The Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory at the Department of Public Health (DPH) offers an exciting opportunity for an individual with a strong science background to work as part of a team that performs molecular diagnostic assays to detect the presence of biological agents and other infectious diseases in environmental samples.

Testing is fast-paced and requires that incoming specimens are recorded, processed, and triaged appropriately while maintaining chain-of-custody associated with the specimens. Staff are trained to work in both biosafety level 2 and 3 environments and may cross-train to provide surge testing for other laboratories. Additional duties include quality control, proficiency testing, equipment maintenance, disposal of biohazardous waste, and maintenance of collection apparatus. The Microbiologists may provide laboratory support for field responses and investigations as assigned by the supervisor.

Please Note: The work schedule is to be determined and may include weekends to ensure laboratory staff coverage for 24/7, 365 days of operation.

As part of the pre-hire process, you will be required to submit transcript(s) for review for the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) verification process. If selected as the preferred candidate, you will be required to submit an official transcript from each accredited academic institution to verify the above.

Please note that we will be unable to move forward with your application for this position if you do not meet CLIA qualifications.

Duties and Responsibilities (these are a general summary and not all inclusive):

  • Complete sample accessioning while maintaining chain-of-custody for samples.
  • Perform PCR-based molecular assays to detect the presence of infectious biological agents in environmental samples.
  • Conduct quality control activities including verification or validation, routine quality control, and proficiency testing, as assigned. Including performing reagent validation testing and preparation of documentation for supervisor review.
  • Comply with agency policy regarding safety, security, and protection in the working environment in accordance with the laboratory’s procedures and policies for biological, chemical, and radiologic agents within either biosafety level 2 or biosafety level 3 environments.
  • Follow strict protocols for accurate and complete entering and reporting of results within the laboratory information management system(s) and maintains documentation and records of testing and reporting according to federal program guidelines.

Required Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of the concepts and theories of microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, basic microbiological, immunological, and molecular biology techniques (microbial culture techniques, biochemical tests, serology, sequencing, and nucleic acid-based detection assays).
  • Understanding of laboratory certifications and accreditations to ensure adherence to certification and accreditation requirements to meet regulatory requirements.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the quality assurance practices (e.g., equipment maintenance, proficiency testing, method validation, staff competency, following standard operating procedures) specific to microbiology, immunological, and molecular biology test methods in a diagnostic setting.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with concepts and theories of microbiology and molecular biology including quantitative Real-Time PCR.
  • Competency and demonstrated understanding of standard biosafety and biosecurity practices.
  • Ability to follow work instructions and either work independently or in a team environment.
  • Knowledge of the principles and policies governing professional ethics and rules of conduct.
  • Effective and professional communication both verbally and in writing, and ability to prepare concise technical reports.
  • Ability to use a computer to conduct research, oversee databases, and produce written documents.

Working Conditions:

  • Willingness to work under conditions of potential exposure to infectious agents.
  • Willingness to sign a confidentiality statement upon hire.
  • All Tier 1 designated staff who may be exposed Tier 1 Biological Select Agents and Toxins (BSAT) must complete OSHA Respirator Medical Evaluation Questionnaire (29 CFR 1910.134 Appendix C) be evaluated and to wear a respirator before working in any MA SPHL laboratory (Tier 1, non Tier 1 and non SAT) that requires a respirator.
  • All designated staff will undergo a security risk assessment (SRA) and renew it every three years.

About the Department of Public Health:

The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is to prevent illness, injury, and premature death, to assure access to high quality public health and health care services, and to promote wellness and health equity for all people in the Commonwealth.

We envision a Commonwealth in which all people enjoy optimal health. Massachusetts ranks among the healthiest of states according to comparative analyses, but we face numerous challenges, including chronic and infectious disease, substance abuse, violence, preventable hospitalizations, and health disparities.

DPH coordinates programs and policies to address specific diseases and conditions and offer services to address the needs of vulnerable populations. We also develop, implement, promote, and enforce regulations and policies to assure that the conditions under which people live are most conducive to health and enable people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families. We license health professionals, healthcare facilities and a variety of businesses that impact public health. We operate the state laboratory and four public health hospitals. We monitor health status and manage vital records including births, marriages and deaths. We educate people about public health issues and work closely with local boards of health and community partners to identify and solve public health problems.

More information can be found at: MA Department of Public Health​

Pre-Hire Process:

A criminal background check will be completed on the recommended candidate as required by the regulations set forth by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services prior to the candidate being hired. For more information, please visit http://www.mass.gov/hhs/cori

Education, licensure and certifications will be verified in accordance with the Human Resources Division’s Hiring Guidelines.

Education and license/certification information provided by the selected candidate(s) is subject to the Massachusetts Public Record Law and may be published on the Commonwealth’s website.

If you require assistance with the application/interview process and would like to request an ADA accommodation, please click on the link and complete the   Reasonable Accommodation Online Request Form

For questions regarding this requisition, please contact the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Human Resources at 1-800- 510-4122 Ext. #2.


First consideration will be given to those applicants that apply within the first 14 days.

Minimum Entrance Requirements:

Applicants must have (A) at least three (3) years of full-time, or equivalent part-time, professional or academic research experience in microbiology, molecular biology, or medical laboratory technology, or (B) any equivalent combination of the required experience and the substitutions below.

Based on assignment, applicants must meet related Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) requirements for High Complexity Testing.

Incumbents may be required to have a current and valid motor vehicle driver’s license at a class level specific to assignment.


I. A Bachelor’s degree with a major in microbiology, molecular biology, biology, medical laboratory technology, or equivalent scientific field may be substituted for two (2) years of the required experience.

II. A Master’s degree or higher with a major in microbiology, molecular biology, biology or equivalent scientific field may be substituted for the required experience.

Comprehensive Benefits

When you embark on a career with the Commonwealth, you are offered an outstanding suite of employee benefits that add to the overall value of your compensation package. We take pride in providing a work experience that supports you, your loved ones, and your future.

Want the specifics? Explore our Employee Benefits and Rewards!

Executive Order #595: As a condition of employment, successful applicants will be required to have received COVID-19 vaccination or an approved exemption as of their start date. Details relating to demonstrating compliance with this requirement will be provided to applicants selected for employment. Applicants who receive an offer of employment who can provide documentation that the vaccine is medically contraindicated or who object to vaccination due to a sincerely held religious belief may make a request for exemption.

An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.  Females, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Commonwealth is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, national origin, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. Research suggests that qualified women, Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) may self-select out of opportunities if they don’t meet 100% of the job requirements. We encourage individuals who believe they have the skills necessary to thrive to apply for this role.

Official Title: Microbiologist II
Primary Location: United States-Massachusetts-Boston-305 South Street
Job: Science
Agency: Department of Public Health
Schedule: Full-time
Shift: Day
Job Posting: Jan 27, 2023, 3:19:22 PM
Number of Openings: 1
Salary: 65,323.70 – 96,067.40 Yearly
If you have Diversity, Affirmative Action or Equal Employment Opportunity questions or need a Reasonable Accommodation, please contact Diversity Officer / ADA Coordinator: Sandra Semedo Sandra.C.Semedo@mass.gov – 6173524250
Bargaining Unit: 09-MOSES – Engineers/Scientists
Confidential: No
Hybrid Work Eligible: No

About Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences (DPH)

The DPH Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences (BIDLS), predominantly located in Jamaica Plain, provides public health response to infectious disease. These services include programmatic and epidemiologic response, as well as laboratory testing through the State Public Health Laboratory (SPHL).