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Biological Safety Officer

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Position Details

Position Information

Title Biological Safety Officer
Department Rsrch Laboratory & Safety Svcs (6811)
Location Main Campus
Position Summary

Under the general direction of a designated administrator, The Biological Safety Officer is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and managing a comprehensive biological safety program at the University of Arizona. The successful incumbent will be responsible for promoting safe practices and procedures involving or regarding biological research, stimulating responsible activities among faculty, staff and students, providing education and guidance for the safe conduct of biological research, and ensuring compliance with National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules and regulations.

Key responsibilities include directing regulatory guidance and quality assurance activities, supervising technical staff, providing technical assistance and consultation and long-term follow-up, managing adverse events, and designing and delivering educational and training programs.

Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS) is a unit of the Office of Research & Discovery which is responsible for the oversight and management of biological, chemical, and radiation safety.

With more than $606 million in research and development dollars from federal, state, and private sources, The University of Arizona currently ranks #21 among public universities in the US in overall research expenditures and #2 in physical science research. With world class faculty in fields as diverse as astronomy and space exploration, plant science, biomedical science and biotechnology, anthropology, Native peoples, business, law, philosophy, music, and dance, the UA is one of only 62 members in the Association of American Universities. The University’s main campus is situated in the heart of Tucson. Surrounded by mountains and the high Sonoran Desert, Tucson boasts a distinctive southwestern feel and enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine each year.

The UA today has over 43,000 students, and nearly 15,600 employees. The main campus has grown from its original 40 acres to more than 350 acres, and boasts the oldest continually maintained green space in Arizona. The University of Arizona offers a broad range of educational programs and support services that attract an excellent and diverse student body.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

Accepting a new position is a big life step. We want potential candidates and their families to be able to make informed decisions. Candidates who are considering relocation to the Tucson or Phoenix area, and have been offered an on-site interview, are encouraged to use the free services offered by Above & Beyond Relocation Services (ABRS).Ask your department contact to be introduced to ABRS prior to your visit.

The University of Arizona has been listed by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers in the United States and WorldatWork and the Arizona Department of Health Services have recognized us for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona, please click here.

Duties & Responsibilities

Strategic Planning

  • Establish and implement strategic goals and objectives for the Biological Safety program.
  • Coordinate with the Institutional Biological Safety Committee to establish and implement strategic goals and objectives for the IBC.
  • Develop, recommend, implement, review and revise university policies and procedures regarding biological safety principles and practices.
  • Ensure compliance with university policies regarding biological safety, the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic DNA Molecules and Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories.
  • Develop and implement internal procedures, assess control measures, and provide written guidelines to ensure that standards are observed relative to regulatory requirements and established professional practices.

Program Management

  • Develop and implement internal procedures, assess control measures and provide written guidelines to ensure that established standards are observed and upheld relative to regulatory requirements and professional laboratory best practices.
  • Provide oversight and direction to one or more technicians and specialists responsible for reviewing and evaluating protocols and conducting audits and risk assessments for University research laboratories.
  • Perform ongoing management evaluations of each technical activity or project within the scope of the Biological Safety Programs to meet regulatory requirements; improve operational efficiency, and direct their proper integration into the overall departmental mission and programs.
  • Consult with Principal Investigators regarding mitigation of biological hazards, methods for maintaining compliance with the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic DNA Molecules, select agents and toxins regulations, and Biosafety in Microbiological.
  • Develop and deliver training programs related to biological safety.
  • Coordinate with the lACUC and Animal Care Services to provide advice and assistance for the implementation of biological safety practice with research animals.
  • Prepare and provide official communications with the NIH Office of Biotechnology, Center for Diseases Department to ensure all required security assessments are performed.
  • Develop and maintain metrics to track level of service and efficacy with respect to the performance of regulatory compliance functions.


  • Serve as committee member and work regularly with the Institutional Biological Safety Committee to review and interpret regulatory requirements and establish and enforce clinical safety practices.
    Maintain current knowledge of applicable laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Direct and implement compliance program components including monitoring, recordkeeping, reporting, program evaluation and other compliance audits.
  • Prepare all required annual requirements, emergency response drill review, security and safety policies and manuals review.
  • Oversee, process/review/evaluate, and track adverse events; and coordinate efforts with other partnering units to ensure appropriate reporting.
  • Coordinate with the Facilities Management, Risk Management Services, and other support departments to ensure all required checks and evaluations are performed.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
Minimum Qualifications
  • Advanced degree in microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology or other life science AND three years of broad experience as a Biological Safety Officer and /or Institutional Biological Safety Committee member including at least one year of supervisory experience.
  • Knowledge of principles of Biological Safety and Environmental Health.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, and the ability to work both effectively and cooperatively with a wide range of people in a diverse community.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Federal and State regulations or guidelines pertaining to recombinant DNA, biological agents and biomedical research.
  • Proficient computer skills, including the ability to evaluate and utilize software applications to maximize efficiency.
  • High level of attention to details, thoroughness in making initial assessments, and attention to the conduct of subsequent monitoring activities and record keeping.
  • Demonstrated skill in problem solving operations and procedures, developing and implementing new strategies and procedures.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Management skills in guiding, advising, and teaching research, technical and administrative personnel desirable.
  • Professional certification or license applicable to assigned programs.
  • Experience developing and delivering educational programs and/or workshops.
  • Experience working effectively in higher education or other complex organization.
FLSA Exempt
Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Number of Hours Worked per Week 40
Job Category Research
Benefits Eligible Yes - Full Benefits
Posted Rate of Pay DOE
Type of criminal background check required: Fingerprint criminal background check (security sensitive due to title or department)

Posting Detail Information

Posting Number A21794
Number of Vacancies One
Desired Start Date
Position End Date (if temporary)
Limited to Current UA Employees No
Contact Information for Candidates

Diane Mayer
Program Coordinator, Sr.

Open Date 06/07/2017
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Review Begins On 06/26/2017
Special Instructions to Applicant
Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. We translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including people of color, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

Quick Link for Internal Postings

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Can you perform the essential functions (job duties) of this position with or without accommodation?
    • Yes
    • No
  2. * Where did you first learn about this position?
    • Arizona Daily Star
    • Arizona Republic
    • Chronicle of Higher Education
    • Department of Economic Security (DES)
    • Diverse Issues in Higher Education
    • Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
    • Jobing.Com
    • LinkedIn
    • Local Job Banks
    • Pima County One-Stop
    • Professional Conference
    • Professional journal/publication
    • Referred by UA Employee
    • Invited by Dept to Apply
    • UA Website
    • Other
  3. * Do you have an advanced degree in microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology or other life science AND three years of broad experience as a Biological Safety Officer and /or Institutional Biological Safety Committee member including at least one year of supervisory experience?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Resume
  2. Cover Letter
Optional Documents