate a network of external collaborators and partners to facilitate idea generation and innovation through research activities that promote the mission of the Institute and the University.
  • Participate in GLRC Institute activities and initiatives to support research growth
  • Commit to supporting a team environment
  • Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives
  • Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

  • PhD in Biology, Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or closely related discipline
  • Minimum of two-years’ experience beyond degree

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

  • Demonstrated expertise in microbiology, molecular biology, or genomics
  • Experience leading and working in multidisciplinary research teams
  • Experience obtaining and managing grants and contracts
  • Demonstrated experience in translating scientific information into research products and public communications for dissemination by non-technical audiences

Desirable Education and/or Experience

  • Experience with at least two of the following: microbial community analysis and engineering, metagenomics, bioprocess engineering, or protein biochemistry
  • NSF I-Corps or similar training
  • Experience de-risking of early-stage technologies
  • Experience with translational research like SBIR/STTR
  • Experience developing and implementing intellectual property strategy
  • Business development and other entrepreneurial experience
  • Experience working with Department of Defense clients
  • Investigator and/or senior personnel role on existing grants/contracts

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

  • Strong research, problem solving, and communication skills (both written and oral), coupled with strong attention to detail and scientific curiosity
  • Ability to supervise and mentor researchers such as graduate students, technicians, and other technical staff
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills
  • Ability to take direction without continuous oversight, while demonstrating strong self-motivated accountability
  • Ability to exercise discretion, confidentiality, and independent judgment with respect to matters related to job duties
  • Demonstrated ability to participate in teams as both a leader and a contributor
  • Strong publication track record
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, concurrently
  • Excellent collaborative and interpersonal skills and a willingness to work in a fast-paced team environment
  • Ability to motivate others to achieve desirable outcomes
  • Demonstrated commitment to workplace safety
  • Ability to obtain a U.S. Department of Defense security clearance, which requires United States citizenship. Obtaining a national security clearance while holding a dual citizenship will not be possible when the foreign country poses a risk to the national security of the United States
  • Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities


  • Understanding of the translation of environmental biological discoveries to biotechnology
  • Process knowledge of the various steps to move through invention disclosure to commercialization or patent
  • Acute business forward mind-set
  • Strong budget development skills
  • Demonstrated success in, or potential future contributions to, working with persons from diverse backgrounds, creating a sense of belonging, and fostering a fair, objective, welcoming place to work for persons with a wide variety of personal characteristics and viewpoints

Language, Mathematics and/or Reasoning Skills


Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

The successful applicant will be responsible for ensuring eligibility for employment in the United States on or before the effective date of the appointment. Visa sponsorship is unavailable at this time. This is not an E-Verified Position.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

12 months



Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable Based on Experience

Title of Position Supervisor

Associate Director, Great Lakes Research Center

Posting Type

Internal & External

Dependent on Funding


Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)


Additional Information


Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
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