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Research Technologist I/II, South Africa

Research Technologist I/II, South Africa

Job ID 
Regular Full-Time
Hutchinson Centre Research Institute of South Africa
ZA-Cape Town
Laboratory Research Sciences

More information about this job


The Cape Town HVTN Immunology Laboratory (CHIL;, a division of the Hutchinson Center Research Institute of South Africa (HCRISA), performs standardized endpoint assays compliant with GCLP guidelines to analyze immune responses elicited to HIV vaccines in clinical trials. The laboratory is a new, state-of-the art facility located in the Gardens neighborhood of central Cape Town.


The purpose of this position is to perform laboratory technical work to assess immune responses under the direction of Lab Management. Technical work will include processing biological specimens, perfoming laboratory assays, collecting and analyzing data, assisting in the development and maintenance of laboratory quality control (QC) methods and records, and reporting on experimental results. The Research Technologist may also work with the clinical or laboratory staff from regional HVTN Clinical Trials Units and with HVTN sites to coordinate specimen and data transfer, data analysis and assay development.


Laboratory Work

  • Isolate, culture, and either cryopreserve or assay leukocyte populations from blood, tissues and mucosal specimens using sterile technique.
  • Evaluate immune responses using techniques such as: multiparameter flow cytometry (intracellular cytokine staining, cellular phenotyping), multiplex protein detection, molecular techniques (e.g. DNA/RNA extractions, PCR techniques and next generation sequencing), ELISpot, ELISA, and microscopy.
  • Conduct all work according to Good Clinical Laboratory Practice (GCLP) guidelines and auditable-standards, ensuring accurate and timely reporting and record keeping.
  • Follow, update, modify and write lab protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs).
  • Order and maintain supplies and prepare and maintain reagents, stocks and cultures necessary to perform the work.  Maintain sample and reagent storage information in computerized laboratory information systems.
  • Directly execute experiment plans and analyses, which may include but is not limited to: creation of an experiment  plan, training of other laboratory staff, completion of laboratory assays, analysis of data, figure creation, and drafting of reports with data interpretation to present to lab management.
  • Supervise interns or other lab personnel as assigned by ensuring adequate training, overseeing assays and providing guidance on analysis and troubleshooting, and any other associated tasks to ensure their success. 
  • Independently develop new assays by conducting literature reviews, communicating with collaborators, designing experiments, optimizing, troubleshooting, analysing and reporting results.
  • Transfer newly-developed assays and technologies to other parts of the lab or to collaborators and train lab members to be proficient in those assays.


Quality Assurance

  • Maintain records for experiments and quality control (QC) for the laboratory.
  • Operate and carry out basic maintenance and QC of laboratory equipment.


Laboratory Operations

  • Share on-call duties with lab personnel to respond to equipment alarms in a timely manner after normal work hours (off-hours).
  • Attend and participate in appropriate laboratory meetings.
  • Contribute to the development of the laboratory environment (e.g. Laboratory safety).
  • Package, ship, receive and store biological specimens in accordance with SOPs and applicable regulations e.g IATA.
  • Assume responsibility for certain assigned projects by planning and executing all steps needed for project completion.


Essential requirements

  • MSc, BSc, Btech, BHSc, or Medtech with at least 3 years of experience in immunology, molecular biology, virology, or related field
  • Excellent technical skills:  accurate pipetting, excellent sterile technique, meticulous attention to detail.
  • Good numeracy, literacy and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to follow lab protocols and Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Experience with quality assurance, quality control and good laboratory practice.
  • Proficiency in standard immunologic research methods
  • Computer literacy – including Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word and PowerPoint.  Experience in data table manipulation and graphing and statistical analysis in Microsoft Excel or other programs preferred.
  • Good communication skills and an interest in learning.
  • Ability to work independently in the context of a team.
  • Good interpersonal and time management skills and ability to work in a team.
  • Willingness to be flexible in working hours, including working evenings and weekends as needed.
  • Motivation and adaptability with a keen interest in the HIV field.


Additional desirable requirements

  • Flow Cytometry experience

Must have work authorization in South Africa. Applications from members of groups designated as previously disadvantaged by legislation are encouraged.

Our Commitment to Diversity

We are committed to cultivating a workplace in which diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected. We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity and VEVRAA Employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political ideology, or membership in any other legally protected class. We are an Affirmative Action employer. We encourage individuals with diverse backgrounds to apply and desire priority referrals of protected veterans. If due to a disability you need assistance/and or a reasonable accommodation during the application or recruiting process, please send a request to our Employee Services Center at or by calling 206-667-4700.