Associate Biosafety Officer

Pennsylvania, United States
12 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
12 Mar 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title

Associate Biosafety Officer (Biosafety Officer B)

Job Profile Title

Biosafety Officer B

Job Description Summary

The Associate Biosafety Officer (BSO; Containment Programs Coordinator) will assume primary responsibility for oversight, safety and compliance of containment lab (ABSL-3 / BSL-3) programs at the University of Pennsylvania, and provide subject matter expertise to faculty and staff to ensure institutional compliance with Federal, State, Local, and Institutional regulations and guidelines.  In addition, contingent upon experience, the BSO will assist the Institutional Biological Safety Officer in programmatic and policy development and implement emergency response procedures for incidents involving biohazardous agents and material to ensure compliance with Federal level initiatives (NIH, CDC, USDA, FDA).

Job Description

Under limited direction of the Associate Director for Biological Safety Programs / Institutional Biosafety Officer, the successful candidate will perform duties of an Associate Biosafety Officer (BSO) with primary responsibility for oversight, safety and compliance of containment lab (ABSL-3 / BSL-3) programs.  The BSO provides technical guidance to faculty and staff regarding equipment, facilities and work practices for protection of personnel, laboratories and environment from biological hazards; Reviews experimental design, protocols and procedures and conducts risk assessments; Reviews proposals, and activities involving hazardous materials and recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid research (rsNA) to ensure safe practices in support of the University's IACUC, IBC and IRB; Develops & participates in biological safety training for faculty, staff and students; Inspects life science & special containment research facilities for compliance with regulations and guidelines pertaining to use, handling, and disposal of potential biohazards & rsNA & emerging gene editing technologies; Provide subject matter expertise to support occupational health safety programs; Investigates accidents in regards to Biosafety issues and develops corrective action plans; Responds (on call) to biohazardous materials incidents as appropriate and consults on research laboratory safety, operations and security; Support the Institutional Biosafety Officer (IBSO) in developing & implementing programs & policies to ensure institutional compliance with Federal, State, Local, Institutional regulations & guidelines (i.e.: NIH, CDC, USDA, FDA); At the discretion of the IBSO, provide mentorship, training, & supervisory activities.  The primary focus of this position will be support of containment lab operations and compliance.


  • Oversee and inspect containment research facilities for safety & compliance.  Provide support for Principal Investigators and users. Provide oversight, provide documentation and verification of experience, provide coordination of training requirements & guidance for containment (BSL-3; ABSL-3; Arthropod Containment) facilities.
  • Administer & support development of Life Science Laboratory Safety & Biosafety Programs. Provide oversight of select biosafety program components as needed. -Review IACUC protocols & IBC registrations using knowledge of pertinent guidelines & regulations.
  • Conduct, revise, and develop biological safety training.
  • Investigate injuries & accidents regarding lab safety & Biosafety issues. Support various Occupational Health programs.
  • Develop & implement emergency response procedures, & outreach programs, for incidents involving biohazards.
  • Respond ( on call) to biohazardous materials incidents as appropriate. Perform due diligence & track select agent toxins. Primary contact for biocontainment laboratories.
  • Other duties & responsibilities as assigned


  • Applicants for the Associate Biosafety Officer position require at a minimum a M.S. in biological science (i.e., microbiology, bacteriology, virology etc.) or related field.
  •  A Ph.D. is strongly preferred.
  •  Must possess documented work experience including 5 or more years, hands-on experience, in a BSL-3 / ABSL-3 research laboratory; 3‑ 5 years or more experience in the field of biological safety in a biomedical research facility;
  • Experience with molecular biology techniques; Experience working in and supervising BSL-3 / ABSL-3 containment research; Experience working with select agents or managing select agents research is strongly preferred;
  • Documented evidence of training program development; Certification by ABSA (RBP or CBSP) is strongly preferred; In depth working knowledge of NIH, CDC guidelines, applicable OSHA standards, & pertinent Federal, State, Local, Institutional regulations;
  • Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills;
  • Special Requirements: The abilities to respond and move rapidly and frequently without restrictions, transport up to 30 pounds or more, and wear respiratory protection are required. A valid driver's license also is required. Any offer of as well as continued employment in the position may be contingent upon successful completion of a DOJ/FBI Security Risk Assessment for individuals seeking access to select biological agents and toxins, and receipt and maintenance of appropriate clearance in connection with the same.

University Benefits:

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect your and your family’s health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn’s Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you’re newly hired, you won’t have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That’s why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University’s libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There’s always something going on at Penn, whether it’s a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you’re right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.

To learn more, please visit: 

Job Location - City, State

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School

Provost's Center

Pay Range

$59,703.00 - $113,391.00

Affirmative Action Statement 

Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements 

Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

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