Platform Manager
University Of British Columbia

Location:Vancouver - Point Grey Campus

Employment Group:Management&Professional (AAPS)

Job Category:Research & Facilitation

Classification Title:Research&Facilitation, Level C

Business Title:FINDER Platform Manager

VP/Faculty:VP Research & Innovation

Department:Fac Infectious & Epidemic Res

Salary Range:$66,787.00 (minimum) - $80,176.00 (midpoint) - $96,212.00 (maximum)

Full/Part Time:Full-Time


Desired Start Date:2020/08/01

Funding Type:Budget Funded

Closing Date:2020/07/07

Available Openings:1

Guiding principle: "Midpoint" of the hiring salary range means the individual possesses full job knowledge, qualifications and experience.

Job Summary

The FINDER Platform Manager will be responsible for the overall leadership, administration, management, development of research projects and partnerships, security protocols and stakeholder communications of FINDER, the Containment Level 3 facility required for Risk Group 3 (RG3) pathogens including SARS-CoV-2 and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. FINDER is a shared research platform of the Vice-President Research & Innovation portfolio. Duties include working with UBC Safety and Risk Services, UBC Animal Care Services, FINDER Scientific Advisor, FINDER Steering Committee, and VPRI Shared Platforms Manager to oversee and ensure annual facility certification testing, research project management, supervision and performance management of technical staff, infrastructure acquisition, contract services, training and advising of research techniques, biosafety procedures, and animal handling. The position involves working in a high-security laboratory handling pathogens and research animals.
The successful candidate must be willing and able to work under CL3 conditions including enrolment in medical surveillance. There are inherent risks associated with experiments performed using RG3 agents. Please reference the Canadian Biosafety Standard, 2nd Edition website for more information (

Organizational Status

Reports administratively to the VPRI Shared Facilities Manager, receives scientific direction from the FINDER Scientific Advisor, and works with considerable latitude. The incumbent is expected to work with minimal supervision. The Manager supervises up to 4 technicians, and works closely with Principal Investigators who use the facility, Building Operations, LSI administration and UBC Safety and Risk Services, and other staff members of the VPRI portfolio.

Work Performed

- Develops and implements policies and standard operating procedures for client services. Conducts research-training sessions of the facility policies/protocols. This includes biosafety procedures, animal handling, use of scientific and decontamination equipment required for a CL3 facility.
-Forecasts future capability needs by assessing equipment of current and potential clients, and determines the feasibility of current infrastructure to respond to such needs. The facility has seen an increase in requests involving COVID-19.
- Oversees simultaneous experiments and their specific research requirements in different compartments.
- Collaborates in the development of grant proposals, research reports, and journal manuscripts, particularly with regard to technical aspects including the identification and development of methods required to perform studies to meet scientific and biosafety requirements. Provides support and expertise working with pathogens and animal research.
- Manages relationships with stakeholders and clients. In partnership with Animal Care Services, supports users with animal research requirements.
- Assesses the requirements of current and potential clients and determines the feasibility of current infrastructure for matching these requirements
- Creates and implements plans for maintenance, upgrade, and renovation of all equipment, tools, and infrastructure for FINDER.
- Manages the shipping-receiving process of RG3 agents and animals, including importation. Liaises extensively with Animal Care Services to ensure research is carried forward appropriately.
- Manages human resources for FINDER. Provides mentorship and performance management to up to four technicians. Responsible for all research-related administrative procedures.
- Responsible for managing annual facility performance and verification tests per HPTR CL3 licensing requirements. Maintains HPTA licensing, based on required certifications.
- Conducts comparative analyses of vendors and service providers (itemizes requirements, specifications, timelines, cost, and contract terms), and negotiates contracts.
- Plans and manages the operational budget of FINDER in consultation with VPRI Senior Finance Officer and Shared Research Facilities Manager. Ensures financial activities are tracked and recorded; reviews research expenditures and ensures funds are being used in compliance with funding guidelines. Prepares budget projections as requested by Scientific Advisor, Steering Committee or VPRI Shared Facilities Manager.
- Is familiar with Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) policies and requirements, and animal care protocols in place at the Centre for Disease Modeling. Manages and coordinates animal care support to FINDER researchers; manages animal husbandry technician for research animals within FINDER.
- Perform other duties as required

Supervision Received

The position is under the general supervision of VPRI Shared Facilities Manager and receives scientific direction from the Scientific Advisor.

Supervision Given

Provides guidance, support and content advice/expertise to all faculty and staff working within the facility. This position supervises up to four full-time technicians.

The Manager is also responsible for ensuring the appropriate training and infectious agents, and animal husbandry for research animas within FINDER as required. Oversees activities of contract workers and service people in FINDER. Ensures safety policies are followed by all users by observation of work practices in the facility.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

Error in the operation of the CL3 facility would negatively impact users and could incur significant research delays. Failure to maintain compliance with federal regulations and standards would jeopardize facility operation and potentially endanger the health of users. Poor attention to detail and erroneous data will negatively impact on the progress and direction of research projects, including those performed by other lab members. Valuable reagents, research time, and money would be lost. CL3 hazards requires proper adherence to safe work practices to control the risk infection with RG3 agents.

FINDER facility policy dictates loss of access privileges to the CL3 lab and ability to work by anyone contravening FINDER operational practices. Loss of privileges will result if any of the following occurs:

1) Failure to follow directives provided by the FINDER Scientific Advisor, FINDER Steering Committee, and UBC Biosafety Officer.
2) Failure to follow CL3 SOPs as described in the FINDER CL3 Operation and Safety Manual.
3) Unauthorized after hours or weekend work
4) Working alone without proper authorization
5) Providing entry to unauthorized individuals
6) Unauthorized use of personal security card, such as loaning card
7) Modifying approved protocols without prior review by the FINDER Scientific Advisor, FINDER Steering
Committee and UBC Biosafety Officer.
8) Violation of confidentiality rules


Post-graduate degree or equivalent professional designation if responsible for a research project otherwise Undergraduate degree if not responsible for a research project. Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline such as Microbiology, Virology, or a related Biomedical field. 4 years or equivalent combination of education and experience if responsible for research project otherwise 6 years or equivalent combination of education and experience if not research work. At least three years working experience in a containment level 3 (CL3) laboratory. Animal husbandry experience is highly preferred. Demonstrated prudent judgement under pressure and in situations of risk. Demonstrated experience in microbiology and tissue culture techniques, preparing and analyzing DNA, RNA, and protein samples. Working experience with small animal model of microbial infection preferred. Knowledge and experience with complex scientific analytical instrumentation (e.g., imaging systems, ultracentrifuges and spectrophotometers) is preferred. Must provide evidence of excellent CL2 biosafety training and must meet requirements for medical fitness to work in the CL3 facility. Must complete the UBC CL3 facility-training program and pass the exam demonstrating their knowledge of FINDER SOPs. Excellent technical skills in microbiology, tissue culture of mammalian cells, and operation of computer-controlled scientific instrumentation. Excellent practical laboratory skills and conscientious attention to detail and task completion. Proven ability to learn new techniques and operation of complex scientific equipment. Computer experience required, including facility with Microsoft Office and inventory software. Demonstrated ability to organize and complete assignments autonomously. Effective oral and written communication, interpersonal, analytical, record-keeping and organization skills. Experience in provision of training in individual and small group formats. Must have ability to work both independently and collaboratively within a dynamic, fast-paced team environment.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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