The primary purpose of this role will be to provide animal handling support to the Faculty and to help maintain the research laboratories in a clean, safe and tidy manner. Experience in mouse work is essential and an active Home Office Personal Licence or equivalent will be highly desirable. Experience in molecular techniques will be beneficial.
The main focus of the Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology is to investigate the mechanisms that control head development and repair, underpinning a broader understanding of the genetic basis of craniofacial malformations and disease. Research is multidisciplinary using different experimental models and techniques to explore cell signalling, transcriptional networks and cell behaviour during development and disease. Another focus is studying the in vivo function and biology of stem cells in different craniofacial organs as well as their potential uses for clinical therapies involving the enhancement of natural repair processes and regenerative approaches.
The post holder is a member of the Faculty’s professional services team, providing high quality technical support to the Faculty and specific support to its education and/or research activities.
- To carry out experiments in craniofacial and regenerative biology Ability to complete Home Office Project licence amendments and liaise with local designated veterinary officer to allow novel experimental procedures to be rapidly adopted
- Provide competency training and animal handling in the BSU, ear clipping and injections and oral gavage service.
- Ability to manage mouse colonies
- To provide in-depth knowledge of technical or scientific practices, methods and procedures gained through experience and/or formal qualification
- To support a range of technical activities, providing advice/ guidance and training to colleagues
- To be responsive to changing priorities and an evolving environment/context, maximising the efficiency of the technical support being provided and resolving problems as they arise
- To forge relationships with colleagues in the Centre, Faculty and university, in order to deliver the required support as well as to contribute to process development and the adoption of best practice
- To foster a stimulating, innovative and inclusive cultural environment across the Centre enabling students and staff to thrive and develop, ensuring that processes and policies are visible, accessible and transparent
- To provide advice and guidance and, where appropriate, training on university policies, processes and where required, source information and support for colleagues to facilitate their work
- To participate in cross-Centre/ Faculty/ university projects and initiatives for up to 10% FTE
- To actively engage in Continuing Professional Development and training initiatives, in line with the Technician Commitment.
Work closely with the Faculty Technical Manager and the lead academic to ensure technical support for the Faculty is professional, well-executed and timely – complying with university policies, funders’ terms and conditions, and adopting best practice.
- Be responsible for providing a range of services, where there are established standards and requirements of the service
- Gather and assimilate information of varying complexity to deliver the required technical support
- Gain an understanding of users’/ customers’ requirements in order for this to inform the service choices and solutions
- Apply knowledge in the context of new areas
- Engage in appropriate professional activities to keep knowledge-base and skills up-to-date and to develop them further
- Provide training and advice on techniques to staff and students as appropriate, ensuring the content is understandable to a non-expert audience
Management & Organisation
- Where relevant, be responsible for managing/supervising a small team (at least two technical staff), monitoring, advising and giving feedback to individuals, identifying training opportunities and development that will help colleagues to expand their knowledge/ skills and keep up-to-date with new developments in the specialist field
- Manage/ supervise facilities and operations, ensuring efficient use of resources
- Resource management: install, monitor and maintain technical equipment, systems and software, with control over small budgets, stocks/ stores equipment and supplies
- Manage own workload, pattern of work and resources and prioritise these to achieve objectives within their own area
- Provide Centre data requested by Faculty and university teams for inclusion in appropriate submissions, surveys and annual reporting processes
- Advise on future physical resource requirements in area of responsibility
- Actively engage with the Centre and Faculty’s contribution to the King’s Vision 2029 and Research/Education strategy
- Use well-developed analytical and problem-solving capabilities – gathering, manipulating, interpreting, evaluating and analysing data, information, concepts and ideas, using the IT systems, to identify trends and patterns, and to review and select appropriate techniques, procedures and methods for the task
- Take timely and considered decisions within defined parameters/ agreed guidelines and offer advice to colleagues to help them make decisions that has a moderate impact on the post holder’s work and that of others for more than a year
- Lead in resolution of problems that are predictable but do not occur very frequently – applying initiative and creativity to finding solutions to complex problems
- Occasionally apply expertise to resolve longer term, complex problems and to generate innovative ideas
Teamwork & Communication
- Build strong working relationships with Faculty staff, students and key partners within and beyond the university (e.g. suppliers, colleagues in other HE institutions) in order to build relationships, disseminate information and co-ordinate activities in a timely and effective manner
- Communicate, both orally and in writing, complex information in a clear and precise fashion
- Facilitate an inclusive culture and ethos across the Faculty teams, ensuring that Professional Services staff work in partnership with academic staff in centres and Professional Services colleagues in the central team and functional networks
- Create an ethos of collaboration and collegiality, establishing effective communications and relationships, and encouraging staff to work in partnership with colleagues across the university, to eliminate potential barriers, enhance collegiality and develop best practice through actively contributing to King’s initiatives, including professional networks and working
- Support the welfare of staff and students
Health & Safety
- Implement and monitor compliance with regulations, guidance and legislation governing area of work and responsibility
- Be responsible for implementing and monitoring safe working practices, managing the impact of the environment on the work or safety of users where normally the degree of risk or level of hazard is obvious, and where necessary, adapt the working environment, or the work as necessary
- Ensure the security of buildings/ plant/ machinery in own area
- Contribute to cross-Centre/Faculty/university initiatives
- Undertake any other reasonable duties and projects as requested by the post holder’s line manager or lead academic.
The post holder is expected to manage their own workload and is expected to be flexible in anticipating and responding to shifting and competing demands on their and the wider team’s time. It is expected that the post will work with minimum regular supervision but will refer to their line-managers for advice on issues which fall outside existing regulatory or policy frameworks.
This job description reflects the core competencies required to fulfil the expectations of the post. There may be changes in the emphasis of duties and it is expected that the post holder recognises this, adopting a flexible approach to work and willingness to participate in training. Day-to-day activities and responsibilities will be determined by the Centre priorities and needs, and will inform specific objectives and tasks to be undertaken by post holders.
As this is a generic job description to be used across the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, if changes to the post become significant, the line manager of the post holder is to discuss potential amendments to the job description with Human Resources, in liaison with the Faculty. This job description is not intended to a comprehensive list of tasks; a work plan and set of objectives are to be agreed by the post holder and their line manager/s.
Physical Demands of Job
Demands will vary according to the post. The post holder may be required to carry out tasks at a level which requires becoming proficient in using specific procedures; others may require some physical effort over a prolonged period.
This post will be offered on an indefinite contract
This is a full-time post - 100% full time equivalent
- Ensure compliance with Home Office license conditions and procedures are carried out according to the Home Office License conditions by personal license holders and others handling animals
- Provide inductions and animal handling in the BSU for students and staff, ear clipping, injections (IP, IV, SC) teeth clipping or dental surgeries and oral gavage service.
- Set up animal mating and maintaining animal colonies
- Prepare project license renewal when necessary/requested
- Check the training and competency records for the staff/students and update them regularly
- Keep track of the standard condition 18 forms to be submitted in the case of a mouse death.
- Check the training and competency records for the staff/students and update them regularly
- Collaborate and interact with other members of technical team and research personnel to improve technical activities
- To train and develop lower grade staff and provide guidance and advice as part of the wider team
- To arrange shipments of research materials and import/export mice.
- Manage communal laboratory including samples and solutions preparation, consumables and equipment requirements and purchasing, repairs and maintaining safe working environment
- To write up and review risk assessments and SOPs
- Plan and prioritise own work, considering the needs of the Centre and its users
- To cover duties for other tech team members during their absence for instance; genotyping or maintenance of Tissue Culture labs
- To cover T-Scan freezer alarms during a Technical Manager absence
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
- BSc in Biomedical Sciences or equivalent
- Home office personal licence
- Excellent practical animal handling skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Good general lab and IT skills
- Problem solving skills
- Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team and independently to identify and address operational issues
- Experience and understanding of health and safety issues within a laboratory environment
- Organized record keeping and experimental planning
- Ability to manage busy and varied workload and priorities conflicting demands to meet required deadlines
- Experience with mouse colony management
- Experience of Molecular biology and developmental biology techniques, such as PCR, qPCR In Situ Hybridisation, immunohistochemistry
- Willing to learn operation of Micro CT scanner