• Senior Lab Operations Manager

    Location US-NC-Durham
    Job ID
    Regular Full-Time
  • Overview

    Social & Scientific Systems (SSS) works to improve public health worldwide by providing technical, research, and program management services to government, nonprofit, and commercial clients.  The SSS team offers a synergy of expertise in clinical research services, epidemiology and public health studies, health data management and analysis, and program evaluation and policy analysis.  Please join our dedicated staff of employee-owners in an environment that values diversity and supports health, well-being, and professional growth.


    This position is responsible for managing the specimens processing laboratory operations, facility, and all associated staff.  The laboratory provides support for the specimen handling components of all epidemiology studies, across all contracts and SSS groups, as appropriate.  This position directly supervises staff members who manage all aspects of specimen handling and provides liaison between the Scientific Lab Director, Project/Study Managers, NIEHS staff (or other contracted staff) and programming/data management staff. Additionally, this position is responsible for providing support for the specimen activity components of studies from inception to completion for the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch contracts and other contracts as awarded. 



    • Supervision. Lead and direct all laboratory associated staff.  Hire, train and supervise laboratory staff; maintain proper staffing levels to meet variable workloads; provide written instructions for supervising, managing schedules and staff hours, and complete periodic evaluations. Monitors the work of subcontractor and vendor staff as needed.
    • Client contact. Has direct client contact on various issues related to operational area. Works with professional staff from other organizations (field staff, collaborators, and PIs) in collaboration with Lab Scientific Director as needed to accomplish task.
    • Financial Management. Manages task order budgets within overall contract. Responsible for monthly forecasting on direct labor and other direct costs (ODCs), managing direct labor allocations to actual expenditures, projecting and tracking overhead expenditures within budget and presenting monthly updates at project review meetings. Meets with task order project managers in the projections and tracking of laboratory related costs in project specific projects.
    • Business Development. As requested, contribute to business development activity during review of potential opportunities and contributions to technical writing during proposal preparation. May be called upon to develop and/ contribute to the creation of budgets associated with laboratory services for new business.
    • Methodology. Stay abreast of technology and latest methods. Under the guidance of the Lab Scientific Director, and in collaboration with project managers, assists with the development of the technical approach for study activities. Researches methods, products, and techniques and/or implement controlled experiments to test new procedures; investigate new products or techniques for specific study protocols or lab operations; assist investigators to locate products, laboratories, and assays that are critical to obtaining quality specimens and results.
    • Maintain lab databases. Directs the maintenance of lab-related database systems; assist in developing business requirements for systems that facilitate and integrate laboratory operations for epidemiology studies; ensure the use of specimen databases, such as BSI, are standardized for specimen management and reflect individual study design, including quality assurance
    • Work order management. Implement and complete specimen movement requests issued by investigators; direct staff in quality control actions, shipping protocols, discrepancy handling, and pre-shipment QC meetings; work on issues and projects that impact specimen annotation, database standardization, and workload management
    • Physical plant management. Provide oversight of the physical plant, environment, equipment and conditions within the laboratory; continually review status of the laboratory physical plant and equipment to maintain an interim repository and specimen handling facility that complies with best practices and meets clients’ needs
    • Operational management. Monitors production of the activities within the operational area. Produces regular data reports and projections for supplies and storage.
    • SOP and QA/QC plans. Develop, maintain, and implement laboratory SOPs and QA/QC plans; coordinate the development of specimen handling protocols, instructions for participants for the collection of specimens, and the shipping, processing and storing of all types of specimens; develop and review instructions or protocols for collaborating staff at remote sites
    • Training staff. In collaboration with project/study managers, coordinate necessary training and monitoring at study/clinical sites; monitor standards of laboratory procedures at study clinical sites; liaise with coordinators at collaborating institutions; initiate and monitor standards of laboratory procedures and best practices for specimen handling. Document circumstances during specimen collection and/or processing that may affect specimen quality.
    • Safety procedures. Maintain a safe work environment for all employees of the lab. Work with project/study managers to ensure a safe work environment for field staff who handle biological and/or environmental samples. Ensure that the guidelines for safe and proper handling of biological specimens both in the lab and field are outlined in standard operating procedures to be followed by all relevant parties. Review laboratory procedure manuals for equipment maintenance, repairs, and quality assurance
    • Administrative reporting. Prepare monthly, annual, and final reports on all lab activities for each active study, and all archived specimen inventories.
    • Other. Other related duties as deemed necessary.


    • Master’s degree in relevant field and a minimum of 5 years experience in the conduct of specimen related activities for health studies or equivalent combination of education and experience is required.
    • The position requires education and experience in biological laboratory methodology including sterile technique at the bench, laboratory management and supervising laboratory staff.   
    • Demonstrated experience in managing personnel, completing performance appraisals and creating opportunities for staff growth as appropriate.
    • Experience with proposal writing and new business exploration for laboratory services.
    • Experience in managing budgets, forecasting direct labor, developing cost proposals for laboratory services and management of other direct costs associated with laboratory management.
    • The position requires knowledge of queries in data base (BSI) and proficiency in the use of several software packages including, Microsoft Word, Excel and other software designed for office use. 
    • Prefer experience in the management of virtual movement of samples. Clinical laboratory background desired. Experience in automated/high-throughput laboratory processes a plus. Experience with specimen activities in international settings desired.
    • Overnight, out of state travel and international travel may be required.
    • The ideal candidate will be able to manage working on multiple projects simultaneously, be flexible, and enjoy working with colleagues across functional areas.
    • Attention to detail and interpersonal skills including excellent oral and written communications are essential.
    • A motivated individual that demonstrates a high degree of problem solving, analytical, and organizational skills and has the ability to translate a high-level goal into action with minimal further guidance would excel in this position.


    SSS is committed to fostering a diverse workforce and is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discrimated against on the basis of disability.





    Sorry the Share function is not working properly at this moment. Please refresh the page and try again later.
    Share on your newsfeed

    Connect With Us!

    Not ready to apply? Connect with us for general consideration.