Job Opportunity - Instructional Assistant - Chemical Biology Program

An Instructional Assistant (IA) is required to support Chemical Biology 2L03 and 3L03 to develop and refine both synthetic organic and biochemical experiments for these courses for the upcoming winter term, in additional to general IA duties noted below.

Job Summary: Responsible for providing teaching support to the instructor by contributing ideas and information to the development of course material, tests, and assignments. Ensures the proper functioning of teaching labs and tutorials by providing resources to teaching assistants and ensuring course material is being covered during lab and tutorial sessions.


  • Organize and coordinate teaching laboratories, computer-based instruction, and tutorial classes accordingly. Introduce and demonstrate labs or tutorial sessions to students.
  • Tutor students in programs and assist students with lab work.
  • Train others on proper lab techniques, operating laboratory equipment, and on running efficient and effective tutorial sessions.
  • Compose test questions and assignments, and prepare solution sheets for review by others.
  • Assist staff with the preparation and set up of equipment and supplies for laboratories and tutorial sessions. Organize and monitor the on-line learning environment for courses in an academic unit, department, or faculty by ensuring that the appropriate course content information is made available to students.
  • Write a variety of documents such as procedure manuals, correspondence, and reports. Prepare a variety of lecture materials including presentation slides and handouts.
  • Provide guidance, advice, and solutions to teaching assistants when resolving student inquiries. Provide teaching assistants with appropriate teaching material as specified by the instructor.
  • Ensure accurate grading of assignments is completed by teaching assistants and report discrepancies to the instructor. Correspond and meet with students to address concerns related to the course including, but not limited to, the resolution of contested grades.
  • Liaise with instructors, teaching assistants, and students to ensure information within the academic unit is understood by all parties.
  • Exchange technical and scientific information amongst colleagues. Operate, adjust, and maintain a variety of equipment and instruments.
  • Troubleshoot equipment and perform minor repairs. Ensure major repair requests are escalated to the appropriate area. Assign tutorials to teaching assistants and arrange teaching assistant office hours.
  • Section classes at the beginning of the year, dealing with all scheduling changes, room reservations, and scheduling conflicts.
  • Assess the need for laboratory equipment and provide recommendations for the acquisition of materials and equipment.
  • Calibrate laboratory equipment according to established calibration standards. Collect, track, and safeguard student marks and tests.
  • Calculate student marks and submit final grades to appropriate areas.
  • Input, maintain, and verify information in a variety of databases and spreadsheets. Pipette a variety of reagents and media.
  • Prepare chemical reagents and biomedical media according to formulae and assume responsibility for accuracy in the preparation and standardization of solutions.
  • Ensure that all laboratory waste is disposed of according to established policies and procedures.
  • Provide direction to others in how to carry out work tasks.
  • Ensure adherence to quality standards and procedures for short-term staff and volunteers

Education: Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study

Experience: Requires 2 years of relevant experience

Assets: Experience with videography and/or digital editing; degree in Chemical Biology from McMaster University; graduate experience in chemical biology or equivelent; previous experience supporting these courses.

Additional Information: Degree in Chemical Biology or equivalent is required.

How to Apply:

To apply for this job, please submit your application online. Applications will be accepted until the end of November 11, 2020.

Employment Equity Statement

McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement.

The diversity of our workforce is at the core of our innovation and creativity and strengthens our research and teaching excellence. In keeping with its Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, McMaster University strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity.

The University seeks qualified candidates who share our commitment to equity and inclusion, who will contribute to the diversification of ideas and perspectives, and especially welcomes applications from indigenous (First Nations, Métis or Inuit) peoples, members of racialized communities, persons with disabilities, women, and persons who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.

As part of McMaster’s commitment, all applicants are invited to complete a confidential Applicant Diversity Survey through the online application submission process. The Survey questionnaire requests voluntary self-identification in relation to equity-seeking groups that have historically faced and continue to face barriers in employment. Please refer to the Applicant Diversity Survey - Statement of Collection for additional information.

Job applicants requiring accommodation to participate in the hiring process should contact:

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Chemistry & Chemical Biology