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Biosafety Coordinator, Environmental Health & Safety, Risk

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Job ID: 13628

Updated: September 6, 2017

Location: Foothills Campus

Position Overview

Environmental Health & Safety is currently seeking a Part-time (22 hours per week) Limited Term Biosafety Coordinator for approximately 1 year.

The Biosafety Coordinator reports to the Manager, Occupational Health and Safety (Foothills and Spyhill Campuses) and University Biosafety Officer. The individual is an integral member of the EHS team and manages a high volume and variety of work. The individual significantly impact the services provided by the EHS team to multiple university stakeholders and plays a key supporting role in programs that are subject by federal legislation 

The Biosafety Coordinator is expected to work independently with minimal direct supervision, utilizing strong analytical, problem solving, time and change management skills. The individual works in an interdependent way with other health and safety professionals within the EHS team to conceive and deliver service improvements as part of the Biosafety Program.

The successful individual must have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, as the position requires liaison with various members of the University community and external agencies, third party consultants or contractors.  At times, the Biosafety Coordinator may be communicating directly with members of the Senior Leadership Team (including Deans and Associate Vice-Presidents), Directors, Department Heads and representatives from federal regulatory agencies on behalf of the University Biosafety Officer.

The individual requires the ability to use discretion, maintain professionalism, confidentiality and composure under pressure, demonstrate initiative and adaptability, and provide efficient, quality service often requiring multi-tasking.
The position may involve participating as part of an Emergency Response Team, and may involve stressful or physically demanding work, including climbing to heights or dealing with hazardous materials and conditions.  The Biosafety Coordinator may be involved in directing the control of hazardous materials and as such must be physically able to wear personal protective equipment.

This position will involve access to confidential information and will require discretion and sensitivity to personnel situations and therefore the individual must be able to obtain security clearances.

The normal hours of work for this position are 22 hours per week (0.63 FTE), four days per week, including core hours between 9:30 am and 4pm. In addition, on occasion the Biosafety Coordinator may be required to be available for after-hours callout, in event of emergency. The individual requires a valid Alberta Class 5 driver’s license.



Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

Risk- and Research-based Scientific Support

  • Act on behalf of the University Biosafety Officer with senior university officials, government departments and other internal and external stakeholders and contractors
  • Ensure the accurate and professional representation of the Biosafety Program, the EHS department and the university in these relationships, and for ensuring that information requests made are handled appropriately with highly developed judgment and communication skills
  • Assist with the risk- and research-based scientific review prior to administrative processing of applications for work with biohazards (e.g. new applications, modified applications, new biohazards and annual renewals)
  • Review of scientific literature, regulations and standards, nationally and internationally
  • Draft and distribute communications, administer applications, draft laboratory postings for high hazard locations or other related documents
  • Responsible for the continual updating and tracking of Biosafety Permits (in progress, active or terminated)
  • Verify the completion of mandatory training as part of the permit issuance process and to report on non-compliances to the University Biosafety Officer
  • Create complex data queries, use discretionary judgement and provide sound analysis of data queries including the extraction of relevant information
  • Proactively identified opportunities to capture additional information or enhance the visibility and usability of data within systems to provide exceptional service for affected stakeholders
  • Conduct site-specific facility inspections of a specialized scientific and technical nature, for facilities other than high hazard locations inspected by the University Biosafety Officer, as required by the university, or federal agency (e.g. Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency and/or Environment and Climate Change Canada) to determine whether the facilities meet the minimum physical and operational requirements for work with biohazards
  • Facility inspections are triggered by requests from Biosafety Permit holders to import/transfer biohazards. Require the completion and retention of comprehensive and accurate Containment Level 2 Checklists, Applications for Permit to Import, Compliance Letters, Biohazard Transfer forms and other documents such as project-specific Risk Assessments, as necessary
  • Store, maintain and review records of these inspections including documentation from Permit holders and the relevant federal agencies
  • Work with Permit holders to arrange for renewal of Compliance Letters, Applications for Permit to Import or other documents, as necessary, on a scheduled basis, to ensure uninterrupted ability to import/transfer biohazards

Program Coordination and Reporting

  • Access to administrative systems, including Biosafety Permit system and the Biosecurity Portal in order to provide back-up coverage to the University Biosafety Officer during times of absence
  • Document review (e.g. permits, transfers) prior to seeking authorization from the Chair, Biosafety Committee, as per standard procedures
  • Assist with the processing of purchase orders, invoices and interact with Supply Chain Management for renewal of contracts with a third party vendor related to annual biosafety cabinet recertification
  • Responsible to track the inventory of biosafety cabinets, monitor completion rate and report variance from annual recertification requirement, as necessary
  • Store, maintain and review records pertaining to the annual recertification of biosafety cabinets
  • Arrange for the receipt and review of documentation associated with performance and verification testing requirements for decontamination technologies (e.g. autoclaves, incinerators, tissue digesters, and effluent decontamination systems) on a scheduled basis, as required. Subsequent facility inspections conducted by the University Biosafety Officer are coordinated on a scheduled basis, as required
  • Arrange the training schedule including times, dates, locations and instructors for biosafety classrooms sessions, distribute communications at required intervals throughout the year and/or to select target groups
  • Assist with administrative processing of applications for continued endorsement by the Faculty of Graduate Studies (MyGrad Skills Program) and advertise training opportunities as they arise
  • Administer and review records pertaining to the biosafety-specific training courses offered by EHS within the university
  • Assist with compilation of data related to Incidents, Training, Permits and Biohazard Transfers on a monthly basis

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • A Master’s degree in microbiology, genetics, immunology molecular biology or a closely related field
  • Three years biosafety-related experience in a laboratory environment or an equivalent combination of experience and education
  • Working knowledge of biosafety, biocontainment and biosecurity regulations applicable to a university environment
  • A certificate or diploma in Health and Safety is an asset
  • A professional designation such as Registered Biosafety Professional (RBP), Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) or eligibility or willingness to pursue such a designation
  • Relevant work-related health and safety training is an asset
  • An extensive knowledge of the governance, policies, procedures and operating requirements of the University of Calgary is an asset
  • Proven experience in drafting and writing program documents including plans, standards, procedures and protocols
  • Proven experience to critically analyze and document risk- and research-based decisions for internal and external clients
  • Proven expertise to manage time effectively, plan, execute and work to tight deadlines
  • Demonstrated commitment to client service and satisfaction
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills
  • Effective planning, organizational and program delivery skills
  • Strong time management skills, and must have the ability to set own priorities, and to manage and prioritize multiple tasks
  • Proven ability to use independent judgment, or take initiative, to work independently and to anticipate needs, plan, organize, coordinate, and perform work with minimal supervision is required
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality, exhibit a high level of flexibility and an ability to anticipate and adapt quickly to shifting priorities is essential
  • Must be open to learning and development, and be willing to accept new challenges and assignments
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate internal and external stakeholder/working group meetings
  • Demonstrated capacity to exhibit maturity, self-confidence and poise to deal appropriately with a wide variety of people and situations from the student level to senior leaders and external stakeholders
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team and to work effectively in a large, complex, dynamic and sophisticated organization
  • Expert knowledge of Windows and Microsoft Office-based software

Application Deadline:  August 18, 2017

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.


Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist / Advisor Job Family, Phase III.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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