Position Title: Biological Safety Specialist (Job ID: 44302)

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Department: Office for Research Safety

Job Type: Full Time

Salary/Grade: EXS/9

Job Summary:

Under the direction of the Biosafety Officer (BSO), the Senior Biological Safety Specialist (BSS) oversees the Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) Core Facility. The BSS trains users, manages access, monitors use, maintains supplies, and identifies, evaluates, and controls the biological hazards and related operational issues that may arise. The BSS is responsible for ensuring the safe, day-to-day operation of the Facility.

The secondary role of this position is oversight of safety compliance in other FSM Core Facilities. The incumbent is responsible for periodic lab safety reviews, audits, and inspection of FSM Core Facilities, providing follow-up assistance as needed, documenting findings in safety management systems, and preparing summary reports of identified safety hazards.

This position performs risk assessments, hazard analysis, safety audits and promotes safe work practices for Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine Core Facilities. The incumbent will work with the principal investigators, researchers, and administrators in assigned departments to develop policies, procedures, and strategies to mitigate safety hazards on campus. This position will serve as a specialist for the biological safety group on the Chicago campus. Safety support services include response to laboratory emergencies, incident investigations, and other responsibilities as needed.

Please note: Must carry a cell phone pager at all times while at work. May be required to wear a pager during off-hours. Incumbent must be physically capable of hazardous materials response: wearing chemical protective clothing and a self-contained breathing apparatus (including respirators) during emergency response.

Must pass pre-employment physical screening. Fit to carry 50lbs, walk extensively

This position may work directly with, or work in laboratory environments containing, hazardous chemicals, biological and radioactive materials. Waste duties may require handling of biohazardous materials and lifting/moving heavy containers. Regular use of personal protective equipment will occur.

Specific Responsibilities:

• Day-to-day oversight of the Morton BSL3 Core Facility. Manage access, monitor use, maintain stocks, and oversee waste disposal in the Facility. Administer appropriate laboratory safety training curricula for the BSL3 Core Facility users, including, but not limited to, facility entry/exit procedures, bloodborne pathogens, personal protective equipment, respiratory protection, and biosafety.
• Oversees safety compliance in the BSL3 Core facility. Advise users on laboratory practices, safety equipment, and decontamination procedures. Collaborate with animal care veterinarians and supervisors on research projects requiring animals in BSL3 containment.
• Works with scientists to integrate safety procedures into FSM core facility operations. The incumbent promotes safe work practices based on regulatory requirements, incident experience, best management practice, and University policy. Works with the Research Safety lab safety team to make consistent recommendations. Use safety management systems for documentation and metrics
• Collaborates with Research Safety staff to learn and assist other program areas such as training and IBC oversight for FSM Core Facilities.
• Serves as a “First Responder” for HAZMAT and laboratory emergencies in the BSL3 facility. The incumbent must carry a cell phone/pager while at work and occasionally provide after-hours and weekend support for emergencies when needed. Capable of wearing up to Level B PPE. Assist with training and outreach with emergency response authorities.

Minimum Qualifications:

• BS in microbiology, biology, or another biological science program.
• 2-3 years of experience in a BSL3 research laboratory
• Knowledge of laboratory safety, biological safety, or BSL3 operations.
• Must be physically fit to carry at least 50lbs, walk extensively, and be capable of wearing chemical protective clothing, including respirators or SCBA.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

• Adept learner capable of receiving training and coaching in advanced subject matter such as science or technology and mastering material over Time.
• Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills. Ability to work with individuals from many cultural backgrounds and varying language skills.
• Demonstrated written and oral presentation skills, ability to keep careful records, complete assigned forms, follow up as necessary to meet identified needs.
• Self-motivated to work independently following established policies and procedures.
• Demonstrated skills in computer programs and applications.
• Excellent skills in problem-solving, time management, teamwork, and project management.
• Outstanding ability to set priorities, meet deadlines and work independently.
• Outstanding ability to take the initiative and manage projects with minimum supervision.

Preferred Qualifications:

• Master’s degree or Ph.D. in microbiology, biology, or another biological science program.
• 4-7 years of experience in a research laboratory
• Knowledge of EHS safety management systems and reporting metrics.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

• Professional-level certifications such as Registered Biosafety Professional or Certified Biosafety Professional.
• Experience working within an academic research institution.
• Experience developing and conducting training in BSL3 facilities.
• Experience recognizing hazards and conducting inspections.
• Participation and response in HAZMAT emergencies.
• Experience addressing environmental health and safety concerns.
• Implementing environmental health and safety programs.

Please apply online at https://careers.northwestern.edu/psp/hr857prd_er/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM_FL.HRS_CG_SEARCH_FL.GBL?Page=HRS_APP_JBPST_FL&Action=U&FOCUS=Applicant&SiteId=1&JobOpeningId=44302&PostingSeq=1

At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at https://www.northwestern.edu/hr/benefits/index.html to learn more.

Work-Life and Wellness:
Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.
We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care. Visit us at https://www.northwestern.edu/hr/benefits/work-life/index.html to learn more.

Professional Growth & Development:
Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at https://www.northwestern.edu/hr/learning/index.html to learn more.

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