LIGO Lab Administrative Assistant

California, United States
27 Apr 2019
End of advertisement period
27 Jun 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

Caltech is a world-renowned science and engineering institute that marshals some of the world's brightest minds and most innovative tools to address fundamental scientific questions. We thrive on finding and cultivating talented people who are passionate about what they do. Join us and be a part of the diverse Caltech community.

Job Summary

LIGO Laboratory (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) seeks a highly motivated and skilled Administrative Assistant to join its team. LIGO is a National Science Foundation major facility dedicated to gravitational wave astronomy and astrophysics, jointly operated by the California Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The current generation of advanced interferometers came on line in 2015 and shortly afterwards LIGO launched the field of gravitational wave astronomy with the first observation of the birth of a black hole; this achievement led to the awarding of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics to its founders. LIGO consists of two widely separated (3,002 km), 4-kilometer-long interferometers operating as a single, phased detector. One (LIGO Hanford Observatory) is located north of Richland, Washington and the other (LIGO Livingston Observatory) is in Livingston, Louisiana. Concurrent to observatory operations, the Laboratory maintains a vigorous R&D program, primarily centered at the Caltech and MIT campuses, to further enhance the capabilities of the LIGO detectors. For more information, please visit the Laboratory website at http: \\  

This position in located in Pasadena, California.

Job Duties

  • Serve as receptionist for the LIGO Laboratory Directorate Office by assisting visitors and answering phone and support the administrative requests of the LIGO Laboratory Directorate
  • Serve as liaison between Caltech LIGO personnel and HR, including assisting new employees with check-in, assisting with paperwork completion and submitting documents in a timely manner to HR.  Assist with exit process
  • Familiarize new employees with general site practices and coordinate check-in with other site personnel related to safety orientation and computing needs
  • Coordinate site events and/or assist a designated site event manager with preparations. Responsibilities may include: obtaining quotes for services, ordering refreshments, preparing meeting rooms, preparing handouts, purchasing specific supplies needed for event and staffing the registration desk
  • Sign-off on all timesheets for LIGO Caltech Staff (Payroll Activity Monitor)
  • Responsible for making travel arrangements, PCard training, CardQuest assistance and responding to Policy questions. Submit and reconcile expense reports as requested
  • Process payment requests and deposits
  • Manage general office PCard, including receipt collection and reconciliation
  • Supports the LIGO Visitors Program, including receipt of visitor requests; determining visitor type, documentation, budgeting, reporting and travel arrangement
  • Develops and maintains various databases and management reports including weekly travel and vacation schedules for the entire LIGO staff, plus visitor’s reservation requests
  • Misc administrative responsibilities such as meeting minutes, meeting space coordination, maintaining LIGO laboratory-wide roster and employee seating charts and ordering office supplies
  • Assist with document control center help desk and testing
  • Obtain and communicate division correspondence and announcements to staff
  • Develop and maintain the administrative information on the business office SharePoint site
  • Back-up to business office staff; Travel, Property & Logistics, Procurement and Off-campus Administrative Assistants. Property and Logistics may require lifting 20 or more pounds of office supplies and equipment
  • Provide data entry support into inventory control system (ICS)
  • Create, maintain and process updates to the Systems Engineering wiki pages
  • Assist technical staff with logistical administrative support, such as liaising with vendors on delivery times, requesting quotes, resolving invoicing issues and shipping documentation
  • Travel to off-campus LIGO sites and/or off-campus event locations (1-2 times per year)
  • Other duties as assigned

Basic Qualifications

  • The candidate must have 3-5 years of documented progressively responsible administrative experience
  • The candidate must have excellent organizational skills, a high level of initiative, and the ability to work in a collaborative environment and maintain a professional demeanor
  • Must be proficient with standard office computing applications (e.g., Word, Excel, and web applications)
  • Excellent English language written and oral communication skills and be able to communicate with people who have a broad range of backgrounds and skills
  • Must have an aptitude and enthusiasm to learn new skills, and to assist and train others
  • Must bring a proactive approach to work quality and completion
  • Must be safety oriented
  • Must have a valid driver’s license at the time of employment and be able to maintain it throughout the course of employment
  • Must be able to work Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Must have the ability to lift 20 or more pounds of office supplies and equipment
  • Must be able to travel occasionally as requested

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in business or related field
  • Experience in an academic or laboratory administrative setting
  • Experience working in a team environment
  • Knowledge of federal travel regulations and their application to travel on federally-supported grants
  • Experience with MS Project / MS Project Online
  • Experience with SharePoint

Required Documents

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter