Careers at UMass Amherst

Associate Biological Safety Officer

Apply now Job no: 504609
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Environmental Health & Safety
Union: PSU
Categories: Occupational & Environmental Safety

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Under direction of the Biosafety Officer/Biosafety Services Manager, or other person designated by the Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), provides operational and educational services related to the support of a comprehensive biological safety program and provides communication and coordination of laboratory safety training. 


Essential Functions

  • Provides support in all aspects of the biosafety program, including interfacing with the Institutional Biosafety Committee; review of recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules research protocols, biological hazard research protocols, and grant applications; biosafety, biosecurity and select agents training; and support to animal facilities.
  • Provides communication and coordination for laboratory safety trainings that includes: maintaining database and periodically reviewing the training programs to include appropriate new information.
  • Conducts on-site Biosafety Specific Assessments: review project-specific procedures with laboratory personnel and/or Principle Investigators (PIs), including recombinant and synthetic nucleic acid molecules, and infectious agents as appropriate.
  • Evaluates standard procedures and laboratory site for biosafety compliance issues; recommends actions for improvement and monitors work areas as necessary. Assists in the review of research project activities and recommend specific training needs, safety requirements, and required documentation, such as written assessments.
  • Assists Principle Investigators (PIs) and researchers as needed in implementation of biological safety protocols. Provides on-site assistance for laboratory areas including the evaluation of equipment and techniques utilized in handling infectious agents, recombinant DNA and synthetic nucleic acid molecules, and federally permitted biological materials, laboratory animals, etc. and make recommendations for the safety and protection for all personnel.
  • Assists Biosafety Officer/Biological Safety Services Manager in identifying and addressing research protocol safety deficiencies, as defined by federal regulation and implementation of biosafety recommendations of research projects.
  • Performs related duties as assigned or required to meet Department, Executive Area/Division, and University goals and objectives.
  • Understands responsibilities with respect to conflict of interest and behaves in ways consistent both with law and with University policy.
  • Contributes toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understands and contributes to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • Uses access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercises care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor’s Degree in biological sciences with an emphasis on microbiology, molecular biology, genetics, and/or biotechnology required.
  • Two years of directly applicable work experience (practicing biosafety, or working in a biological research laboratory, or combination) required.
  • Obtain security clearance from Department of Justice as needed for access to select agents required.
  • Understanding of scientific practices and procedures and knowledge of biological safety principles and practices is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to educate others in safe work practices and coordinate laboratory trainings is required.
  • Enthusiastic work ethic and the ability to effectively mitigate potentially stressful situations required.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

Registered Biosafety Professional (RBP) credential and/or Certified Biological Safety Professional (CBSP) certification.


Additional Details

Some nights and weekends may be required


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM


Salary Information

Grade 27

PSU Salary Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references by February 11, 2020 to ensure priority consideration. The position may remain open until filled. 


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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