Staff Scientist - Research laboratory operations

Date Posted
Position is with
Name of Hiring Official/Investigator

Job Description

The incumbent serves as a Staff Scientist in the Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Section (PETS) of the Pediatric Oncology Branch (POB) an intramural laboratory of the Center for Cancer Research. The major duties and responsibilities of the position include:

1. Assists the Principal Investigator in managing the day-to-day operation of the laboratory, including coordinating activities of diverse laboratory research projects and personnel, and ensuring availability of equipment and supplies. Assists in managing the laboratory budget and in providing guidance and assistance to laboratory staff. Participates in planning for future equipment and personnel needs. Orients and trains professional staff and others on the methods and procedures used in the laboratory.

2. Independently plans, develops, and implements assigned experiments and protocols. Recommends methods and develops and/or modifies methods and procedures to meet the experimental objectives. Maintains state-of-the-art knowledge of the particular area of research throughout the life of the project, reviewing available literature on new methods and techniques for potential application within the laboratory.

3. Conducts a full range of research experiments by performing complex procedures and techniques which may include but are not limited to the following: Next generation sequencing assays including single cell sequencing (RNA, ATAC, and Whole genome sequencing) and spatial sequencing platforms (RNAish, 10X Visium, Nanostring Geomx). Experience with preparation and optimization of complex human surgical specimens from a variety of solid tumor is preferred.

4. Calibrates and operates a variety of laboratory instruments used to perform tests, analyses and other laboratory procedures. Instruments may include but are not limited to: 10X Chromium controller, automated cell counters, amino acid analyzer and sequencer, autoclaves, centrifuges, densitometer, electron microscope. electrophoresis apparatus, flow cytometer, fluorescent microscope, gas chromatograph, high pressure liquid chromatograph, mass spectrophotometer, nucleotide synthesizer, peptide synthesizer, pH meter, radiation therapy simulators, real time PCR machine and PCR machine, spectrophotometers (UV and Visible), spectrofluorometer, scintillation and gamma counters, ultracentrifuge, etc.

5. Analyzes and interprets data and prepares summaries of laboratory findings in final form for publication in reports and papers to be presented at scientific meetings and/or publication in scientific journals. Participates in preparing manuscripts, abstracts, and results. May function as the first author on publications, and presents findings as assigned at national/international scientific conferences and meetings, as well as presents articles, data, and findings at journal clubs, local lab meetings, and departmental lab meetings.

6. Trains post-doctoral students and other students and laboratory personnel in the use of sophisticated laboratory equipment and in the performance of specialized procedures/techniques, etc. Provides oversight and training to students while in the laboratory.

7. Participates in preparing, managing, and monitoring Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs), and other related collaborative agreements.

8. Supports and maintains central computational biology software, databases, and information dissemination products. Maintenance and optimization of bioinformatic pipelines including the ability to work in the command line are required. Provides guidance, support, training, and advice in computational biology systems to research staff.

9. Provides expertise to collaborative laboratory projects of several investigators in the POB.

Qualifications and Job Details

Degree Required
Ph.D. or equivalent
M.D. or equivalent
Job Location
Appointment Type
Government Position (Salary commensurate with experience)
Work Schedule
US Citizenship not required - (ie, permanent resident, visa)

Required and Preferred Skills

Required Skills

1. Comprehensive, intensive knowledge, acquired through fundamental training and experience, of the theories and principles of biology, microbiology, molecular biology, and/or chemistry to provide support to an investigator by selecting the appropriate established methods, procedures, and techniques for an assigned experiment; performing complex procedures and techniques; designing methods for data acquisition; solving problems by making necessary modifications or adaptations; and collecting, recording, analyzing, and interpreting the data.

2. Skill in determining the specific data needed and the best approach and methods to obtain these data. Ability to deviate from, adapt, and modify accepted approaches and methods when the standard methods prove ineffective. Skill in evaluating and interpreting the significance of the data to a particular project or assignment.

3. Skill in calibrating and operating sophisticated laboratory instruments sufficient to independently perform recurring tests, analyses, and other laboratory procedures, many of which are of a complicated nature and are computerized or computer linked. Experience with collecting and processing human tumor tissue is highly preferred. Experience with single cell sequencing platforms including 10X Chromium and Visium are highly preferred.

4. Knowledge and ability to work in the command line are required. Demonstrated ability to code in one of the following computer languages is required (R, Python, Perl). Experience with single cell analysis methods including data normalization and integration tools is highly preferred. Experience with spatial transcriptomic analysis methods is preferred.

5. Ability to effectively communicate and present findings orally and in writing. Ability to write and submit an animal care protocol, when needed. Ability to prepare summaries, graphs, and other material for inclusion in manuscripts to be published in scientific journals or presented at major meetings/conferences.

6. Ability to interact effectively with a broad range of senior scientific and management staff both within the NCI and with high-level contacts outside the Institute. Interpersonal skills requiring considerable tact and ability to persuade and arbitrate.

7. Knowledge of guidelines and regulations regarding biohazard constraints and handling of biological materials, infectious agents, chemicals, or radioactive materials, and animal care.

8. Knowledge of the mission, goals, and objectives of the NCI and its organizational components, as well as their relationship with other organizational components within and outside of NCI and NIH.

9. Ability to meet deadlines, work under short timeframes, and adjust to unexpected delays. Ability to use computer systems and automated databases for use in collecting, recording, analyzing, and interpreting data.

About the NCI Center for Cancer Research

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is home to nearly 250 basic and clinical research groups located on two campuses just outside of Washington, D.C. CCR is part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and makes up the largest component of the research effort at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Centrally supported by long-term funding and a culture of complete intellectual freedom, CCR scientists are able to pursue the most important and challenging problems in cancer research. We collaborate with academic and commercial partners and advocacy groups across the world in efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and HIV/AIDS. The CCR research portfolio covers the full spectrum of biological and biomedical research. Our work ranges from basic to translational and clinical, and our clinical trials are conducted in the NIH Clinical Center, the world’s largest hospital dedicated to clinical research that offers a robust infrastructure to support CCR’s patients on an estimated 250 open studies. The success of CCR is grounded in an exceptionally strong discovery research program that provides the foundation for the seamless translation of insights from bench to bedside. Read more about CCR, the benefits of working at CCR and hear from our staff on their CCR experiences.


Bethesda is one of the most highly educated communities in the United States and has a nationally renowned school system. The city is a thriving suburban center close to Washington, D.C., and home to many restaurants, retailers and a flourishing arts and entertainment district.

How to Apply
  • CV/Resume
  • References
  • Cover Letter
Additional Application Information

Email a letter of interest, CV, and contact information for 5 references to Reference letters will be requested upon invitation for an interview. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

Contact Information
Contact Name
Rebecca Shim
E-mail Address
DHHS, NIH and NCI are equal opportunity employers. The NCI and CCR are deeply committed to diversity of thought, equity and inclusion and encourage applications from qualified women, underrepresented minorities and individuals with disabilities.