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Research Assistant - Beef Cattle Health and Welfare, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Job ID: 17259

Updated: Yesterday

Location: Foothills Campus

Position Overview

The Department of Production Animal Health in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine invites applications for a Research Assistant - Beef Cattle Health and Welfare. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 6 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

This position consists mostly of research duties, but also outreach activities, all related to cattle health and welfare. Research projects to be supported involve: 1) a colostrum intervention study in newborn beef calves, 2) a study on spring processing of pre-weaned beef calves, and 3) a retrospective analysis of blood and colostrum samples collected from beef calves and cows. Details on specific tasks are outlined below. Outreach activities will include helping with creation of outreach/extension materials (website design/ maintenance, fact sheets, social media, and videos) on research projects and other activities.

The position will be 35 hrs/wk until at least July 31st, 2019.

Position Description

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

  • Participation in data collection ~3-5 days/week on 2-4 ranches in the vicinity of Calgary until April involving:
    • collecting blood samples from newborn beef calves,
    • collecting blood and colostrum from post-parturient beef cows,
    • processing samples for storage,
    • managing video data of post-parturient cow-calf pairs, and
    • assisting the graduate student as needed.
  • Participation in data collection over several days on one ranch near Calgary in May and June involving:
    • assisting with moving, restraining, processing, and/or sampling beef calves during spring processing and follow-up sampling,
    • collecting data during the vaccinating, processing, and sampling of calves,
    • processing samples for storage, and
    • assisting the graduate students as needed.
  • Assistance of graduate and summer students with laboratory analyses, including:
  • Retrospective analysis of L-lactate and total protein concentrations and Brix refractomety in serum.
  • Retrospective analysis of colostrum quality using Brix refractometry.
  • ELISA and ELISPOT in blood from spring processing study.
  • Preparing slides for CBC analysis (pending confirmation).
  • Entering and organizing data.
  • Helping prepare reports and outreach materials.
  • Assisting with building and maintain website(s) and social media account(s).
  • Reporting any malfunctioning laboratory equipment to the trainees and PI.

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • BSc degree or RVT qualifications are a minimum requirement. 
  • Ability to work with beef cattle and previous relevant experience in a research area such as epidemiology, animal behaviour and welfare, veterinary medicine, agriculture, or animal science.
  • Capacity to restrain calves and safely work around cattle is essential. Good cattle handling skills are essential.
  • Basic laboratory skills are important skills for this position.
  • Requires fluency in written and oral English and excellent communication skills.
  • Demonstrated outstanding teamwork, organizational, and interpersonal skills. They must also pay close attention to details and be able to work independently.
  • Flexibility and strong problem-solving skills.
  • Knowledge of Excel is essential and experience with statistical software is desirable. The ability to develop web-based content and social media skills are considered assets.
  • The position requires a driver class 5 license.  

Application Deadline:  January 21, 2019

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 Technical Job Family, Phase I.

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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