Research Asst/Tech 2

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, BC (30+ days ago)

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Job Posting

Job ID:

Vancouver - Point Grey Campus

Employment Group:
Technicians & Research Assists

Job Category:
Non Union Research/Technical

Classification Title:
Research Asst/Tech 2

Business Title:
Research Asst/Tech 2

Faculty of Science

Inst. for Oceans and Fisheries

Salary Range:
$44,438.00 (minimum) - $48,696.00 (midpoint) - $52,955.00 (maximum)

Full/Part Time:

Desired Start Date:

Job End Date:

Funding Type:
Grant Funded

Closing Date:

Available Openings:

Guiding principle: "Midpoint" of the hiring salary range means the individual possesses full job knowledge, qualifications and experience.

This position is expected to be filled by promotion/reassignment and is included here to inform you of its vacancy at the University.

Job Summary

To organize, maintain, and monitor the ongoing projects conducted by the Consortium at the Aquarium and Open Water research facility. The primary responsibility is to ensure that studies implemented by scientists and graduate students are carried out in a timely and accurate manner. This entails scheduling and running scientific trials and procedures; maintaining, designing, and building research equipment; data collection, food preparation, scat collection,elutriation and sample preparation, completing administrative tasks, performing required maintenance and cleaning, and training/supervising assistants working in the research area.

Acts as contact for communication to/from the Consortium. Includes relaying information between senior researchers, office manager, veterinary staff, training staff, and research staff.

Must be able to coordinate personnel, research animals, equipment, and supplies for research purposes under fluctuating conditions and during small windows of opportunity. Must be relied upon to accurately collect data and carry out experimental plans in consultation with science staff. Must work with sufficient independence to allow for continuous technician coverage throughout 7-day work week, and have some flexibility in work days and hours to facilitate research and animal care demands.

Organizational Status

  • To act as a liaison between the research department at UBC and the sea lion research and training staff at the Aquarium and Open Water research facilities.
  • To assist with all research projects occurring at the Aquarium and Open Water facilities designed by research associates, UBC PhD/ MSc students or outside researchers.
  • To assist with the logistical design of experiments conducted at the Aquarium and Open Water facility.
  • To assist with the organization, logistical design, and independent on-site data collection at other research facilities.
  • To develop protocols for new studies as well as implement changes to improve existing protocols.
  • To coordinate and prioritize all aspects of research projects and facility maintenance with other RATs.
  • To report on a timely basis all animal and research information to senior researchers, relay information and research needs from research staff to training staff.
Work Performed

  • Assist with the facilitation of research at the Vancouver Aquarium and Open Water Laboratory
  • Assist Researchers with trials ensuring that the facility and equipment is in good working order at all times
  • Maintain and conduct general repairs of equipment in the lab and the research area such as cages, freezers, scales, tank baskets, tank bolts, scat elutriating gear, video equipment, computers, small electronics, metabolic chamber, and swim mill chiller package.
  • Set up and maintain the metabolic chambers, operate the gas analysis equipment, video monitoring equipment, and collect data during all metabolic trials as required by various research projects
  • Assist with morphometric measurements
  • Prepare all supplies, equipment and area for medical procedures and assist with the procedures
  • Assist with the design and construction of research equipment as well as retrofitting equipment to improve efficiency and/or quality of data collected
  • Source contractors and act as a liaison for equipment requiring outside construction/repair
  • Coordinate with Aquarium staff to ensure food supplies are delivered from offsite cold storage in advance of specific experiments
  • Create and maintain a comprehensive sub-sample store, and corresponding database for all feeding studies ensuring that the food requirements for each study are met on a daily basis to maintain accuracy of the experiment.
  • Update and maintain weekly animal health records, data files for individual experiments, and blood analysis results, anaesthetic procedure records, and blood sample database.
  • Collaborate and distribute information between Aquarium and Open Water Staff Members and Consortium Researchers
  • Provide tours of the research facilities to visiting researchers, members of the Foundation Board, UBC staff and students, Aquarium staff and volunteers
  • Assist with the cleaning and preparing of animal housing areas prior to, during, and after all research projects.
  • Assist with research at the Open Water Laboratory as required
  • Miscellaneous other duties
Supervision Received

This position has little day-to-day supervision. The majority of research duties such as equipment design, equipment construction, morphometric measurements, metabolic trials, food preparation, data entry, scat collection, scat elutriationand sample preparation, are generally conducted without supervision. Likewise, the maintenance and cleaning of equipment and lab space is unsupervised. Schedules and personnel involved must be somewhat flexible to collect data or conduct trials when the time and the opportunity arise. Some data entry is subject to later review by individual researchers and any discrepancies would require explanation or correction.

Supervision Given

Familiarize visiting researchers, volunteers and students with on-site protocols and data collection techniques.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

Work performed is not subject to supervisory check on a regular basis. If error were to occur during research trials, it would render the results for that particular trial ineffective. Some trials are time sensitive and errors could negate a particular study. The research schedule is often sufficiently full that an error during a specific study could negatively impact a subsequent study. Ongoing research projects require accurate records to be maintained at all times. Failure to do so could result in incomplete studies, lost time, lost money, and missed opportunity.


High School graduation. BSc preferred with training in science highly recommended Minimum of 2 years related experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Previous experience in a research-focused environment is an asset. Familiarity working with large mammals recommended. Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing. - Ability to work in a team environment
  • Required standards in this field include organizational skills, the ability to work in a physically demanding environment, computer literacy, and the ability to work reliably, independently, and without supervision.
  • Effective communication and problem-solving skills are essential.
  • Knowledge of, and/or practical experience with, design and construction is an asset.
  • Research and miscellaneous duties conducted at the Open Water research facility, require RATs to be proficient boat operators; being aware of potential hazards, including changing weather and ocean conditions, maneuvering amongst docks and boat houses. Must be cognoscente of surroundings, and always aware of the research animals in the open water.
Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.