Oregon Health & Science University

Research Assistant I

Job Locations US-OR-Portland
Requisition ID
Position Category
Position Type
Regular Part-Time
Job Type
OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
Salary Range
$16.03 - $20.91 per hour, depending on education, experience and internal equity
Primarily during regular business hours
HR Mission
Drug Testable

Department Overview

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH) is aligned with the American Public Health Association in declaring racism a public health crisis, and our School is committed to becoming an antiracist SPH. We are working to center social justice in our internal and external work as a school and are committed to addressing structural and institutional racism, and to holding ourselves accountable to this work. 


This Research Assistant will conduct research in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Tratnyek, in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health (SPH), at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Some of the Assistant’s work will be co-supervised by Prof. Rick Johnson, also of the SPH.


The position will involve a variety of laboratory-based activities related to studies of contaminant fate and remediation in environmental media (especially, groundwater). The activities will include preparation and operation of reactors (batch or columns containing aquifer sediment), sampling of the column pore water and analysis by gas or liquid chromatography, and data analysis including kinetic modeling. Specialized activities may include LabView programming for automation of instrument operation, geochemical modeling of reactor solution chemistry, etc. Additional responsibilities will include maintenance and operation of anaerobic glove boxes, updating laboratory supplies and their inventories, using and developing standard operating procedures, and maintaining laboratory safety protocols. These responsibilities are not all-inclusive and additional responsibilities may be assigned as needed.

Function/Duties of Position

  1. Preparation and operation of batch and column reactors for determining the rates and products of chemical reactions in environmental media.
  2. Sampling of reactors and analysis of target chemical concentrations by UV-vis spectrophotometry and gas- or liquid-chromatography.
  3. Analysis of chemical concentration data, including using calibration curves and basic modeling of kinetics.
  4. Maintenance and operation of anaerobic glove boxes, updating laboratory supplies and their inventories, using and developing standard operating procedures, maintaining laboratory safety protocols.
  5. Documenting and reporting results, including making and giving presentations, drafting reports and other documents.
  6. Cooperating with other researchers in the Tratnyek research group and other nearby laboratories on collaborative activities.
  7. This description is not intended to be all-inclusive, and the incumbent may be required to assume additional duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelors degree
  • Excellent chemical laboratory skills.
  • Strong scientific curiosity and proven initiative to pursue solutions.
  • Strong writing skills.
  • Demonstrated success in prioritizing, organizing and handling multiple tasks and deadlines.
  • Demonstrated success working independently and as a member of a collaborative team.
  • Demonstrated skills in communicating complex scientific concepts to a variety of audiences, both verbally and in writing.
  • Must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without accommodation.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Chemistry or Chemical Engineering degree with minor in geological or environmental science.
  • 1+ years relevant laboratory experience
  • Experience with operation and maintenance of gas chromatographs and spectrometers.
  • Software: Igor, LabView, Geochemist’s Workbench, Affinity or Adobe Creative Suite, EndNote

Additional Details

Work schedule will be set by the supervising faculty. Hours outside the standard work week may be necessary occasionally depending on the needs of the research.

Working conditions:

  • In person work at OHSU Marquam Hill campus in Portland, Oregon.
  • Incumbent must have ability to safely move, connect, and disconnect compressed gas cylinders.
  • Working in an open wet lab environment, in the presence of laboratory chemicals and automated equipment.
  • Radioactive materials are not currently used by this research group; however, they may be used in other groups within the open lab space.

All are welcome

Oregon Health & Science University values a diverse and culturally competent workforce. We are proud of our commitment to being an equal opportunity, affirmative action organization that does not discriminate against applicants on the basis of any protected class status, including disability status and protected veteran status. Individuals with diverse backgrounds and those who promote diversity and a culture of inclusion are encouraged to apply. To request reasonable accommodation contact the Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Department at 503-494-5148 or aaeo@ohsu.edu.

As an organization devoted to the health and well-being of people in Oregon and beyond, OHSU requires its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


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