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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Research Assistant in Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for a Research Assistant to join the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department. This is a regular, full-time, non-exempt position, and is eligible for benefits.

We are seeking a Research Assistant to assist with lab-based measurements of dissolved gas isotopes (noble gases, oxygen, nitrogen) using isotope-ratio mass spectrometry. These measurements pertain to several ongoing research projects in the Seltzer Lab focused on air-sea gas exchange, deep ocean ventilation, and the marine nitrogen and oxygen cycles. Careful laboratory technique and data management approaches are essential. There may be opportunities for at-sea research.

This position is full-time and is renewable annually depending on performance and funding availability. On-line application forms should be submitted, along with a detailed cover letter that outlines your prior experience as it pertains to this position and full curriculum vitae including contact information for three references. The position is available immediately and would ideally start in summer 2022. Please state your availability in the cover letter. The hiring level will be commensurate with experience.

While some degree of prior lab-based research experience is essential, it is not expected that the applicant will necessarily have hands-on experience with vacuum systems or mass spectrometry. Ideally, summer 2022 will be dedicated to training (by the PI and group members), with the aim of gaining sufficient comfort with the instrumentation to begin working independently by fall 2022.

The internal working title for this position could be either Research Assistant I, Research Assistant II, or Research Assistant III. The final level of the position will be determined commensurate with the selected candidate's level of education & experience.

This person will serve as the lab manager responsible for day-to-day oversight and coordination, in addition to participating in a number of ongoing research programs. Routine laboratory duties will include:

  • General laboratory coordination including safety related issues, oversight, and training, ordering supplies, maintaining equipment and laboratory organization;

  • Analyzing laboratory samples to achieve stated goals;

  • May be responsible for the testing, calibration, and troubleshooting of laboratory and scientific equipment, or for the planning and preparation for research cruise

  • Work with PI Seltzer on experimental design and execution;

  • Help to supervise and train undergraduate guest students when applicable;

  • Participate in oceanographic research expeditions if needed;


  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

A Bachelor’s degree in a related field, e.g. Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, Oceanography, is required. Relevant work experience (and kind of lab/research experience) is essential.

  • Must be willing to obtain a TWIC

WHOI is a federal contractor required to comply with Executive Order 14042. As such, WHOI has enacted a Mandated COVID19 vaccination policy effective December 8, 2021 where you must register your vaccination status in order to begin your employment. The registration process entails confidentially submitting a vaccination card and/or your vaccination status or requesting to engage in the interactive exemption process for either a medical or religious reason.

Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, ability to lift less than 25 lbs independently, 2 times per day; carry 10-25 lbs, 2 times per day. Visual abilities to include near, far, peripheral, depth perception, and ability to distinguish basic colors. Hearing requirements include the ability to hear and respond to instructions, communicate effectively in loud areas (pier/dock, warehouse). Other physical tasks include occasional prolonged standing/walking; use of hands for basic /fine grasping and manipulation, repetitive motion, reaching above and below the shoulders, pushing, pulling, kneeling, bending, twisting, and stooping. Other occupational requirements include talking, traveling, working alone and around others, and with others. Will be exposed to dust or other irritants and electrical/mechanical/power equipment hazards. Physical duties are subject to change.

Sea Duty may be required

May work at least 8 hours per day and, at times in excess of 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. Sleep and work hours can deviate from those on land. May be expected to work on watch schedule (such as 8 hours on and 8 hours off or 12 hours on and 8 hours off) for all or part of a cruise or to work as hours are needed to accomplish the planned work. May need to travel during holidays and for long distances to and from foreign ports. May experience rudimentary living and working conditions, with shared and basic living quarters and laboratories. May experience bad or extreme weather conditions, including heavy seas, winter weather or hot, tropical weather. Work on deck may occur in both hot and cold conditions around the clock. Sea conditions will lead to active ship motion. Should be able to climb steep and vertical ladders and able to enter and exit compartments through hatches, doors, and sills. Should be able to carry heavy gear and participate in the loading and unloading of the ship as well as in the activities on deck and in the labs during the cruise. Shipboard environment may include: confined areas, shared sleeping quarters (berths) and bathroom facilities, small and basic berthing, fixed meal times and basic menus. Modest levels of heating, cooling, ventilation, and illumination, limited or no email and internet access and limited off-duty and recreational facilities (library, lounge, movies). May be exposed to potential allergens and irritants, including paint fumes. May experience constant and intermittent loud noises, and slippery and uneven surfaces.

Job ID: 2022-1748

External Company URL:

Street: 266 Woods Hole Rd