Research Assistant III (Viral and Rickettsial Diseases Department)

Updated: September 5, 2019
Job ID: 214677
Status: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular
Location: Silver Spring, MD, United States

Join the HJF Team!

HJF is seeking a Research Assistant III to support the molecular and immunology program within the Viral and Rickettsial Diseases Department (VRDD) located at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. HJF provides scientific, technical and programmatic support services to VRDD. US Citizenship is required.

The primary mission of the Viral and Rickettsial Diseases Department (VRDD) is to develop vaccines and therapeutics against viral and rickettsial diseases of military importance to aid military personnel in preventing and treating these diseases. The Department also conducts viral and rickettsial disease surveillance, and develops field-deployable diagnostic assays to aid military medical personnel in preventing, mitigating and diagnosing these diseases under military operational conditions. The Department is divided into two divisions. Because of the historic and current military impacts, the primary focus of the Viral Diseases Division is on the development of a vaccine to prevent dengue fever; the main objective of the Rickettsial Diseases Division is to develop a scrub typhus vaccine. 

The Research Assistant will provide laboratory and technical support to senior technical and professional staff.


  1. Performs laboratory research projects, including animal experiments, molecular and immunological assays, as well as collection and organization of data. Makes detailed observations about experiments. Provides basic data analysis and interpretation.
  2. Assists with the preparation of technical reports, summaries, and protocols.
  3. Maintains clear and accurate laboratory records, inventories and logbooks.
  4. Performs data entry for research projects and maintains databases.
  5. Maintains compliance with established laboratory safety and other procedures. Provides leadership in the proper disposal of infectious and hazardous materials.
  6. Provides quality control, trouble shooting and the maintenance of specialized reagents and equipment.
  7. Maintains supplies in the laboratory and keeps the laboratory area clean.
  8. Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Knowledge of standard laboratory techniques; ability to follow general instructions; good communication and analytical skills. Basic animal handling skills and willingness to work with animals including non-human primates. Experience with molecular (e.g. PCR) and immunology (e.g. ELISA or neutralization assays or ELISPOT).

Minimum Education/Training Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Minimum Experience:  4 to 6 years of laboratory experience.

Physical Capabilities:  Long periods of standing and sitting; handling various chemicals.

Work Environment:  Laboratory environment.

Background: It is a condition of employment that you obtain a favorable Tier 3 background investigation and fingerprint check by the Federal Government in order to receive and maintain a security clearance and Common Access Card (CAC) which is needed to access the facility and Government network systems. US Citizenship is required.

Employment with HJF is contingent upon successful completion of a background check, which may include, but is not limited to, contacting your professional references, verification of previous employment, addresses, education, and credentials, a criminal background check, drug screening, and a department of motor vehicle (DMV) check.  

HJF is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.

Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of the Chief Human Resources Officer.