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How to Apply

Candidates should apply by uploading a short cover letter with a CV and contact information for 2 references. 

Job Summary

The Bakker and Wigginton Labs (PIs: Krista Wigginton & Kevin Bakker; are part the State of Michigan SARS-CoV-2 Epidemiology - Wastewater Evaluation and Reporting Network, (SEWER) to quantify SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. We are currently focused on processing samples from four different wastewater treatment plants across the state of Michigan as part of the larger SEWER network for a streamlined spatially robust monitoring network covering much of the state of Michigan. We are looking to bring on two full-time research technicians (100% time regular staff position; 40hrs/wk) to support different aspects of work in the lab. Work will be conducted at both North (EWRE) and Central (SPH) campuses at the University of Michigan. The primary role of these positions will be lab-based, focused on extracting and concentrating field-collected samples and then running those samples through ddPCR. Duties require molecular lab experience and an ability to work well with others.

Finally, the Bakker and Wigginton labs are committed to public outreach, and as such the position will also include contributions to outreach efforts either through active engagement. This would include responsibilities such as communicating with local shareholders (wastewater treatment plants, county health departments, other SEWER Network labs, etc.) and the preparation of regular reports and data-sharing (regular reports to shareholders, maintaining a web-based dashboard with our data, etc.).


Preanalytical concentration and extraction.  This portion of work is concentrating environmental samples for extraction and preparation for ddPCR quantification.  

Analytical quantification.  This portion of work is focused on running ddPCR extractions using a droplet generator and droplet reader.  This involves basic molecular skills and interpretation of data output.

Lab maintenance and lab management.  Performing monthly lab inspections, oversee the cleaning and maintenance of equipment, act as the primary resource for lab safety management, oversee undergraduates in basic lab maintenance tasks and lab safety, and be responsible for ordering research and laboratory supplies and maintaining appropriate databases.

Data management.  The applicant will have responsibilities that include some data management, including running R scripts for visualization, uploading results to our cloud storage, and disseminating results to the group (see below).

Lab meetings & communication of results.  Our research team has a weekly lab meeting to discuss sample processing and future directions. The applicant will be expected to communicate results of ddPCR runs to our group, send updates to our community partners, perform various computational projects to support research in the lab, and aid in other public outreach efforts.

Required Qualifications*

Bachelor’s degree in engineering, epidemiology, chemistry, or biology (broadly defined) with significant wet lab experience, including molecular methods.  One to three years related experience.  Willingness to work as part of a team. 

Desired Qualifications*

Experience working with environmental samples.  Some flexibility with working hours – running a large ddPCR plate can take 8-9 hours so a day that starts at 8am isn’t uncommon.

Additional Information

This is a one (1) year limited position with possibility of a 6 month extension.  

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Start date will be immediate upon successful background check and obtaining an I-9 (remote with some time in Ann Arbor, Michigan). 

The School of Public Health seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitments to serve the diverse people of Michigan.  To learn more about the mission and culture of the School of Public Health:

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.

Michigan Public Health is seeking a dynamic staff member with a commitment to contributing to a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all members of our community.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks.  Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.