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Biosafety Specialist II

Northeastern University
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted date
Aug 30, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Research Administration
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Biosafety Specialist II

About Northeastern:
Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and the recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. Our world-renowned experiential approach empowers our students, faculty, alumni, and partners to create impact far beyond the confines of discipline, degree, and campus.

Our locations—in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; London; Portland, Maine; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Toronto; Vancouver; and the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant—are nodes in our growing global university system. Through this network, we expand opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning and collaborative, solutions-focused research.

Northeastern's comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate programs— in a variety of on-campus and online formats—lead to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Among these, we offer more than 195 multi-discipline majors and degrees designed to prepare students for purposeful lives and careers.

About the Opportunity:
The Biosafety Specialist II (BSS-II) reports to the Biosafety Program Manager and is tasked with maintaining biosafety programs associated with infectious agents, human materials, recombinant and synthetic nucleic acids and toxins, equipment, and processes found in science, health science, and engineering research settings. The BSS-II will evaluate compliance activities, assist with collaboratively executing biosafety programs, and encouraging continuous process improvement efforts at all levels of education and research safety. Assume the day to day responsibilities of the Biosafety Program in the prolonged absence of the Biosafety Program Manager.

The BSS-II will possess excellent communication skills (verbal and written) and interpersonal skills to effectively promote biosafety concepts at all levels of the education and research enterprise including regularly engaging College Deans, Chairs, and Principal Investigators (PIs).

The BSS-II must be self-motivated, technically skilled, and able to effectively influence safety performance, execute change, and promote collaborative problem solving.

The BSS-II work includes the review of biosafety registrations, biological research protocols, and risk assessments; assisting with the development and delivery of classroom and hands-on biosafety training; and overall biosafety consultation and outreach. Additional areas are development of biosafety resources; coordination of regulated medical and infectious waste management; maintenance of records; conducting autoclave audits, assisting with the update manuals, policies and procedures as directed by OERS leadership, auditing teaching and research laboratories, and assisting PIs with ensuring compliance with biowaste requirements in laboratories and storage areas located in research buildings.

The BSS-II will assist with the development and assessment of leading indicators and contribute to implementing strategic plans to ensure continued biosafety improvement and program growth throughout all Northeastern laboratories. Assist with incorporating regulatory requirements into policies & procedures, training content, and is responsible for documentation retention as mandated by applicable regulations. This position will serve as a resource to lab personnel on biosafety best practices and enhance compliance with relevant local, state. and federal regulations and guidelines.

The BSS-II will participate, as needed, with the Northeastern Emergency Response Team, and regularly be on-call outside of regular business hours to assist with the response to laboratory accidents involving biological material releases and will provide written evaluations of biological releases and accidents and be responsible for restocking supplies used in spill clean-up.

Bachelor's degree (Master's degree preferred) required in biology, molecular biology, microbiology, cellular biology, biochemistry, genetics, or related field. Interest in a professional certification such as a Registered Biosafety Professional or Certified Biological Safety Professional is highly desirable.

Minimum of 5 years of demonstrated, hands-on experience working with biological agents in a research, teaching, diagnostic/clinical or quality control laboratory. Preferably, 5 years of work experience as a biosafety specialist at an academic or research institution. Familiarity with applicable local, state and federal regulations as well as NIH, USDA, NIAID, CDC guidelines for biosafety.

Minimum of 2 years of demonstrated experience working in an EH&S office or similar compliance office with regular engagement with laboratory personnel as a part of a safety audit program.

Experience with BSL-2 laboratory operations required. BSL-3 laboratory operational experience preferred.

Demonstrated knowledge of biosafety principles and practices and related knowledge of pertinent scientific fields to which the background can be applied. Recognition of laboratory hazards, assessment of risks, and identification of effective risk management controls.

Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate with a wide variety of personnel with a positive and helpful attitude.

Excellent communication skills and customer service skills and the ability to present information clearly and succinctly verbally and in writing. Ability to explain complicated technical concepts clearly and concisely. Ability to compile and present instructions as well as ability to clearly and concisely express ideas orally and in writing. Ability to effectively influence the safety behavior of teaching and research faculty, lab workers and other staff, and students engaged in high-risk activities. Capable of and comfortable with engaging PIs to ensure additional identified safety measures are included in all research protocols before start-up.

Ability to take initiative and think critically and creatively concerning individual situations and elements of the biosafety program with the ability to work independently and as a member of the team.

Proficiency in use of a personal computer and current software applications including but not limited to Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, and Outlook). Proficiency in the use of data management software.

Demonstrated knowledge of common processes, equipment, and biological agent properties found in a laboratory setting. General awareness of process safety requirements in a research laboratory setting.

Work effectively and productively with other EH&S staff, laboratory personnel, facilities support personnel and outside regulators.

Evaluate laboratories for unsafe conditions and practices, and identify opportunities to reduce risks and make recommendations to incorporate safety into scientific processes

Experience with or ability to learn and utilize a Learning Management System (LMS) such as BlackBoard, Canvas, or other data management platform such as BioRaft, to implement safety training and other safety program management needs.

Excellent customer service skills. Excellent time and project management skills, including planning, prioritizing, and scheduling multiple ongoing projects including the ability to delegate to direct reports.

Be medically qualified to wear respiratory protection and other personal protective equipment as well as lift to 50 lbs.

Work in a variety of physical environments where hazardous materials or equipment are in storage or use.

Preferred Credentials: Registered Biosafety Professional (RBP) or Certified Biological Safety Professional (CBSP).

Salary Grade:

Additional Information:
Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University's commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see

To apply, visit

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