Each year the biology department employs 50 to 60 students in various positions. Paid work includes laboratory assistantships, research assistantships, biology web writing, greenhouse and aquarium assisting and department hospitality work. Laboratory and research positions are particularly helpful for those with plans to go on to graduate school.

Lab assistants/graders

To be a lab assistant you need to be a student enrolled at Calvin, and you must have taken the course or course equivalent in which you are assisting.

To work in these labs you need to have taken these courses:

  • BIOL 115BIOL 205 & 206 or BIOL 323 or BIOL 331
  • BIOL 141BIOL 141
  • BIOL 160BIOL 225 or BIOL 160
  • BIOL 161BIOL 224 and CHEM 103 or BIOL 161
  • BIOL 206BIOL 206 or BIOL 331
  • BIOL 230BIOL 160 & 161 or BIOL 224 & 225 and BIOL 206 or BIOL 331 or BIOL 332
  • BIOL 250BIOL 250 or prior research experience
  • All othersYou must have taken the course in order to be a lab assistant for that course

Steps for application

  1. Contact Pat Buist (pbuist@calvin.edu), biology administrative assistant. See this list of current open lab positions.
  2. Submit an application to the biology office.
  3. Once your application has been approved, complete the required tax forms through the student employment office.
  4. Complete online student employment safety training.
  5. Receive instructions for web time entry on Portal from the department’s administrative assistant.

Research assistants

Faculty members do research to know God, inform their teaching and to give our students opportunities for future success. Interested students should discuss specific research opportunities with individual professors. Paid research fellowships are available each summer.

Greenhouse assistants

Greenhouse assistants work with Dave Warners (dwarners@calvin.edu) and care for the plants within the department. This includes two greenhouses and the plants in the Science Building complex.

Aquarium assistants

Aquarium assistants work with Randy Van Dragt (vdra@calvin.edu) to care for the fish within the biology department.

Department assistants/tour guides

Department assistants and tour guides offer hospitality and service.

Lab preparation assistants

Lab prep assistants work with the biology lab manager, Lori Keen (keel@calvin.edu), to set up lab equipment, cell cultures and other supplies needed for the various biology lab courses each week.

Ecosystem preserve

Biology students can also work at the Ecosystem Preserve as preserve stewards, educational program leaders, summer camp leaders and animal care assistants.