Biology Lab Technician and Core Facility Coordinator

  • 0 yrs
  • $ Not Disclosed / YEAR

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Job Description

Term: 1 Year
Under the direction of the Department of Biology core instrument committee, oversees and provides support for the day-to-day operation and longer term planning of upkeep/renewal of core facilities and instruments.  Interacts with users (faculty, staff and students) to assess experimental needs and troubleshoot technical issues. The incumbent is also equally responsible for developing and ensuring the smooth and successful execution of assigned laboratory components for undergraduate courses, in consultation with the Instructor and/or Faculty member responsible for each course. The Biology Lab Technician is equally accountable to the Administrative Officer for administrative issues and The Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies for technical issues
Core Facility Support

Maintain and safely operate equipment under the jurisdiction of the Department of Biology core instrument committee. Examples of instruments include flow cytometer, sequencers, molecular imaging, microscopes, freezers, etc.
Ensure that all equipment is calibrated
Create and maintain a list of service and infrastructure requests by faculty members and users
Provide recommendations on service contracts and the repair and renewal of core instruments and facilities  Acquire specifications and quotes from suppliers
Train users on the safe and appropriate operation of instruments
Oversee access to core facilities by assigning security codes to users
May serve as the technician representative on the Department of Biology core instrument committee
Monitor and troubleshoot the departmental freezer alarm system to ensure that all freezers linked into the system are operational. Act as the first point of contact when problems occur, and will also provide support and guidance when new users are identified
Order and distribute scientific materials to researchers
Update website content

Course Work

Prepare and provide requisite materials (e.g., media, reagents, cultures, specimens) for laboratory offerings (including student follow-ups as requested) for assigned courses, including laboratory equipment for the initial and any follow-up laboratory sessions for particular experiments
Clean-up of the laboratory space with the appropriate handling and disposal techniques, including the disposal of hazardous materials at the end of each laboratory exercise
Demonstrate proper and safe operation of equipment
Assist instructors or faculty members with the development of new experiments for teaching and research
In consultation with Instructors and/or faculty members, trouble-shoot  and/or update existing experiments to improve pedagogy
Recommend changes, revisions and corrections to student lab manuals
Create and maintain information related to the course laboratory function and operation which may serve as a guide for subsequent offerings
Service teaching equipment and maintain records
Support Teaching Assistants during lab sessions to trouble-shoot technical issues as they arise and/or explain the principles behind experiments

Administrative Duties

Process marks for undergraduate courses (tutorials, labs, midterms and finals) including: compiling lab and tutorial marks, coordinating grading (e.g., Markbox), providing statistical summary of student outcomes for each course, and calculating and submitting final grades to the Registrar
Process TA evaluations for analysis at the end of each term
Source and order laboratory and preparation room maintenance supplies
In consultation with instructors and faculty member(s) provide recommendations and costing to Associate Chair for equipment to improve pedagogy
Establish and maintain liaison with sales representatives for technical and price update


Maintain personal certifications as required by Safety Office
Update posted safety procedures including WHMIS, hazardous waste disposal etc. so that they are current
Maintain equipment certifications and the associated records
Prepare and maintain current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Maintain first aid kits
Maintain safety inspection reports (eye wash station, spill kits, etc.) and report to the Department and Safety Office as required
Ensure adherence to Health and Safety guidelines by all Core users


Serve as a technical resource person for faculty, research associates and students in the development of their research projects
Fill in as a teaching assistant where necessary
Serve as a support person in other areas of department operations (laboratory preparation and clean-up for other courses, other department initiatives) as required on an occasional and short-term basis as assigned by the Chair, Associate Chair or Administrative Officer
May serve on the Department of Biology Safety committee
May serve as a back-up technician
Maintain chemical inventory
Work with members of the department to clean up space as needed
May supervise co-op students, as needed


BSc in Biology is required, MSc in Science is preferred or equivalent related education/experience
At least 3 years’ experience in setting up student lab courses. Must be highly trained and knowledgeable in flow cytometry and MiSeq, and other technological scientific instruments
Trained and qualified in flow cytometry and the most contemporary sequencing technologies, and ability to advise students on experimental design
Proven ability to operate and trouble shoot computers and a variety of scientific equipment is essential
Working knowledge of typical chemicals used in a scientific working environment is also essential. Knowledge of safety
procedures for equipment is required
Incumbent must also complete all required training modules as per Safety Office Regulations (e.g., WHMIS, Biosafety, Laboratory Safety, Employee Safety Training, and the Workplace Violence Awareness program)
Evening and weekend hours are required for potential emergencies such as malfunctions of essential equipment, freezers, power outages, etc., and the temperament of the freezer alarm system

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