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Departmental  Technician

Department: Biology Effective Date: February 2013
Grade: USG 6 Reports to: Administrative Officer

General Accountability

The incumbent reports to the Administrative Officer in the Department of Biology for administrative issues and Directors of the Core Facility and Flow Cytometer for technical matters.  The incumbent provides technical support of instrumentation in the Biology Core Facility and the Flow Cytometer, including the administration and maintenance of the -20 and -80 freezer alarms. The incumbent will also provide technical support for one or more academic courses. The incumbent will provide first point of contact for computer support.  Secondary duties include minor equipment repairs where possible, and assisting the animal-care technician and greenhouse technician with technical repairs as requested.

Qualifications Required

Hons B.Sc. in Science, preferably in Biology is required, but an MSc in Science is preferred. Ability to work independently and cooperatively as part of a larger team of technical support staff is required. Proven ability to operate and trouble shoot on computers and a variety of scientific equipment is essential; especially pertaining to the intricate knowledge of operating a Flow Cytometer. Experience in supporting undergraduate laboratory courses is desirable. Working knowledge of typical chemicals used in a scientific working environment is also essential. Knowledge of safety procedures for equipment is also required. Knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel is an asset. Incumbent must also complete the following on-line training modules: WHMIS, Biosafety, Laboratory Safety, Employee Safety Training, and the Workplace Violence Awareness program.

Nature and Scope

The Department of Biology hosts many pieces of specialized laboratory equipment and computers for both teaching and research.  Provision and maintenance of infrastructure are key components in the University, Faculty and Department strategic goals of increasing international research profile. The Department has set a specific strategic objective to enhance its core infrastructure. Many faculty members are collaborating on writing research grants for the sole purpose of securing shared equipment. Frequently, maintenance contracts for major pieces of equipment are expensive, and funds are either not available for contracts, or are better used to support other research operations. The Departmental  Technician will oversee the operation, repair and maintenance of common or shared equipment, thereby increasing its cost-effectiveness and lifetime. Partial support for operating the core facility is derived from user fees. The individual will also contribute to supporting the academic program of the Department, for example laboratory courses and other academic activities.

Significant internal and external relationships for this position include:

Statistical Data

The Department of Biology has 42 faculty members (including 4 CRC Chairs), 3 instructors, 12 undergraduate officers and 27 postdoctoral fellows/research associates; The Department offers programs in Honours Biology, Honours Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, and Biomedical Sciences. There are a total of 17 technical support staff and 7 administrative support staff.  The Department teaches courses to approximately 6500 undergraduate students each term and graduate enrolment is approximately 160 students.  The departmental operating budget is approximately six million dollars and total research income exceeds six million dollars.  The department has a TA budget of approximately eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars and hires approximately 100-150 TA’s per term. Biology faculty bring in approximately $4.1M of research funding per year.

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions