Technical Assistant I

Apply now Job no: 498095
Work type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Amherst
Department: Biology
Pay Grade: 11
Categories: Administrative/Office Support, Research

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Act as a lab manager in a biology research laboratory and an administrative assistant for the Initiative on Neurosciences (IONs). Dr. Paul Katz recently received a BRAIN initiative grant from NIH to study the brain of a sea slug. The lab manager role of this job involves running the day-to-day operation of his research lab. For more information on the lab, see: ​  Dr. Katz is also the Director of Neurosciences at UMass. The administrative assistant role involves working with him to manage the IONs budget and assisting in the campus-wide activities of IONs, which includes conference organization. For more information on IONs, see


Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Ordering materials and supplies.
  • Maintaining sea water aquariums.
  • Assisting tasks in the laboratory.
  • Posting, printing, and distributing information for IONs.
  • Maintaining websites, e-mail lists, and conference registration.
  • Coordinating with other groups on campus to schedule rooms and order food.
  • Writing reports and working on budgets and reallocations of funds.
  • Schedualing seminar speakers including arranging hotels and transportation.


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.  In the performance of work, take initiative, and operate with self-direction. Work in partnership with colleagues within the UMass Neurosciences community to support IONs’ strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of IONs and the Katz laboratory


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • BA or BS (in Biology or a related field) or an equivalent combination of education and training.
  • At least one year of laboratory experience
  • Ability to work independently to organize multiple tasks and set priorities for action, take initiative, be creative, and operate with self-direction in a laboratory environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact effectively and work productively in establishing and maintaining harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of faculty, staff and students.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize goals; ability to collaborate well to formulate plans and objectives in accordance with overall laboratory and IONs goals; ability to identify and implement process improvements.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and to set and meet deadlines while maintaining high standards of accuracy and quality.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Basic computer and web skills (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Google forms)
  • Writing, composition skills
  • Basic laboratory skills (microscope, pipette, calculating dilutions)
  • Basic graphic art skills (Adobe Illustrator or equivalent)


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Must be comfortable in both a lab and office environment


Additional Details

Will be located in the laboratory.


Work Schedule

Flexible, but must be on site.


Salary Information

Grade 11


Special Instructions to Applicants

Submit a letter of application, resume and contact information for three professional references.  


As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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The University of Massachusetts is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action, Title IX employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age over 40, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, or other protected class.