University Classification: Research Assistant
Job Code: PRK1
Pay Level: 3A
Position #: 00263229
Org/Dept/Sub-dept #: 04-0230
Position Reports to: Elizabeth Gibson
Position #00200831

Position Specific Summary:

The Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing (CBB) at the University of Iowa is seeking to add a research assistant to its dedicated professional staff. As a member of this team, the new hire will help to manufacture protein products as a part of our contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) operation. The CBB welcomes the richness of talent from a diverse workforce and recognizes that diversity brings stimulation, challenge, and energy that contribute to a productive and effective workplace. Reporting to the Director of Operations, the new hire will learn both fermentation and purification processes required for pilot scale manufacturing of proteins and will be given opportunities to assume leadership responsibilities associated with commercial scale manufacturing under GMP and non-GMP conditions.

Work location: 2501 Crosspark Road, Oakdale Campus, Coralville, IA 52241

Key Areas of Responsibilities and Specific Job Tasks

Key Areas of Responsibility

Specific Job Duties and Tasks


· Perform manufacturing activities based upon protocols developed by the Director of Operations and other members of the CBB staff.

· Read and review protocol and SOP documents.

· As individual skills develop, critically evaluate existing protocols and assist in the development of new protocols.

Experiments, Investigations, Evaluations

· Read and understand protocols and SOP’s.

· Arrange and plan weekly activities to prepare for manufacturing runs.

· Set up and operate equipment and instrumentation.

· Prepare solutions as instructed by written protocols.

· Adhere to all safety and compliance guidelines.

· Collect, record and consolidate data using standard procedures.

· Monitor fermentation and purification processes.

· Adhere to Quality Assurance protocols to maintain integrity of the client’s data and product.

· As individual skills develop: troubleshoot, evaluate and propose modifications to protocols; perform complex techniques per protocol; take on leadership responsibilities for selected projects.

Collect, Analyze and Summarize Data; Prepare Reports; Contribute to Manuscripts, Publications

· Collect and track data, perform data entry for reports and maintain records of methods used.

· Ensure accuracy of all data entries.

· Prepare materials for reports.

· As skills develop, analyze data.

· May present results/findings at staff meetings.

Administrative and Project Management

· Assist with quality assessment efforts.

· Monitor in-process data to ensure proper conditions are maintained and summarize in reports.

· Assist in documenting compliance with safety and regulatory guidelines.

Facilities and Equipment Management

· Assist in the preparation, calibration, and maintenance of laboratory and facility equipment and instrumentation.

· Assist with procurement of supplies and materials.

Supervision / Staffing

· As skills develop, may train, provide direction, and mentor newer employees.

Universal Competencies

Collaboration/Positive Impact

Ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and civil manner and utilize existing resources and learning to achieve or exceed desired outcomes of current and future organizational goals/needs.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and respectful manner while appreciating the unique contribution of an inclusive workforce that brings together the talents of people across multiple identities, including: race, creed, color, religion, national origins, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences.

Service Excellence/Customer Focus

Ability to meet or exceed customer service needs and expectations and provide excellent service in a direct or indirect manner. Ability to effectively transmit and interpret information through appropriate communication with internal and external customers.

Technical Competencies



· Follows a specific methodology for conducting research.

· Discusses specific tools and techniques associated with the methodology.

· Participates in interpreting research results and reports.

· Discusses the major steps in a specific research methodology.

· Discusses the validity and reliability considerations for various tests.

Research Analysis


· Adheres to an organization's research analysis standards.

· Reports on validity, relevance and accuracy issues.

· Implements basic research analysis methods and techniques.

Research Documentation


· Assists in the preparation of research documentation.

· Applies word processing to produce tables of contents, footnotes and other document components.

· Explains the organization's process for drafting, editing and publishing formal research studies.

Research Ethics / Compliance


· Explains the rationale and importance of basic research ethics and compliance requirements.

· Gives examples of proper and improper behavior.

· Recognizes ethical/compliance requirements within own area of responsibility.

Research Safety


· Describes the risks associated with lab and subject research and how they can be avoided by use of appropriate technique/clothing such as universal precaution, etc.

· Identifies relevant industry-specific and OSHA, etc. guidelines that are relevant to type of research, equipment, materials, etc.

· Identifies the types of health and safety hazards that are specific to research.

· Identifies where and how to locate safety information, protective clothing, etc.; knows the names and locations of all persons who have a role in safety and emergency response activities.

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions that will be given this title and shall not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his or her supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of similar kind or level of difficulty.

As part of performing the key areas of responsibility and competencies described above, staff members are expected to meet reasonable standards of work quality and quantity, as well as expectations for attendance established by their supervisor. Staff members are also expected to comply with policies governing employee responsibilities and conduct, including those contained in the University Operations Manual.

Proficiency levels are defined as:

Basic Application - Uses basic understanding of the field to perform job duties; may need some guidance on job duties; applies learning to recommend options to address unusual situations.

Working Experience - Successfully completes diverse tasks of the job; applies and enhances knowledge and skill in both usual and unusual issues; needs minimal guidance in addressing unusual situations. 

Extensive Experience - Performs without assistance; recognized as a resource to others; able to translate complex nuances to others; able to improve processes; focus on broad issues.

Expert/Leader - Seen as an expert and/or leader; guides, troubleshoots; has strategic focus; applies knowledge and skill across or in leading multiple projects/orgs; demonstrates knowledge of trends in field; leads in developing new processes.

Position Qualifications

Education or Equivalency Required

An Associate’s degree from a biotech or bioprocessing program, or a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, or a closely related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience is required.

Required Qualification

· Ability to perform tasks that require accuracy, attention to detail, including accurate record keeping.

· Demonstrated excellent verbal and written communication, interpersonal, and relationship management skills.

· Demonstrate working proficiency with Microsoft Office software, (Excel, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, etc.).

· Demonstrate the ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and civil manner and utilize existing resources and learning to achieve or exceed desired outcomes of current and future organizational goals and needs.

Highly Desirable Qualification

· Six months to one year of relevant laboratory or biotech industry experience.

· Demonstrate working knowledge and experience with fermentation processes.

· Demonstrate working knowledge and experience with protein purification.

· Demonstrate working knowledge and experience with cGMP manufacturing.

· Basic skills in packing of chromatographic columns.

Desirable Qualification

· Basic familiarity with biomanufacturing processes and regulations.

· Basic skills in standard sterile technique and handling cultures.

· Demonstrate a working knowledge and experience with facility operations.

· Experience in using analytical techniques to prepare solutions.

· Experience working with solution volumes larger than 100L. 

See requisition # 22004416 at

Applicable background checks will be conducted.

The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.