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Research Associate

Johnston, IA 50131

Posted: 09/28/23 Employment Type: 10 Months Industry: Other Job Number: CTVAJP00006428

Job Description

Job Description:

To supervise and aid in the production and maintenance of insect colonies for research purposes. Responsible for following established methods for the production of multiple insect species, managing the production level of each species and supervising the staff working in those areas to ensure compliance with current rearing procedures. Responsible for observing colony health and relaying issues to management. May also be involved in assisting with experiments and research.


1. Ensures that all material necessary for rearing insect colonies is prepared properly and on time.
2. Responsible for all aspects of insect colony tasks, such as daily maintenance, diet preparation, egg collection, weekly production setup, insect staging, sanitation, etc.
3. Assists with miscellaneous tasks such as cleaning, handling, packaging and storing facility supplies/materials/equipment.
4. Operates and maintains complex equipment in support of experiments conducted within a research project.
5. Accountable for overseeing and/or directing the daily work of others working in colonies.
6. Compiles and records information, sometimes using computer.

Education and Experience:

Minimum of a 2-year degree in related scientific field and up to 4 years experience or equivalent education and amounts of relevant experience.

1+ years of direct work with rearing or handling insect colonies.


Ability to perform physical labor. Strong work ethic. Ability to read, understand and follow protocols. Excellent organizational skills. Excellent attention to detail. Ability to work within a team. Experience in Entomology or Insect Rearing.

The duties and responsibilities of this role include, but are not limited to the following:
• Perform sample extraction, total protein quantitation, and immunochemistry assays according to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
• Ensure that all materials necessary for production are prepared properly, on time, and in a safe manner
• Record information in electronic notebook and proprietary and standard software applications such as Microsoft Office. Detailed documentation of lab process and lab outcomes.
• Operate, maintain, and troubleshoot laboratory equipment
• Continually look for process improvement opportunities and help the team to implement solutions
• Design, perform, and analyze assay maintenance experiments including performance optimization and reagent replacement
• Troubleshooting of processes as needed
• Solve minor problems associated with equipment operation and assay performance
• Make detailed observations, analyze data and interpret results
• Collaborate with colleagues in Farming Solutions & Digital (FS&D) to identify, test, and implement laboratory software and automation advancements
• Promotion of a safe working environment.
• Perform routine lab support tasks including the following:
• General lab maintenance
• Lab supply inventory
• Solution preparation
• Equipment and assay maintenance
• Robotic equipment use
• As needed, follow Good Laboratory Procedures (GLP) and prepare related support documentation.
Job Qualification
The following are required:
• Bachelor’s degree in analytical chemistry, biochemistry or related field with 1-3 years of working experience or equivalent amounts of relevant education and experience..
• Protein specific analysis experience is preferred.
• Experience with data analysis
• Strong computer skills
• Experience with problem identification, problem solving and process improvement
• Ability to work well with teams as well as independently
• Attention to detail and ability to stay focused while performing repetitive tasks
• Self-motivated, goal-oriented, and committed to personal/technical growth
• Must have excellent written, oral, and organizational skills
• Immunochemistry, high throughput analysis, computer programing, and experience with laboratory automation are preferred but not required.
• Working experience with GLP protein analysis/quantitation is a plus, but not required.

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