Biospecimen Laboratory Coordinator

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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your areas of interest, experience, and qualifications within the range of opportunities described.


The Survey Research Center (SRC) at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) is an international leader in interdisciplinary social science research involving the collection and analysis of data, especially data from scientific sample surveys.  SRC conducts some of the most widely cited and influential studies in the world.

To maintain this status, we rely on the dedication and talents of our outstanding staff who provide complex administrative support for our research grants and projects. If you enjoy teamwork and collaboration, are accountable, flexible and positive, and seek a path leading to promotional opportunities, the Survey Research Center may be the right opportunity for you.

The ideal candidate for the Biospecimen Laboratory Coordinator will be self-motivated and highly dependable, with a positive attitude and ability to problem solve and seek assistance when needed.  They will have the ability to learn new skills, including new software and other technical tools; exemplary interpersonal and communication skills; demonstrated ability to manage personnel, time and multiple priorities in a busy environment; ability to take direction from more than one person and able to work effectively as a team member.  Discretion with handling confidential data is required.

The ideal candidate will also have background in academic research, including biological sample collection and processing; knowledge of laboratory guidelines; experience working in multidisciplinary research studies; specific scientific knowledge of a variety of assays including ELISA, PCR and other molecular biology methods; expertise in sample inventorying, storage and management.

Why Work at Michigan?

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, the University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and any eligible family members and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

  • Generous time off
  • A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting upon meeting eligibility requirements
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses

 Learn more about U-M benefits.


What You’ll Do

Duties include performing a variety of activities related to all stages of the research process for biological specimen collection for multiple interdisciplinary social science research projects.  

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: 


Coordinate activities of laboratory facility  

  • Coordinate collection, processing, analysis, and storage of biological specimens – including conducting specific laboratory procedures such as DNA and RNA extraction from multiple tissues including blood and saliva.
  • Maintain inventory system for large research projects and prepare periodic reports.
  • Apply substantive knowledge of bio-specimen collection, processing, storage and analysis when asked to contribute to research design and processes development.
  • Supervise and train temporary employees, and students.

Coordinate activities that support the use of biological specimens in research

  • Plan and oversee activities to create biospecimen collection kits for field studies.
  • Contribute to design phases then develop materials, train staff, recruit participants and implement pilot projects conducted by institute investigators.
  • Manage phases of small projects when researchers utilize laboratory services.


  • Ensure all laboratory activities follow university, state and federal compliance regulations for lab safety.
  • Manage quality control of laboratory processes, procedures, and all testing equipment.
  • Assist with IRB processes for the laboratory and investigators using the laboratory.


  • Regularly provide information, seek input from laboratory directors, and institute safety leaders.
  • Establish and maintain an open communication environment among laboratory team members.
  • Create and maintain laboratory best practices and applicable documentation.
  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with research collaborators, other laboratories, and vendors.
  • Assist with preparing progress reports across multiple projects for investigators, collaborators, institute leaders, and sponsors.


  • Assist with monitoring project expenditures.
  • Participate in writing biospecimen-related components of research proposals.
  • Assist with ordering and maintaining necessary laboratory supply inventory.
  • Coordinate maintenance and purchases of necessary laboratory equipment.

Required Qualifications*

We’d like to hear from you if you have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in biology, bio-chemistry, or related field.
  • Two or more years of laboratory experience in managing collection, storage and analysis of biological specimens for multiple interdisciplinary studies. 
  • Experience overseeing compliance with regulations for BSL2 laboratory facilities.
  • Demonstrated competence utilizing administrator and user functions of FreezerWorks sample management software.
  • Experience extracting, purifying, and storing DNA from saliva, whole blood and dried blood spots.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and solve complex problems.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage several projects simultaneously.  
  • Demonstrated ability to learn quickly and adapt to changing technological environment.  
  • Demonstrated ability to be attentive to detail and to work in a team environment. 
  • Excellent communication skills.  

Desired Qualifications*

We are especially interested if you also have:

  • Experience working in a social science research program.
  • Familiarity with ELISA, PCR and other molecular biology methods. 

Work Locations

This position will be on-site at the University of Michigan Offices in Ann Arbor, with flexible scheduling and remote opportunities made available within our overall center policies.

Additional Information

The statements included in this description are intended to reflect the general nature and level of work assigned to this classification and should not be interpreted as all-inclusive.

The Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to ground our research in varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning. For more about ISR’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, please click here.

Institute for Social Research job openings are posted for a minimum of fourteen (14) calendar days. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including one booster when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working remotely and temporary workers.   More information on this new policy is available on the U-M Health Response website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.