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Senior Director, Research Laboratory & Safety Services

Position Details

Position Information

Title Senior Director, Research Laboratory & Safety Services
Department Rsrch Laboratory & Safety Svcs (6811)
Location Main Campus
Position Summary

The University of Arizona (UA) is launching a national search to identify its new Senior Director, Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS). Reporting to the Associate Vice President for Research, this newly defined position is responsible for overseeing the Biosafety, Chemical, and Radiation Safety programs that serve Main Campus, two Colleges of Medicine, and affiliated hospitals and clinics. The UA was a member of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Task Force on Laboratory Safety and is committed to improving the culture of safety for all academic research, scholarship, and teaching and to the core institutional values foundational to a culture of safety: click here for A guide to implementing a

A public university and a member of the AAU, UA generates $620 million in research expenditures annually. The further growth of its research enterprise is central to the University’s strategic plan. The Senior Director will play an important role in the ongoing success of UA research.

The Position

The Senior Director leads a comprehensive research-safety program that dovetails with other safety and compliance areas of the University and with other research-support functions within the Office of Research, Discovery & Innovation. Research, Discovery & Innovation is led by the University’s Senior Vice President for Research, Dr. Kimberly Espy. The Associate Vice President to whom the Senior Director reports is directly accountable to the SVP.

Research Laboratory Safety Services encompasses five primary areas:

• Laboratory Safety – promoting safety training and safety education as essential elements of research and education to instill an institutional culture of safety
• Biosafety Program – monitoring and training on the use of potentially pathogenic microorganisms, other biological materials, and organisms containing recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules
• Radiation Safety Program – maintaining the radiation health and safety of the University in partnership with Banner Health ensuring compliance with all relevant ionizing and non-ionizing radiation regulations while supporting the evolving research of our customers and requirements of the regulatory agencies
• Chemical Safety Program – providing a safe laboratory environment for researchers to work and discover, by taking every reasonable precaution to free laboratories of recognizable chemical hazards

The RLSS staff at present numbers 22.

In addition to leading the safety services that ensure UA and its clinical partner are in compliance with state and federal regulations governing lab safety and the clinical use of radiation, the Director supervises UA’s Radiation Safety Officer (RSO), who manages an A1 Broad Academic License. The RSO is responsible for radiological safety in conjunction with the use, handling, and storage of radioactive materials in the program licensed by the Arizona Radiation Regulatory Agency (ARRA).

For more information about RLSS, see

The University of Arizona (UA), based in Tucson, provides a comprehensive, high-quality education that engages faculty, students and staff in discovery through research and broad-based scholarship. The University aims to empower graduates to be leaders in solving complex societal problems. Whether in teaching, research, outreach or student engagement, access and quality are the defining attributes of the University of Arizona’s mission.

The UA today has over 43,000 students, and nearly 12,000 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. The UA is one of 62 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities, and conducts significant scholarly and creative research. The National Science Foundation ranks the University of Arizona as one of the nation’s top 20 public universities in research expenditures.

Research at UA

As one of the nation’s top research facilities, the University of Arizona is leading the way with its dynamic and diverse innovation. In areas such as planetary science to medicine to the arts, UA research is changing the world. With a talented community of faculty and students and a breadth of programs – from astronomy to communication to entrepreneurship – it is recognized nationally and globally. The faculty at the University of Arizona includes Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners, members of esteemed national academies, and experts in dozens of disciplines.

UA’s most celebrated programs are in observational, theoretical, and space astronomy programs (ranked No. 1 in the country, according to National Science Foundation); the Management Information Services program has been ranked in the Top 5 for the past 26 years. With nearly $620M in research expenditures, the University of Arizona is among the top public universities in the world and offers a rich and rewarding experience to all who choose to focus on excellence.

The University of Arizona is dedicated to innovation and is among the nation’s leading research institutions. The UA has developed a strong culture of not only championing “big science” but also of deploying major systems and executing highly interdisciplinary research and graduate programs.

For more information about UA research, please visit the Office for Research and Discovery website at:

Living in Tucson

Tucson is home to the University of Arizona. According to Conde Nast Traveler magazine, Tucson is the “Friendliest City in the Nation.” It is set in a Sonoran Desert valley surrounded by five mountain ranges. A trip from the 2,389-foot valley floor to the 9,157-foot Mt. Lemmon summit along the Catalina Highway-Sky Island National Scenic Byway traverses seven of the world’s nine life zones — like driving from Mexico to Canada. Tucson is bordered on all sides by natural areas, including Coronado National Forest, Catalina State Park, Ironwood Forest National Monument, and Saguaro National Park (land of the rare, giant saguaro cactus).

The 2010 United States Census put Tucson’s population at 520,116, while the 2011 estimated population of the entire Tucson metropolitan area was 989,569. The city is located in the Southwest United States, in Southern Arizona 108 miles (172 km) southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles (98 km) north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Tucson is one of the oldest continually inhabited areas in North America.

Tucson offers one-of-a-kind experiences for visitors interested in outdoor adventure and nature, heritage and culture, arts and attractions, golf, and original Southwest-inspired dining. With lodging at hotels, resorts, spas, guest ranches, and bed and breakfasts available for all ages and preferences. Boasting an average 350 sunny days a year and dry air, Tucson’s climate is ideal for year-round outdoor recreation. Winter days see average highs of 64-75°F.

The University of Arizona has engaged Opus Partners to support this recruitment. For additional information, please contact either Craig Smith, PhD, Partner ( or Marisea Rivera, Associate (

All candidates must apply for the position via the University of Arizona’s employment website:

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

• Oversee and lead compliance programs in biosafety, chemical safety, and laboratory radiation safety governed by UA policies and procedures related to legal and ethical conduct of research by promoting program activities to advance a culture of safety across campus
• Develop and maintain a data-driven short- and long-term strategic plan and model for research laboratory safety compliance services
• Advise University Executive Leadership on policy development, quality assurance, reviews and investigations related to the legal and ethical conduct of human, animal, and clinical research
• Ensure regulatory expertise within the compliance programs, combined with the efficient implementation of complex, ever-changing regulatory requirements in a manner that facilitates high-quality research without imposing unnecessary administrative burdens
• Mentor and provide guidance for compliance officers and staff to enable them to take on increasing levels of responsibility in support of the University’s strategic goals for research
• Maintain broad and current knowledge about research compliance issues and university best practices, and understand campus policies that impinge on them
• Promote collaboration with key institutional stakeholders to produce administrative efficiency and nurture positive long-term relationships that are aligned in support of research excellence
• Oversee ongoing review of compliance programs to identify gaps in the University’s compliance approach and areas in need of improvement and to fulfill accreditation standards
• In collaboration with senior administrators, college leadership, faculty and compliance staff, develop innovative training and outreach programs that educate the campus community about compliance policies and procedures in a manner that efficiently addresses the needs of researchers and administrative staff
• Serve as a resource and channel of communication for individuals reporting research compliance concerns and oversee investigations into allegations of breach of compliance.
• Additional duties may be assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
Minimum Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree in a related field and 10 years of experience in research/clinical research compliance, with at least four years in a leadership role
• Demonstrated experience understanding and interpreting laws, regulations and policies related to the responsible conduct of research as it relates to laboratory safety
• Demonstrated experience as a manager
• Excellent communication skills
• Consensus building to advance laboratory safety
• The ability to understand and interpret laws, regulations and policies related to the responsible conduct of research related to the use of biological and chemical agents and radiation in research and clinical settings including the legal and ethical conduct of human and animal research
• Desire to serve a lively and diverse research community
• Strong organizational, analytical, and problem-solving abilities
• Demonstrated experience and commitment to the use of technology to enhance laboratory safety services.
• Demonstrated skills in leadership and team-building
• Excellent communication skills and ability to work with a wide range of people at all levels of the organization
• The ability to accommodate and respond to shifting priorities and multiple, demanding projects in a manner that is effective and efficient
• The ability to work on matters of high sensitivity and confidentiality with both diplomacy and discretion
• A reputation for integrity and honesty

Preferred Qualifications

• Relevant experience working within a university research or academic medical center compliance office or in a healthcare organization with significant university research contacts
• Broad knowledge of key research-compliance regulations, including those related to clinical research, use of human and animal subjects, and conflicts of interest
• Participation as a national level in laboratory safety associations and organizations
• Direct experience in a clinical research environment
• Certification in privacy or human subjects protection including CHPC, CHRC, CIPP/US, etc.
• Strong organizational, analytical, and problem-solving abilities

FLSA Exempt
Full Time/Part Time Full Time
Number of Hours Worked per Week 40
Job Category Administrative and Professional
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 A22321
Number of Vacancies One
Desired Start Date
Position End Date (if temporary)
Limited to Current UA Employees No
Contact Information for Candidates

The University of Arizona has engaged Opus Partners to support this recruitment. Contact: Craig Smith, PhD, Partner ( or Marisea Rivera, Associate (

Open Date 01/17/2018
Close Date
Open Until Filled Yes
Review Begins On 02/12/2018
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. * 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
  2. * Do you have a Bachelor’s degree in a related field and 10 years of experience in research/clinical research compliance, with at least four years in a leadership role?
    • Yes
    • No

Documents Needed to Apply

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
Optional Documents