Research Lab and Equipment Coordinator

Hiring Organization: Department of Forestry
Employment type: Full-Time
Application Deadline: November 30, 2021

Position description

The Department of Forestry at Michigan State University invites applications for a full-time, Research Assistant who will be responsible for laboratory/wood shop management and technical assistance in support of research and teaching activities in the department.  This position is in support of multiple projects and external grants.  This is a union position.

The successful candidate will be responsible for maintaining all department lab and wood shop equipment, instruments, and related apparatus, to include in-house repair, certifications, calibrations and maintenance as well as coordinating outside service contracts and contractors; develop and obtain approved internal and external testing rates for all lab and wood shop equipment; develop and manage lab and wood shop equipment reservation system; supervise and review the work of students and/or temporary employees; train and provide guidance to employees, undergraduate/graduate students, and interns on equipment, instruments and procedures; oversee all lab and wood shop safety protocol and training, ensuring they are within the environmental, health and safety guidelines set forth by the University; develops lab and wood shop manuals that detail operating procedures and outline safety protocols for equipment and processes; organize lab and woodshop cleanings with students to always maintain clean spaces; communicate with faculty to exchange information on lab/woodshop activities and receive instruction; independently perform biomass characterizations using HPLC, NMR, DSC, TGA, FTIR, GC, Instron, Rheometer, and elemental analyzer; conduct bioproduct performance testing after being trained; maintain materials, methods and records of experimental procedures and evaluations of accumulated data; identify opportunities for lab/woodshop growth and improvement; conduct fee-for-service work for outside researchers; lead key initiatives and efforts; develop network of professionals; and perform other duties as assigned that are necessary to manage the lab and woodshop functions of the department.

Required Qualifications

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in the specific field of research employment or related science field; one to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in standard laboratory procedures and safety requirements and performing analytical and research techniques in an area related to research being performed; may require software specific to the area of research; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. The position may require special licensing or certification in the field related to the area of employment.

Desired Qualifications

Bachelor’s or master’s degree in chemistry, wood science, or a related field, previous lab management experience or equivalent (e.g., teaching analytical chemistry labs), experience with woodworking equipment, excellent organization, project management skills, good interpersonal and communication skills, and proven commitment to completing work in timely manner with a high level of professionalism.


The position will be based at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, USA.  Formally established in 1902, Michigan State’s Department of Forestry was among the first undergraduate forestry programs in the U.S. and is accredited by the Society of American Foresters. The Department is a vibrant, growing, internationally recognized unit committed to interdisciplinary education, research, and extension to understand and resolve environmental and natural resource issues.

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to Michigan’s capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found at The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University is committed to achieving excellence by creating and sustaining an accessible and inclusive culture that values cultural and academic diversity. We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. The CANR is particularly interested in candidates of all backgrounds who are committed to the principle that academic excellence is achieved through open access and proactive inclusion.

To Apply

For consideration, submit your application online at to position number 737507.  Upload the following required documents: a) letter of interest that details your qualifications for the position; b) current resume/curriculum vitae; c) contact information for three professional references (email address and phone number).  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline

The search committee will begin reviewing applications immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is selected. Questions regarding this position can be addressed to Dr. Mojgan Nejad at or Dr. George Berghorn at


MSU is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions.  Learn more at

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. We actively encourage applications from, and nominations of, women, persons of color, veterans, persons with disabilities and other individuals who can contribute to the intellectual diversity and cultural richness at Michigan State University. MSU is committed to providing a work environment that supports employees’ work and personal life.