Research Assistant

Job ID
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

The Department of Geology and Geophysics at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution seeks to hire up to three Research Assistants to participate in a research cruise from January to March 2022. These positions are temporary, casual, non-exempt and eligible for casual benefits.


The Research Assistants will assist at sea with preparation of seafloor geophysical instrumentation (under supervision), and will assist with other geophysical operations. The cruise, on the R/V Thompson (U. Washington) will depart San Diego on or around January 14, 2022, and sail south for about 9 days to the GOFAR transform fault (4 degrees south) and will be on station for about a month. We then sail west to Tahiti (~13 days transit).


Application review will begin immediately and will continue until the positions are filled.


The internal title for this position is Research Assistant I.

Essential Functions

  • Assists at-sea with preparation of seafloor geophysical instrumentation;
  • Assists with other geophysical operations incuding, deck operations and stand watches; will work on a rotating shift schedule


  • As deemed necessary by supervisor

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor's degree or working towards a bachelor's degree, or Associate's degree in related field plus one year related experience, or High School diploma or equivalent plus three years' related
  • Experience working or living at sea for an extended period of time or experience working in close quarters, with flexible hours around the clock, in remote locations is required.
  • Ability to work as a team member is essential along with good communication skills is required.

Special Requirements

  • Must have a passport for international travel from the final port of call
  • Must have received a COVID-19 vaccination by January 1, 2022

Physical Requirements

Physical duties for this position include but are not limited to, ability to lift less than 25 lbs independently, 2 times per day; carry 10-25 lbs, 2 times per day. Visual abilities to include near, far, peripheral, depth perception, and ability to distinguish basic colors. Hearing requirements include the ability to hear and respond to instructions, communicate effectively in loud areas (pier/dock, warehouse). Other physical tasks include occasional prolonged standing/walking; use of hands for basic /fine grasping and manipulation, repetitive motion, reaching above and below the shoulders, pushing, pulling, kneeling, bending, twisting, and stooping. Other occupational requirements include talking, traveling, working around others, and with others. Will be exposed to dust or other irritants and electrical/mechanical/power equipment hazards. Physical duties are subject to change.

Sea Duty

May work at least 8 hours per day and, at times in excess of 12 hours per day, 7 days per week. Sleep and work hours can deviate from those on land. May be expected to work on watch schedule (such as 8 hours on and 8 hours off or 12 hours on and 8 hours off) for all or part of a cruise or to work as hours are needed to accomplish the planned work. May need to travel during holidays and for long distances to and from foreign ports. May experience rudimentary living and working conditions, with shared and basic living quarters and laboratories. May experience bad or extreme weather conditions, including heavy seas, winter weather or hot, tropical weather. Work on deck may occur in both hot and cold conditions around the clock. Sea conditions will lead to active ship motion. Should be able to climb steep and vertical ladders and able to enter and exit compartments through hatches, doors, and sills. Should be able to carry heavy gear and participate in the loading and unloading of the ship as well as in the activities on deck and in the labs during the cruise. Shipboard environment may include: confined areas, shared sleeping quarters (berths) and bathroom facilities, small and basic berthing, fixed meal times and basic menus. Modest levels of heating, cooling, ventilation, and illumination, limited or no email and internet access and limited off-duty and recreational facilities (library, lounge, movies). May be exposed to potential allergens and irritants, including paint fumes. May experience constant and intermittent loud noises, and slippery and uneven surfaces.


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