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Laboratory Administrator

Department: Earth Science Effective Date:
Grade: USG 7 Reports to: Mgr, Env Isotope Lab

General Accountability

Nature and Scope

Statistical Data

Specific Accountabilities

  1. Supervisory Function - Due to the unprecedented growth of the Lab (1000% increase in intake and outgo), I am now supervising two full-time and three or more part-time nontechnical staff, all of whom are assisting me in performing office functions.
  2. Administrative Responsibilities - I authorize bids and quotes for potential customers, perform contract negotiations and approve such contracts, in each case proceeding with these negotiations to completion.
  3. Responsibility for Scheduling Technicians' Workloads - I attempt to hold regular staff meetings with all technicians. Purpose of these meetings is to discuss workloads, schedule timing for analyses, and to rearrange schedules as required by clients' needs. It has become necessary for me to do this because of the frequent business absences (approximately 25% of the time) of the lab manager as he performs other duties plus his vacation time (12%) and because it is very important that contract specifications be met. Determining of priorities needs to be centralized and authorized on a weekly basis and I am the sole person in the lab who holds all the information.
  4. Responsibility for Accounting - I work directly with the Office of Research on accounting problems.
  5. Set up and Maintain Responsibility for a Client Database - I have designed, in Excel, a Client database that allows us to track clients easily and quickly. This facilitates client relations in allowing us to give them better service and send them information about changes in our laboratory
  6. Responsibility for Interviewing, Hiring and Firing of Office Staff - I am responsible for interviewing, hiring and firing full-time and part-time office staff. I have made it my responsibility to determine the legalities involved in this and to ensure that my office staff is treated fairly and correctly.
  7. Responsibility for Pricing for Analyses - I set up the initial pricing requirements (overhead, labor and consumables) and determine the prices depending on the specific overhead and comparison with other laboratories which perform similar analyses to our. We have seven different pricing systems, all of which have separate overhead structures.  The final pricing is determined in consultation with the lab manager.
  8. Responsibility for Approving Staff Overtime - I have been given the authority to approve all overtime and, in conjunction with this, I look for proof in terms of increased productivity.
  9. Responsibility for Public Relations - I am now sharing responsibility with the lab manager for soliciting business externally through attendance at conferences. At these conferences, I act as a representative of the University of Waterloo as well as the Environmental Isotope Laboratory. These duties allow me to use my understanding of the scientific basis for what we do at the Environmental Isotope Laboratory and of the technical procedures we follow to discuss potential uses with prospective clients. As a representative of the University of Waterloo and as a graduate thereof, I also discuss the University as a whole and the student services offered by it.
  10. Increased Responsibility for Client Relations - With the frequent business absences of the lab manager (approximately 25% of the time) and his allowed vacation time (approximately 12% of the time), the promotion of good client relations has become my responsibility. I have been given authority to schedule rush samples as necessary, to schedule repeat analyses if the client is not satisfied with his/her results and for waiving charges for analyses should that be necessary.
  11. Responsibility for Interpersonal Relations Among Staff - I am expected to discuss interpersonal problems and to effect solutions. As our lab has grown, this has become an important function as the occasional disputes arise.
  12. Responsibility for Graduate Student Safety - As students are placed in our lab to learn the analytical and scientific techniques we teach, I have been given responsibility to ensure their safety through setting up WHMIS training sessions, showing them placement of laboratory safety features and ensuring that they are given proper introduction to laboratory methods and procedures.
  13. Responsibility for In-house Safety Procedures and Training - I reinforce the need for proper safely methods and arrange for safety training in particular aspects of laboratory work (e.g. correct use of gas cylinders) as necessary.
  14. Responsibility for External Contacts with Other Labs - We work in conjunction with other labs and my responsibility is to ensure friendly relations and understanding of their needs as well as our own.
  15. Responsibility for Giving Scientific Advice and Interpreting Results - In the past, this was the responsibility of the lab manager. As I have upgraded my scientific and technical knowledge, I have been given responsibility for some of this.

Working Conditions