Research assistant – casual position

Start date: May 2024

Application deadline: Will remain until filled

Supervisor: Dr. Srijak Bhatnagar

Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Location: Calgary, Alberta

Summer Fieldwork and Laboratory Assistant


The project is focused on monitoring the effects of glyphosate on the Labrador Tea and associated soil in the Bigstone Cree Nation of Alberta. This work includes studying the Labrador tea – sample collection, sample processing, microbiological techniques, and molecular biology techniques – to understand the Labrador Tea microbiome and changes associated with glyphosate use. A part-time research assistant is needed by the project to assist with land-based fieldwork, sample processing, record keeping, general laboratory help, and some molecular microbial laboratory work.

Specific activities include, but are not limited to

The primary job duties for the part-time laboratory research assistant (RA-2) will include:

  • Assisting with the cleaning and organization of field research equipment.
  • Aid in field sampling and setting up technical equipment at sampling locations.
  • Utilize aseptic techniques to collect microbial and environmental samples.
  • Field Data transcription.
  • Help with sample processing and storage.
  • Assist in retrieving microbial cells from the plant samples.
  • Attend and present during group meetings for professional development.

This is a term-limited summer research position. The successful candidate will be based in Calgary, AB but able to travel and take overnight field trips. They will report to Dr. Srijak Bhatnagar at Athabasca University.


  • A completed or in-progress BSc in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, or related fields
  • Some experience in forest-based fieldwork and/or microbial laboratory work is preferred, but not required
  • Strong written and verbal science communication
  • Recording and maintaining lab and field notebooks
  • Good organizational skills

The position is based in Calgary, Alberta.

How to apply

Qualified individuals are encouraged to submit their application by email to Dr. Srijak Bhatnagar at Applications should include (as a single PDF file) a current resume or curriculum vitae and the contact information for 1-2 references and the email subject should contain “Lab Tea: Summer Research Assistant Position”.

Evaluation of applications will begin immediately and will continue until a suitable candidate is found. All applicants are thanked for their interest in this position; however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Athabasca University and the researchers are committed and seek to support equity in employment and research opportunities. We strongly encourage applications from Indigenous people, people of colour, people with disabilities, 2SLGBTQ+ people, women, and other historically marginalized groups. Applicants are welcome, but not required, to self-identify in their letter of application.

For more information on this Research Assistant Opportunity, please contact Srijak Bhatnagar at the contact below. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found or June 1st, whichever is earlier.

Srijak Bhatnagar, PhD