Assistant Researcher

Position Overview

The Assistant Researcher performs wet bench protocols to support research into the Peopling of the Americas and the occupation of Beringia during the Last Glacial Maximum. This work will be performed at the KU Anthropological Genetics Research Facilities, which consist of two contemporary DNA laboratories and one ancient DNA cleanroom. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, running predesigned research experiments and designing new research experiments involving ancient human, non-human, and sedimentary genetic material, processing DNA extracts into next-generation sequencing libraries, targeted enrichment of next-generation sequencing libraries, and reviewing or re-designing protocols as needed based on best practices and new developments in the field. When appropriate, the Assistant Researcher will train incoming undergraduate and graduate students on laboratory methods in paleogenomics. The Assistant Researcher will generate data for PI-led projects concerning Beringia, with publication attribution proportionate to the level of contribution.

This position is a limited term position through December 26, 2026.

Job Description

70% - Research Support
• Participate in active research projects on human and non-human population history, and paleoecology reconstruction, in Beringia, by generating data at the wet bench. This labor includes DNA extractions, next-generation library preparation and quality control, hybridization capture protocols, and sequencing preparation.
• Commensurate to interest and ability, analyze data and contribute to manuscript preparation following best practices.

10% - Technical Training
• Assist in the training of undergraduate and graduate student researchers in key benchtop techniques for anthropological genetics research; communicate, demonstrate, and shadow procedures until the trainee is competent.
• Mentor laboratory personnel in the proper use of equipment.
• Mentor laboratory personnel on cleanroom standard operating procedures, and monitor compliance.

10% - Record Keeping
• Maintain detailed databases (Excel, Access, etc) for all involved projects.
• Oversee graduate student-created sample databases for research projects.

10% - Laboratory Maintenance
• Prepare buffers, aliquot reagents, and monitor consumable stocks in collaboration with the Laboratory Coordinator.
• Perform equipment maintenance and calibration cycles.
• Coordinate laboratory use schedules.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or higher in a biological science related field.
  • At least two years of laboratory experience in genetics, genomics, or molecular biology.
  • Strong oral and written communication, organization, and metadata management skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree or higher in a biological science related field.
  • Previous experience in an ancient DNA research facility
  • Previous experience or formal training in population genetic and paleogenomic bioinformatic protocols
  • Previous experience in protocol development and optimization

Additional Candidate Instructions

For more information and to apply, go to:
Apply online and submit a letter describing your qualifications for this position. Only complete applications will be considered.

A complete online application includes the following materials: (1) cover letter; (2) resume; (3) two letters of recommendation and (4) the names, email and contact information for three professional references.

Application review will begin November 10, 2023 and will continue until a pool of qualified applicants is obtained.

Contact Information to Applicants

Justin Tackney

Advertised Salary Range


Work Schedule

full time; 40 hours week

Application Review Begins

Friday November 10, 2023

Anticipated Start Date

Tuesday January 16, 2024

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Posting Information

  • Posting ID:  26432BR
  • Department:  Anthropology
  • Primary Campus:  University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
  • Assignment:  On-Site
  • Reg/Temp:  Regular
  • Employee Class:  U-Unclassified Professional Staff
  • Review Begins:  10-Nov-2023

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