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Student Employment

Academics / Departments & Programs / Chemistry & Biochemistry / Student Experience / Student Employment

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department offers various opportunities for students to directly apply lessons and skills developed within their classrooms into a hands-on learning experience while gaining valuable work experience. Developing titration skills…creating pH balance among acids…studying fluorescence within an organism…changing physical properties of matter…these are just a FEW examples of the type of work you could do as a student employee! Whether assisting faculty with laboratory set-up, guiding students through lab activities, or utilizing editing skills to help perfect a publication, students have many opportunities to experience a work setting that will promote usage and development of their current skills set. Consider applying for a position if you are looking to take your learning to the next level!

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department is working hard to restructure the different student employment opportunities. While we still aim to offer high-quality positions that allow students to learn through working and develop extensive skills through hands-on activities and responsibilities, we are also keeping the safety and well-being of every student as our primary focus. Students can expect the following changes to be implemented:

  • Higher number of "remote work only" positions ('Remote work' requires students to complete their work off-campus or outside of the classroom/lab setting. Faculty members will have further information on their individual needs for TA/Lab Assistant/Grader positions within their courses.)
  • Reduction in the number of "in-person" positions ("In-person" positions require student to be physically present within the classroom/lab setting. Faculty members will have further information on their individual needs for TA/Lab Assistant/grader positions within their courses.)
  • Ability and willingness to uphold mandatory safety rules (Student MUST wear masks/face shields while inside classroom & lab settings. Some faculty may require wearing further layers of personal protective equipment ('PPE') and students must be able and willing to comply.)
  • Greater amount of flexibility within academic and personal schedule in order to uphold responsibilities (Some faculty may require further flexibility to take on assigned responsibilities, such as data input or grading tasks, and may turn to student employee to take on these assigned tasks.)

Other adjustments will be made to all student employee positions as necessary in order to stay in compliance with all Administrative mandates for operation. 

Please see below for job descriptions.

Lab Assistants/Teaching Assistants (TA)

These paid positions not only provide excellent experience in laboratories, working alongside faculty and students, but they also serve as great resume builders. Lab Assistants must be familiar with the techniques and calculations used in classroom activities and be capable of solving problems immediately in order to help students with their work; a Lab Assistant should be comfortable and equipped to work in settings that require them to clearly explain different processes and how to carry them out. Lab Assistants have a great opportunity to learn and develop specific laboratory skills that can prove beneficial in various research projects and internships.

Similar to Lab Assistants, Teaching Assistants work alongside faculty and students, providing support within the classroom and lab sections, but focus more on providing support to faculty members. Teaching Assistants may address questions that students may have on the curriculum; they may also serve as a "right hand" to faculty through managing tasks like inputting data from various activities or editing articles and other academic writing. Some tasks are relatively small, such as classroom preparation (Ex. making copies of reading materials) while other tasks may be considered more demanding (Ex. conducting literary reviews for faculty). In both the Lab Assistant and the Teaching Assistant position, a student employee must have the flexibility and availability within their weekly schedule to be present for lab and class sessions, unless other agreements have been made with staff and faculty.

Requirements for lab assisting/serving as a 'TA':

  • As a Lab Assistant/Teaching Assistant, you must have taken the course or course equivalent in which you are assisting.
  • You must have earned a grade of "B" or better in the course in which you are assisting.
  • You must have availability within your weekly schedule to be present within the class section you are serving (unless other agreements have been made with faculty regarding your attendance).

Research Assistants

Faculty members maintain vigorous year-round research programs designed to enhance the undergraduate experience. Through participating in a research project, students have an excellent opportunity to gain a direct view and understanding of what different career pathways require; students are able to work within various laboratory settings, among seasoned professionals, and can access a wealth of resources that help them form connections and networks useful for future career searches. Interested students should discuss specific research interests and opportunities with department faculty members in order to get more guidance on identifying research projects that may be a good fit for the student and the application process.

Research Assistants work one-on-one with faculty members on their projects. These are paid positions that provide fantastic opportunities into additional research opportunities both on-campus and off-campus. These positions are available based upon need, so it is advantageous for students to connect with faculty members to discuss their interests and to determine if a position may be a good fit.

Also, students are encouraged to consider participating in the annual "Summer Research" program. Annually, faculty from across campus offer various projects for students to work on during the summer season here on Calvin's campus. Students are able to view a listing and description of projects offered and can apply for a position; this information is made available towards the end of the Spring semester. Students that are interested in gaining extensive research experience while also enjoying the convenience of working on campus are encouraged to consider applying to this program. The Science Division will provide further information about this program at a later time during the academic year. For more information about the Summer Research Program, offered through the STEM Division, please visit

To apply for student employment positions, please visit to submit your information. 

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