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Research Assistant - WHAM lab

Temple University
Philadelphia County, PA
Closing date
Jan 15, 2022

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Science, Pharmaceutical, Laboratory
Organization Type
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The Water Health & Applied Microbiology (WHAM) Laboratory within Temple University's College of Public Health announces the availability of one research assistant position in the area of environmental health. The Water, Health and Applied Microbiology (WHAM) Laboratory is housed within the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the College of Public Health at Temple University. The lab is currently led by Dr. Heather Murphy. The lab team consists of research fellows, graduate and undergraduate students interested in the field of water and health. The laboratory primarily focuses on microbiological contamination of water supplies and the subsequent impacts on public health. The researcher assistant will work closely with Dr. Heather Murphy and the rest of the WHAM lab research team in the execution of a variety of funded research projects including an NIH funded trial on well water quality and children's health. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Essential Functions: Supporting various literature review activities; Preparation of annual reports and milestone reports as needed; Support enrollment and recruitment activities for the WET trial including reaching out to potential enrollment sites via telephone, social media, and e-mail to ensure adequate enrollment; Perform tasks related to water sample collection from private wells in rural PA including driving to field sites, collecting samples and shipping; Assist in the preparation of field gear and the processing of the samples in the laboratory. Processing will include both physio-chemical and microbiological analyses; Assist in the processing of wastewater samples for monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 for the City of Philadelphia; Shipping of wastewater samples and samples for the WET Trial through UPS; Interact with households involved in the private well water study as needed; Assist with data entry and data management for all studies as needed.

Required Education & Experience:

The desired candidate will hold a Bachelor's degree in a field related to the environment, and at least 6 months experience. An equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.

Required Skills & Abilities:
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and effective and oral and written English communicator
  • Ability to multi-task as well as to prioritize multiple projects and quickly change direction and focus.
  • Demonstrated computer skills, and proficiency with MS Office Suite programs.
  • Must be reliable and punctual
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a diverse group of study stakeholders.
  • Ability to interact well with all levels and types of staff and organizations and engage external partners in a professional manner.
  • Driver's license
  • Ability and flexibility to periodically work in evenings and on weekends if needed for field work and sample processing.

  • Knowledge of microbiology and environmental pathogens.
  • Laboratory experience in microbiology.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter describing their research experience and training as it relates to the proposed position as well as research interests to Dr. Heather Murphy. The cover letter, current curriculum vitae, and a list of three references should be sent electronically to Dr. Heather Murphy, Ph.D.,

This position requires a background check.

This is a grant funded position.

Please note this position will temporarily work remotely, the duration of remote work will be at the discretion of Temple University and the department.

Temple University values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for all persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other status protected by law.

In accordance with the City of Philadelphia's mandate, all Temple University students, faculty, staff, and contractors must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by October 15, 2021, unless they have a medical or religious exemption approved by the university. An individual is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks or more following the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks or more following a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Individuals who do not meet the University's vaccination or exception requirement by October 15, 2021 will be prohibited from working until proof of vaccination or an exception is provided. For more information visit the university's Vaccines web page or speak with your HR contact.

Compliance Statement: In the performance of their functions as detailed in the position description employees have an obligation to avoid ethical, legal, financial and other conflicts of interest to ensure that their actions and outside activities do not conflict with their primary employment responsibilities at the institution. Employees are also expected to understand and be in compliance with applicable laws, University and employment policies and regulations, including NCAA regulations for areas and departments which their essential functions cause them to interact.

To obtain additional information about Temple University please visit our website at

Temple University's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report contains statistics, policies, and procedures related to campus safety and can be found at:

You may request a copy of the report by calling Temple University's Campus Safety Services at 215-204-7900.
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