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Research Associate, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

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Job ID: 15254

Updated: May 14, 2018

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Department of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science invites applications for a Research Assistant . This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 1 year (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

The position of Research Assistant reports to Dr. Susana Kimura-Hara, Principal Investigator in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science. Research is co-supervised by Dr. David Kinniburgh, Director of the Alberta Centre for Toxicology (ACFT). The Research Assistant will work on a collaborative project between ACFT and the Department of Chemistry that evaluates the formation of disinfection by-products from chlorinated water samples.

Workload varies by number of samples received. Normal working hours are day shift, Monday to Friday. Some overtime and very occasional weekend work may be required with Dr. Kimura-Hara authorization.

Research Assistant is responsible for analytical method development, project management, develop/modify operating procedures for GC-MS and Purge & Trap GC-MS, chlorination of water samples, basic daily/weekly/monthly routine instrumentation maintenance, method/instrument trouble shooting, and instrument supplies. Staff may also work with instrument technical support to solve problems.

Position requires judgement and decision making, working on multiple different analytical procedures with simultaneous and/or multiple deadlines each week (position requires multi-tasking). Position is responsible for scheduling its own work day/week as determined by the job duties assigned, the deadlines and any specific assignments from Dr. Kimura-Hara, and requires excellent time management skills so that deadlines are met. Work is carried out with moderate supervision. This position has a high impact of errors and operates in an environment requiring interaction and teamwork with other staff to achieve goals. The lab strives for continuous improvement and changes to policies, procedures, equipment, staff, projects and priorities do occur regularly. Work requires possible exposure to dangerous materials and/or situations and is conducted in an area with constant background noise from instruments and gas tanks pressure relief valves.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Specific accountabilities are determined by Dr. Kimura-Hara and Dr. Kinniburgh, depending upon the individuals training and experience and the needs of the laboratory. Position may be responsible for recommending, implementing and validating new procedures or making improvements to existing procedures and maintaining established programs and procedures
  • Develop standard operation procedures and conduct chemical analysis following standard operation procedures using laboratory instruments: GC-MSMS, GC-MS, Purge & Trap GC-MS, and LC-MSMS
  • Carry out experimental work on the formation of disinfection byproducts formation potential from a various water samples. Develop analytical and extraction methods for the analysis of disinfection byproducts and emerging contaminants. Perform daily instrument calibrating and running quality controls. Conduct maintenance and troubleshooting of instruments and equipment
  • Prepare and validate calibrators, controls, buffers, reagents, standard solutions and other solutions as required for routine chemical tests
  • Review data analysis prior to reporting and document quality controls. Maintain a good documentation of internal chain of custody, quality control charts, maintenance logs, and laboratory notebook logs
  • Maintain an adequate level of supplies, reagents, standards for routine chemical tests and in the work bench area
  • May assist in reviewing and preparing of manuals for test methods, training and orientating other staff, develop, validate and write-up test methods
  • Contribute to peer review publications and project report updates

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, Environmental Analysis or equivalent, 1-2 years of related experience in chemical analysis using instrumental methods including GC-MS, P&T GC-MS, GC-MSMS, and LC-MSMS is desirable. Advanced degrees are preferred. Experience with method development is an asset
  • English language skills in reading, writing and oral communication are required. Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs is desirable. Excellent interpersonal skills, organizational and time management skills are required. Experience in literature searching, including libraries, web sites and other media
  • Ability to multi-task, work independently and effectively with minimal supervision, focus on attention to detail when performing tasks, produce high quality work with accuracy and speed, prioritize and maintain a flexible schedule based on needs and to maintain organized work area and work tasks. Mentorship skills (to undergraduate/graduate, junior staff and collaborators) are required
  • The successful applicant will be required to take Workplace Hazard Materials Information System Certificate (WHMIS), and other safety related courses as provided by the University of Calgary

Application Deadline: April 23, 2018

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase I.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website. For more information about the Faculty of Science visit Careers in the Faculty of Science


About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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