Lab Manager

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2023


PSD Chemistry: Faculty Support

About the Department

The Mass Spectrometry (MS) Facility in the Chemistry Department at the University of Chicago has 4 laboratories across two major buildings on campus in Hyde Park, Chicago. The MS Facility supports hundreds of users coming from various departments in the Physical Science Division, Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, and Biological Science Division for their cutting-edge research. The MS Facility currently consists of 13 state-of-the-art instruments involving a wide variety of chromatography and mass spectrometry platforms of GC, HPLC, GCMS, LCMS, and MALDI, equipped with EI, ESI, APCI, APPI, MALDI, UV, IR, FID, TCD, single quad, triple quad, ion trap, Tof, Q-Tof, and Tof-Tof many technologies.

Job Summary

The MS Facility is seeking a Lab Manager to assist the Director of the MS Facility with the daily activities of the open-access facility devoted to both small and larger molecule characterization and quantitation. The Lab Manager is responsible for the maintenance of instruments and laboratories including instrument repairs. Under the supervision and follow the guidelines of the Director of the MS Facility, the Lab Manager will independently and proactively perform the assigned duties and tasks in accordance with established policies and procedures to ensure the routine laboratory operation going smoothly, efficiently, and safely.

The ideal candidate is a handyperson, has a college or university degree in science or engineering, and be confidentially familiar with scientific instrumentation and chemical/biological laboratory operation. Strong technical skills, excellent organizational skills, and familiarity with health and safety requirements, are essential. Abilities and willingness to quickly learn new techniques, help users timely with routine hardware and software issues. Following rules and procedures are very important in the MS facility; Lab Manager will be responsible for resolving issues with users not meeting lab policy and requirements.


  • Maintains user logs, instrument logs, system logs, and computer system backups. Ensures users on best laboratory practices e.g., logs keeping, online reservation, housekeeping, proper waste disposals, etc. Assures quality control measures meet, adheres to as established in the laboratory policy and procedure.
  • Performs instrument troubleshooting, repairs and services. Assists the service contracts and/or service calls.
  • Ensures good instrumentation with the required testing, calibrations, tunings, standardizations, and Preventive Maintenance (PM) performed in accordance with the vendors’ manuals and specifications, and/or established procedures authorized by the Director of MS facility, with the results recorded in logs as required.
  • Provides users with technical support on routine hardware and software issues/questions in the laboratory operations. Assists in user training.
  • Maintains laboratory routine processes, cleaning requirements, safety gears, disposals, equipment, tools, networking, printers, and computers in good order and working conditions. Manually maintains instrument computer hard drives and updates instrument computer systems.
  • Manages routine laboratory supplies, such as consumables, reagents, chemicals, gases, and consumable parts to ensure appropriate inventory. Establishes/updates the essential database of the supplies.
  • Manages laboratory safety protocols to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations. Manages liquid and solid waste and hazard waste pickups, proper storage and disposal of chemical and hazard waste. Retains regular cleaning to ensure a clean and safe laboratory environment.
  • Resolves issues occurred in the operations in a timely and professional manner, including but not limited to contacting users, university safety and service centers, building managers, building engineers, etc.
  • Conducts other duties and tasks assigned by the Director of the MS Facility.
  • Applies research principles and relevant subject matter knowledge relevant to administer a research project. With a moderate level of direction, manages lab and/or research-related duties and tasks. Helps develop, design and conduct research projects according to plan.
  • Takes responsibility for the following laboratory duties: recognizing abnormal results and varying conditions or procedures to correct problems; setting up and performing experiments. Analyze the meaning, significance, causes, and effects of the subject.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, bioengineering, chemical biology, or a closely related field.


  • Previous experience in managing laboratory operations.
  • Maintenance and repair experience of any HPLC, GC, IC, GCMS, LCMS, MALDI, and ICPMS is a plus.
  • Solid hands-on maintenance and repair experience in scientific instruments and equipment.
  • At least 2 years of hands-on experience in a laboratory of analytical chemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, chemical biology, biophysics, or similar.
  • Experience in operating and troubleshooting automated analytical instruments. Experience of gas chromatography and/or liquid chromatography is a plus.
  • Experience with computer hardware and software installation, maintenance, and updates including networking setup.

Technical Skills and Knowledge:

  • Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry knowledge.
  • Solid hands-on skills with common lab devices and equipment.
  • Concrete common knowledge and skills in maintaining computers, networking, and software.
  • Good knowledge and skills of general electric, electronic, and mechanical applications.
  • Efficient oral and written communication skills.
  • Common knowledge and skills with general electric, electronic, and mechanic repairs.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office.

Preferred Competencies

  • Self-motivated, well organized, strong problem solving, and with great attention to details.
  • Able to follow instructions/procedures/policies in the operations.
  • Able to work independently and proactively, establish work priorities and handle several tasks simultaneously for maximum operation efficiency.
  • Have ability and willingness to proactively work with users, most graduate students and postdocs, addressing issues/misconducts in the routine operations.
  • Fast and self-learning tasks, techniques, and operations within scope of the duties.
  • Excellent computer skills. Handyperson on basic electric, electronic, and mechanical.

Working Conditions

  • Able to work either in a seat or stand in a temperature-controlled and noise lab for a long period of time.
  • Able to handle chemical hazards including but not limited to reactive, flammable, explosive, toxic, etc.
  • Able to exchange/handle varies and large lab gas cylinders including but not limited to hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, methane, air, argon, etc.
  • Able to occasionally lift up to 50 pounds with hands.
  • Able to occasionally climb four step ladders.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required).
  • Cover Letter (required).
  • References (required).

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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