LAB TECHNICIAN (sample processing)
Geography Department, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John’s Campus

Contractual Position: Mid-August or early September 2023 (negotiable), to March 31, 2024, with the possibility for renewal.

CLEAR lab at Memorial University, led by Dr. Max Liboiron, is seeking a full-time (30-35 hrs/week) lab technician. Based on the St. John’s campus, CLEAR lab is a training lab on plastic pollution research and anticolonial, justice-based methods. We support a vibrant community of 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.

We are looking for a full time Lab Tech to join our team. We are looking for someone with laboratory research experience, but you do not have to be an expert in plastic pollution. All training will be provided. We are interested in applicants who align with our values of humility, accountability, collectivity, and good land relations, and who will flourish working in a self-described feminist and anti-colonial lab space with diverse colleagues (we have many queer, non-binary, Indigenous, and generally fabulous lab members).


The Lab Technician’s primary job is to process animal and environmental samples for plastic pollution as well as partaking in day-to-day lab activities. Specific 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; 
  • 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 follow 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;
  • Conduct data entry during sample processing;
  • Attend weekly lab meetings;
  • Work independently and as part of a collective. CLEAR is a team-based lab.


  • Co-analysis of data and co-writing of results is possible, depending on the successful candidates’ interests.
  • CLEAR engages in both natural and social science. Participation in social science projects is possible, based on the successful candidates’ interests (for example, our last Lab Tech was part of CLEAR’s Citaitonal Politics working group).
  • Funding is available for professional development in areas that align with the job description and the successful candidates’ interests.

All training in plastic pollution research and lab culture is provided. This is an entry-level position ideal for a recent university graduate, a retiree returning to the workforce, or for those with non-traditional career paths.

  • A degree in a science-related discipline (undergraduate or graduate degree);
  • Experience working in a laboratory environment;
  • Experience working with datasets and data entry;
  • Demonstration of working within CLEAR values of humility, accountability, and collectivity;
  • Attention to detail and patience; and
  • Legally able to work in Canada.

The following are assets and are not required. However, if you posess these please comment on them in your application:

  • Experience in both the natural and social sciences/humanities;
  • Experience in plastic pollution research;
  • Experience in quantitative data analysis;
  • A Master’s or Honour’s thesis or other experience conducting research;
  • Knowledge of feminist, anti-colonial, queer, Indigenous, or abolitionist sciences.

CONTRACT DATES: Mid-August or early September, 2023 (negotiable) to March 31, 2024, with the possibility for renewal annually
: $22-32/hr. Benefits (health care, dental care, paid leave) are included. Final wages are based on experience and determined via HR. Annual raises (~2%) are automatically part of this position. This position is funded through an external grant.
CLOSING DATE June 2, 2023

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 detailing alignment with the requirements and assests of the position, CV/resume, and a list of three references to by the closing date.