Geography Department, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John’s Campus

Contractual Position: Mid-August or early September 2023 (negotiable), to March 31, 2025, with the possibility for renewal.

CLEAR lab at Memorial University, led by Dr. Max Liboiron, is seeking a full-time (35 hrs/week) lab manager. Based on the St. John’s campus, CLEAR lab is a training lab on plastic pollution research and anticolonial, justice-based methods that supports multiple graduate, undergraduate, and high school students as well as visiting and affiliated faculty and community members. Our lab methods and culture are based in humility, accountability, collectivity, and good land relations. We are engaged in long-term plastic monitoring with partners in Nunastiavut (Inuit land claim agreement in northern Labrador), as well as overseeing multiple monitoring contracts for other Inuit and First Nations communities. All of our science is community-oriented, and most is community-based and -led. The lab engages in both social and natural science work, though the lab manager primarily oversees natural science research in the wet lab. 


CLEAR is looking to hire a Lab Manager, who will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day lab activities for a natural science laboratory specializing in plastic pollution monitoring, including processing animal and environmental samples, training, quality assurance, managing sample inventories and supplies), co-analyzing data, writing reports, and upholding lab values (accountability, humility, collectivity, and good relations). Job duties of the successful applicant will include: 

  • Practice and model lab values of humility, accountability, collectivity, and good land relations in interactions with colleagues and collaborators, as well as improving and updating lab protocols and practices so they align with these values; 
  • Co-manage, coordinate and facilitate research activities for a natural science laboratory specializing in the monitoring of plastic pollution in animal and environmental samples;
  • Maintain an up-to-date, clearly labeled and backed-up sample inventory, complete with collection details;
  • Dissect, process and examine animal gastrointestinal tracts provided by community partners for microplastics through protocols that honour our relations;
  • Examine samples of environmental media (such as water, snow or ice) for microplastics, which may involve the creation, testing, and validation of new methods, particularly those that are most accessible to community groups;
  • Train and oversee student research assistants in the processing of animal and environmental samples for plastic pollution, and the visual verification and characterization of recovered microplastics;
  • Maintain quality assurance in the laboratory environment (i.e. limiting and monitoring microplastic contamination) and conduct quality control protocols to ensure microplastic recovery is at or above industry standard. This may include the creation of innovations in contamination prevention and quality assurance more broadly;
  • Conducting weekly and monthly lab safety checks;
  • Co-manage and co-analyze large datasets (for frequency of occurrence, seasonal differences, etc in plastics, as well as summary descriptive statistics for contracts); 
  • Manage the purchasing of laboratory supplies, and the shipping and receiving of samples and supplies to/from partners;
  • Support the Project Manager and Lab Director by coordinating some administrative, logistical, and human resources tasks, including but not limited to; interviewing new hires, onboarding new lab members, facilitating check-ins and Wet Lab meetings with lab technicians, filing travel requests and claims, mediating small interpersonal issues as they arise, and grant reporting;
  • Serve as point-of-contact for CLEAR’s partners; coordinating sample shipments, providing progress reports, verifying collection information and sample inventories;
  • Attend weekly lab meetings;
  • Initiate and carry out new research projects as appropriate and needed, based on community needs and priorities and the person’s area(s) of expertise; and
  • Work independently and as part of a collective. CLEAR is a team-based lab.


  • A master’s degree or higher (or equivalent work experience) in natural science discipline or previous employment;
  • Experience working in plastics pollution research, including fluency in methods and the state of knowledge in the field;
  • Demonstration of knowledge and application of feminist, anti-colonial, Indigenous/TEK, and/or queer praxis (or similar justice-oriented practices that go beyond institutional equity, inclusion, and diversity);
  • Experience managing and analyzing large datasets in Google Sheets/Excel, including descriptive statistics. Experience with inferential statistics and R is an asset but not required;
  • Strong verbal communication, planning, and organizational skills are required. Previous experience in management roles is helpful but not required. Strength in written communication is an asset.


  • The lab manager will work closely with the Project Manager and the Director, and weekly meetings allow both troubleshooting and professional development through co-learning;
  • Funding is available for professional development in areas such as anti-oppressive facilitation, Indigenizing statistics, speculative budgeting, and similar skills aligned with the values of CLEAR;
  • Paid attendance at virtual and in-person conferences, workshops, and fieldwork is possible, determined mainly by the lab manager and their own goals and interests;
  • The lab manager will be invited to choose an area of management or research to specialize in, and paid time, resources, and training will be dedicated to those goals. This can include leading a research project, developing novel methods or tools, and deepening skills in a particular area or research or management.

CONTRACT DATES: Mid-August or early September, 2023 (negotiable) to March 31, 2025, with the possibility for renewal
: $52-58,600, depending on experience. Benefits (health care, dental care, paid leave) are included. Final salary is subject to HR approval, but we expect it to be at the top of the range and will advocate for the top range. Annual raises (~4%) are automatically part of this position. This position is funded through an external grant.
CLOSING DATE June 2, 2023

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, preference will be given to applicants who are legally entitled to work in Canada. This means that we will review applications from Canadians, Permanent Residents, and those with existing visas first, and if we do not have a pool of three strong candidates to interview we will turn to other applications (this follows existing Memorial policies on hiring). CLEAR includes a high number of 2SLGBTQIA+, non-gender conforming, Indigenous (mainly Inuit and Métis), and international members, and an application to CLEAR is an application into this lab community. 

TO APPLY: Please send a cover letter, CV/resume, example of previous plastics research (e.g. report, publication, dataset, metadata), and a list of three references to by the closing date. We are looking for applicants who are not only capable of plastic pollution research but because the lab manager is responsible for reproducing our unique lab culture, we’re also looking for someone who exemplifies humility, accountability, collectivity, and good land relations, which we realize may result in creative, non-traditional, or community-oriented documentation.

Some snapshots from CLEAR lab and our work: