Research Assistant III - #1671867

Harvard University

Date: 2 weeks ago
City: Boston, MA
Contract type: Full time

Position Description

The Anatomical Gift Program (AGP) in the Program in Medical Education (PME) at Harvard Medical School (HMS) coordinates the donation of anatomical gifts to support the study of the human body by Harvard medical and dental students, postgraduate physicians and health science students from local institutions. The study of the human body is an indispensable component of medical, dental and health sciences education

Reporting to the Managing Director of AGP (AGPMD), under minimal direction, the Anatomy Morgue and Teaching Laboratory Assistant (AMTLA) independently performs and/or coordinates a wide range of morgue and anatomy procedures and conducts a variety of complex support tasks and projects determined by AGPMD. Performs a variety of morgue procedures independently, reporting results to AGPMD

Responsibilities of the AMTLA include:
Donor Preparation and Maintenance (65%)
  • Prepares paperwork and morgue for receipt and storage of donors.
  • Prepares for and receives cadaveric donors, coordinates and assists in embalming, oversees storage and transport of donors to teaching labs and participates in preparation for disposition at the end of studies.
  • Secures biological samples for infectious and other testing as needed and coordinates processing with external vendors.
  • Available during working hours to receive donors and interface with morgue vendors and others, e.g., facilities staff, doing work in morgue.
  • Coordinating with AGPMD, manages anatomical mortuary and ensures adequate supply of related teaching materials for courses for MD students, affiliated hospital and other health science programs.
  • Assists AGPMD and anatomy faculty in preparation of cadaveric teaching materials, including preparation and storage of prosections.
  • Responsible for storage and retrieval of cadaveric teaching materials.
  • Closely monitors anatomical materials used for extended periods of time.
  • Coordinates with AGPMD and AGP Manager to establish donor file and provide electronic database entries that track all transitions during cadaver's residence within the AGP.
  • At end of courses prepares anatomical remains for disposition by burial or cremation. Verifies all actions in tracking donors through AGP residence by conducting physical inventories and timely electronic database entries.
  • Upholds highest standards of care to ensure the utmost respect of all human body donors.

Morgue and Anatomy Lab Maintenance (30%)
  • Responsible for inventory of appropriate supplies for mortuary and anatomy teaching labs in coordination with AGPMD.
  • Responsible for set-up and break-down of anatomical teaching laboratories on schedule jointly developed with AGPMD. Provides services to ongoing courses on a daily basis.
  • Monitors general conditions in anatomical morgue and teaching labs and maintains both to ensure compliance with relevant University and civil regulations referenced in AGP operations manual and biohazard safety plan.
  • Coordinates removal of donors by funeral homes, release to crematorium, and receipt, verification and secure storage of cremated remains with AGPMD and AGP Manager, as indicated.
  • Maintains cleanliness of morgue, including coolers/freezers, and re-stocks supplies as needed.
  • Tracks inventory of personal protective equipment, chemicals, cleaning supplies and other materials used in morgue.
  • Coordinates deep cleaning of labs with facilities staff.

Collaboration (5%)
  • Works closely with PME’s Instructional Lab Technician for lab turn-overs, preparation, and maintenance.
  • Assists AGPMD and AGP Manager in development and updating of standard operating procedures.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Basic Qualifications

  • College degree, preferably in a related discipline; directly related work experience may substitute.

Skills and Experience:
  • Two or more years related work experience (relevant course work may count towards experience). Demonstrated knowledge of morgue protocols and abilities in morgue techniques required.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Embalming license, active and in good standing in the state of Massachusetts strongly preferred (obtaining a license after employment strongly encouraged).
  • Knowledge of safety rules, regulations and precautions related to safe handling, storage and disposal of cadaveric materials.
  • Ability to work independently and in team settings.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, including ability to interact with staff, faculty and students.
  • Highly developed organizational skills to keep complete and clear records.
  • High level of discretion regarding private and confidential data and appreciation of ethical standards associated with morgue and anatomy teaching lab functions.

Working Conditions

  • May be required to lift, move and transport related equipment and cadaveric materials.
  • May be required to work with a variety of hazardous materials.

Additional Information

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines

Please note that we are currently conducting a majority of interviews and onboarding remotely and virtually. We appreciate your understanding

The Harvard Medical School is not able to provide visa sponsorship for this position

Not ready to apply? Join our talent community to keep in touch and learn about future opportunities! ( ?formID=16341e35-cbc6-4904-88a3-09b35763307e)

Work Format Details

This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

403116 Research Assistant III Lab

Work Format




Salary Grade



Program in Medical Education (PME) - Anatomical Gift Program (AGP)


55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Identity


35 hrs. per week | Monday - Friday | 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

We are committed to cultivating an inclusive workplace culture of faculty, staff, and students with diverse backgrounds, styles, abilities, and motivations. We appreciate and leverage the capabilities, insights, and ideas of all individuals. Harvard Medical School Mission and Community Values

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law

LinkedIn Recruiter Tag (for internal use only)


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