Associate Health Physicist

Updated: 3 months ago


Campus Services


Job Summary

As a member of the Radiation Safety Services’ team, Associate Health Physicists (AHPs) provide technical expertise and professional guidance for the safe use of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation at Harvard University. Under the direction of the Assistant Radiation Safety Officer, Associate Health Physicists are responsible for ensuring the safe use, storage, and disposal of radioactive material (RAM) and radiation emitting devices (ionizing and non-ionizing) throughout the University campus locations. Associate Health Physicists interact directly with researchers in the Harvard laboratories, using independent judgment to support researchers. Associate Health Physicists are expected to exhibit and promote awareness and sensitivity to safety issues and ‘As Low As Reasonably Achievable’ (ALARA) principles in a positive manner throughout their day-to-day work in Harvard labs and buildings. This position is primarily in-person. Great opportunity for a recent college graduate!

Position Description

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Perform routine and job specific radiological surveillance: Determine appropriate detection methodology based on lab-specific isotope use. Monitor all RAM areas via routine surveys using dose-rate and contamination meters and analyze results. Maintain compliance with correct postings of radiological postings or warning devices. Perform technical and analytical decontamination activities when necessary.
  • Accept RAM shipments and deliver RAM to laboratories: Survey in-bound shipments of RAM, sealed sources, and equipment, to ensure compliance with regulatory, procedural, and license requirements. Deliver RAM to laboratories.
  • Maintain rigorous records: Document all radiological surveys, meter calibrations, meter QC checks, sample results, package receipt records, and shipping records for regulatory compliance.
  • Conduct Permit Inspections: Conduct inspections of laboratories for the safe storage, use and disposal of radiation sources including review of safety equipment, designated workspaces, training for authorized users, standard operating procedures, and other required documentation.
  • RAM waste processing and disposal: Qualify as a hazmat shipper and aid with the shipment of radioactive materials. Aggregate laboratory RAM waste and determine appropriate disposal method.
  • Participate in the non-ionizing Radiation Safety Program: Provide services to non-ionizing safety program, including laser hazard analysis surveys and permit reviews.
  • Interface with Harvard researchers: Act as a point of contact for assigned laboratories or buildings; providing assistance, direction, and oversight in matters involving radiation protection and safety compliance. Assist researchers in finding solutions to problems in a positive manner that demonstrates sensitivity to both their primary objectives and radiation protection.
  • Develop a wide range of Health Physics skills: Become proficient at the operation of various radiation instrumentation, computer systems, and techniques used for measurement, storage, analysis and processing of radiological data.
  • Develop working knowledge of EH&S Program: Understand the structure and function of all areas of EH&S. Maintain familiarity with and participate in emergency cross training procedures.
  • Develop Standard Operating Procedures: Develop and maintain Standard Operating Procedures for the Radiation Safety Program.
  • Provide 24-hour emergency support: Provide 24-hour radiation emergency response support as needed. Respond and/or triage daytime and after-hours Laboratory Safety emergency calls on a rotating basis.
  • Commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by supervision/management.

  • Basic Qualifications

    Requires Bachelor of Science in health physics or related science and three years of experience. Education, professional training and certifications may count toward experience. Consideration will be given to individuals in their last year of an appropriate degree program. Experience performing laser hazard assessments in accordance with ANSI Z136 is strongly preferred. Experience conducting comprehensive radiation laboratory safety analysis in a university or research environment (i.e., Broad scope type license experience) is preferred. Working knowledge of regulations (i.e., MDPH, NRC) and best practices for academic ionizing and non-ionizing radiation use is expected. Subject to a criminal background/suitability investigation.

    Candidate must possess initiative and be self-motivated. Must have strong organizational, analytical, time management, and oral/written communication skills; technical writing skills, high attention to detail; flexible and adaptable; ability to manage multiple priorities; and ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

    Additional Qualifications and Skills

    Technology Skills Requirements

    Proficiency and experience with full Microsoft Office Suite, SharePoint, and presentation software required. Working knowledge of Windows operating system is required. Must have familiarity with email, voice mail, and be able to quickly adapt to emergency response procedures and protocols.

    Special Requirements

    Strong knowledge of regulations and best practices for academic radioactive material and radiation generating device use required.  This position includes being on call on a rotating basis (5-8 times per year) as a cross-trained EHS Responder.  Prior to inclusion in the EHS Emergency Response Program, candidate suitability and availability for participation will be assessed by the manager, including completion of a training period (1 year minimum).   EHS Emergency Responders are required to carry a cell phone and occasionally respond to emergencies during non-business hours.

    Physical Requirements

    Must have sufficient mobility, dexterity, and endurance to perform emergency response activities and field visits and frequently walk up and down stairs. Must be capable of lifting 50 pounds and maneuvering large equipment. Must be capable of using personal protective equipment and monitoring equipment and entering areas housing research animals, biological agents, or chemicals. Must be able to access any area of the University to perform inspections, job safety assessments, emergency response, etc.

    Working Conditions

    The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

    Additional Information

    Emergency Status Designation -Critical

    Harvard University Central Administration’s commitment to Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging is rooted in our belief in drawing on the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity. Our community strives to uphold these beliefs by honoring the rights, differences, and dignity of others and embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values. We aim to foster a campus culture where everyone can thrive, a key to which is ensuring that each of us experience a profound sense of inclusion and belonging.


    We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

    • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
    • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
    • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
    • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
    • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
    • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
    • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
    • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
    • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

    Department Office Location

    USA - MA - Cambridge

    Job Code

    396056 Environmental Health & Safety

    Work Format

    Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


    Environmental Health & Safety


    00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

    Pre-Employment Screening

    CORI, Drug Testing, Education, Employment, Identity


    10am to 3pm is required, rest flex

    Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

    Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

    EEO Statement

    We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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