The Division of Research Safety (DRS),, is committed to assisting campus units in identifying and managing biological, chemical and radiological hazards in order to reduce the risk of harm to the campus community and environment. DRS partners with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, researchers, unit safety contacts and the campus community to promote an effective, world-class safety culture on campus. DRS supports the safe use of biological, chemical and radiological materials on campus and facilitates the campus community’s understanding of and compliance with required regulations.

Primary Function of Position:

Provide technical guidance to facilitate the safe conduct of research, teaching, and related activities associated with the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Research Compliance – Understand, interpret, and implement federal, state, and local regulations regarding hazardous material handling and disposal (EPA, IEPA, OSHA, IOSHA, NIH, CDC, FDA, IEMA). Determine applicability of specialized hazardous material regulations to fundamental research conducted in campus laboratories and other associated research work areas. Serve as a technical expert to researchers regarding compliance with applicable regulations and guidelines. Work with researchers to obtain necessary approvals for work with regulated materials. Ensure researchers meet the requirements of the OSHA Laboratory Standard and other relevant standards. Ensure laboratory incidents are reported to regulatory agencies as required. Audit laboratories annually, communicate findings, and track responses. Ensure storage of all regulated materials meets regulation requirements. Work with research team members and facility managers to ensure appropriate signage is in place for regulated materials and equipment. Provide guidance for the proper transport and shipping of hazardous materials. Ensure inventory requirements are met for regulated materials and equipment. Assist researchers, laboratory staff and other campus safety professionals in development and implementation of effective safety plans, which includes proper methods and practices to conduct research safely. Ensure handling and disposal of hazardous waste generated by research activities complies with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act campus permit. Use specialized knowledge to determine the proper methods for handling and disposal conditions of unknown, potentially reactive/combustible/explosive/infectious, or mixed hazardous waste.
  • Research Safety – Review experimental protocols involving the use of hazardous material or equipment. Apply specialized knowledge on the reactivity of hazardous materials and mixtures to assist in procedure development. Advise on how to handle hazardous materials by evaluating the overall risk of the process. Provide technical knowledge for proper emergency response for incidents involving hazardous materials. Liaison with local emergency responders and serve as a resource for hazardous material information. Perform incident investigations to determine causes and develop a corrective action plan. Assist new researchers with on-boarding orientations. Assist In quenching, decontaminating, or mitigating high hazards situations involving hazardous materials or laboratory procedures.
  • Outreach/Teaching/Communication – Develop specialized training on hazardous material handling techniques including technical guidance documents, online classes and tutorials, and other resource materials. Teach specialized classes (e.g. MatSE 492) and present training/information to large and small groups as needed. Propose and develop policies, program updates, educational tools, and data management related to hazardous material management. Provide subject matter expertise and information relating to specific research activities to compliance oversight committees. Serve as a contact point to ensure effective communication between the committee and researchers. Pursue professional development activities to expand/maintain technical expertise. Network with colleagues at other institutions, and share program information via publications, presentations, and participation in professional associations. Review literature on an ongoing basis to remain current with new procedures and apply learnings to related research support.
  • Administrative/Recordkeeping – Document audit findings, consultations, and other safety and compliance related activities for multiple safety programs. Supervise hourly staff, students, and interns as needed. Perform duties as needed to further enhance the mission and goals of DRS.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Minimum Qualifications: Specialty Factors: (Specialty Factor) Bachelor’s degree in molecular biology, microbiology, cellular biology, biochemistry, genetics, public health, or a closely related scientific or technical field. One year of experience working with biological materials in a laboratory environment, handling hazardous waste materials, and providing laboratory support. Experience performing risk assessments in areas with hazardous materials and applying best practices for working with hazardous materials including, but not limited to recombinant DNA and/or biohazards such as pathogens, biotoxins, or human origin materials.

Preferred Qualifications: Bachelor’s or Advanced degree (Master’s or PhD) degree in molecular biology, microbiology, cellular biology, biochemistry, genetics, public health or a closely related field. Experience involving compliance oversight with federal and state regulations relevant, but not limited to, the use of recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids, potentially infectious materials, or biotoxins.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Familiarity with standard laboratory operating and safety procedures and an understanding of the research culture in a university setting. Exemplary communication, personal relations, team, and presentation skills. The ability to perform with a professional demeanor in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities, under stringent deadlines.

Appointment Information:

This is a 100% full-time Civil Service Program Coordinator position, appointed on a 12-month basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience.

Additional information:

For more information on Civil Service classifications, please visit the SUCSS web site at

Application Procedures & Deadline Information

Applications must be received by 6:00 pm (CST) on 1/31/23. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of this posting. In order to be considered as a transfer candidate, you must apply for this position. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact Erica Hanson, OVCRI HR Coordinator, at For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.