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University of Washington

Job Description

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, click here.
As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

The School of Oceanography at the University of Washington has an outstanding opportunity for a full-time Research Scientist to operate and manage a plasma source mass spectrometry and laser ablation facility UW TraceLab.


The research scientist will be responsible for maintaining the TraceLab facility, including tracking fiscal matters, maintaining instruments, and training graduate students and postdocs on instrument use. The TraceLab currently includes an Element2 ICP-MS, iCAP RQ Quadrupole ICP-MS, an Analyte G2 eximer laser system, and an associated clean room. Typical projects include trace element analysis of marine carbonates, otoliths, pore water, sediments, and seawater samples as well as uranium-lead and uranium series geochronology.


Core responsibilities involve managing and supporting multiple ICP-MS-based projects simultaneously; from sample and standard preparation (isotope dilution, column chemistry, sample polishing, micromilling, etc.) through instrumental analysis, data processing, and quality control.

This role will:

  • take lead on instrument upkeep
  • assist users with instrumental analysis

  • maintain lab records and protocols

  • train and supervise users
  • perform data processing
  • perform and maintain quality control

  • Additional responsibilities include co-supervising undergraduate researchers, working closely with graduate students and postdocs, purchasing lab consumables/equipment, and analytical methods development (5% effort).

    Opportunities for professional growth include the potential for participation in publications, data processing and interpretation, and new methods development, as well as the option to define and pursue an independent research program balanced with the lab’s needs and other responsibilities.


  • Minimum degree required: bachelor’s degree in geochemistry, chemistry, experimental physics, earth sciences, or a related discipline.
  • Minimum experience required: 2-3 years of experience.

    Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


    The candidate must be organized, incredibly detail-oriented, independent, tenacious, flexible and able to work as part of a team. The candidate must be an excellent teacher and facilitator, able to train users, troubleshoot problems with them, and contribute to a healthy lab culture of discovery and growth. The ability to keep a complex analytical facility organized is essential. The candidate must also have a demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.


    Preferred qualifications include a Master’s in one of the above fields. Experience operating plasma source mass-spectrometers and preparing samples in a clean lab setting is strongly preferred, but exceptional applicants with a strong quantitative/analytical background will also be considered. Experience with electronics or building laboratory instrumentation is also a plus but not required.

    Application Process:

    The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or


Governor Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.2 requires employees of higher education and healthcare institutions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.

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