University of Waterloo

Lab Instructor

Requisition ID 2023-11223
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$64,375 - $87,623
Job Category
Job Location : Location


The Biology Laboratory Instructor is responsible for the operation of assigned undergraduate laboratories within the Biology Department. This includes organizing and instructing laboratory-only courses, teaching courses with lecture and lab components, developing and writing laboratory experiments and manuals, designing examinations and quizzes and keeping the content and resources current. For courses that have lectures directly associated with laboratories, the Biology Laboratory Instructor is responsible for designing experiments that complement the lecture component of the course.



Administration of assigned laboratories, including but not limited to:

  • Independently organizes and runs laboratory-only courses;
  • Independently organizes and runs combined lecture and laboratory courses;
  • Ensures that laboratory experiments reflect the course content directly associated with the laboratory;
  • Organizes and creates assignments, laboratory manuals, midterms and final exams for the laboratory courses assigned, including updates to materials as necessary;
  • Responsible for collecting and maintaining laboratory reports, midterms and exam grades; calculates and submits final grades to the Registrar’s Office;
  • Marks assignments, midterms and exams; calculates and submits final grades to the Registrar’s Office;
  • Prepares protocols of laboratory procedures – individual techniques and/or manuals;
  • Oversees enrollment into each laboratory/tutorial section, monitors course limits and signs course override forms;
  • Schedules laboratory and tutorial sections and corrects scheduling problems as they may occur, in coordination with the Undergraduate Program Manager;
  • Monitors laboratory sessions and identifies and addresses potential safety concerns for students and Teaching Assistants (TAs);
  • Orders chemicals needed for laboratory experiments and arranges proper disposal of waste;
  • Organizes lab set-up/tear down in coordination with Laboratory Technicians;
  • Purchases and maintains laboratory equipment, including fixing minor equipment problems;
  • In coordination with Laboratory Technicians and Teaching Assistants, ensures that equipment and chemicals are put away at the conclusion of each experiment;
  • Closes each laboratory section upon completion of the laboratory session;
  • Is available  for answering student and TA questions;
  • Advises and provides help to students on an individual basis, as needed, and reassigning students who have missed laboratory sections;
  • Provides students in distress with the first step in emotional support and referrals for counselling ; Interacts with and attends workshops organized by Counselling Services to obtain appropriate guidelines;
  • May serve on Biology/Science undergraduate committees and undergraduate curriculum committees;
  • Recommends major equipment purchases and negotiates competitive pricing with equipment vendors;
  • Reviews, updates and improves existing experiments annually;
  • Develops new content annually for laboratory-only courses and specific courses that include laboratories

Teaches specific courses as assigned by the Associate Chair, Undergraduate:

  • Plans, creates and teaches specific courses assigned by the Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies;
  • Independently prepares to deliver course content either in the classroom or online;
  • Organizes and creates assignments, quizzes, midterms and final exams, including make-up exams for the lecture courses assigned;
  • Marks assignments, midterms and exams; calculates and submits final grades to the Registrar’s Office

Manages laboratory Teaching Assistants and Other Teaching Supports (Co-op students) each term, including but not limited to:

  • Helps recruit, interview, and select graduate and undergraduate TAs and Co-op students for their placement in laboratory courses for which the Instructor is responsible;
  • Meets regularly with the TAs and other teaching supports to provide them with direction/instruction/explanation regarding laboratory concepts/objectives and marking;
  • Trains, manages and supervises weekly TA activities, including organizing and executing the Teaching Assistant Workshop twice yearly;
  • Mentors both graduate and undergraduate Teaching Assistants and other teaching supports regarding teaching;
  • Trains the TAs on the particular safety aspects of the laboratories;
  • Ensures that TAs and other teaching support staff are trained regarding concepts with which they may not be fully familiar and that they fully comprehend the equipment and procedures to be used;
  • Designs marking schemes and/or rubrics for the TAs;
  • Provides help to undergraduate students on an individual basis as needed, and reassigns students who have missed their laboratory sections;
  • Co-ordinates feedback regarding potential problems in the laboratories and tutorials;
  • Evaluates performance of Teaching Assistants and other teaching support staff at the end of each term

Safety Administration

  • Establishes, administers, and enforces safety standards and regulations including WHMIS requirements and UW Safety policies and procedures to ensure a safe laboratory setting for students and TAs;
  • Update posted safety procedures including WHMIS, hazardous waste disposal etc. in the laboratories;
  • Ensures that the laboratory is kept clean and maintains a safe laboratory environment;
  • Maintains personal certifications as required by the Safety Office


  • MSc in Biology is required, PhD preferred.
  • Minimum of two years’ teaching experience is required in a laboratory and/or classroom setting. Requires a broad knowledge of biology
  • Demonstrated understanding of safe chemical handling as well as Health and Safety and emergency procedures in a laboratory environment is required;
  • Ability to demonstrate the proper use of a variety of laboratory equipment in normal use in Biology labs, including but not limited to: microscopes, centrifuge, spectrophotometer, balance, heating/stirring block, and pipettors;
  • Experience troubleshooting and working with scientific equipment is preferred;
  • Experience with molecular and microbiology techniques;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills required;
  • Knowledge of modern tools for online pedagogy is an asset for the successful tenure of this position;
  • Organizational, technical, analytical, and multi-tasking skills are essential

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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