Animal Care Technician

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, BC (28 days ago)

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Job Posting

Job ID:

Vancouver - Point Grey Campus

Employment Group:
CUPE 116(Service/Techs/Trades)

Job Category:
Research/Technical - CUPE 116

Classification Title:
Research Asst/Tech 2

Business Title:
Animal Care Technician

VP Research & Innovation

Centre for Disease Modeling

$44,496.00 (Annual)

Full/Part Time:

Desired Start Date:

Job End Date:

Funding Type:
Budget Funded

Closing Date:

Available Openings:

Job Summary

This individual will play a major role in providing for animal health, welfare, and other animal care and use duties in the Centre for Disease Modeling.

Animal Care Technicians in the Centre for Disease Modeling (CDM) are responsible for the daily maintenance and care of small laboratory animals. These positions ensure the cleanliness of the facility and the maintenance of adequate supplies of food and bedding materials. The successful incumbent ensures the highest quality of laboratory animal care and research support by pursuing and improving methods of animal husbandry and resource utilization.

The Animal Care Technician will work together with other technicians and veterinarians in a time-sensitive, regulated environment governed by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) and UBC Animal Care Committee (ACC). This position requires strict adherence to protocols and standard operating procedures that prevent accidental introduction of disease or confounding research variables.

Work may involve the use of potentially hazardous material or may be located in areas where such materials are used. Work will require the use of personal protective equipment. The work is very repetitious and physical, including lifting up to 25 kgs. Work schedule will include evenings, weekends and statutory holidays. This position will be expected to work independently with supervisory support available. Orientation and training will be provided on the job.

This position offers a unique working environment within the University of British Columbia.

Organizational Status

The Animal Care Technician receives direction and reports to Operations Manager. Works closely with the Zone Supervisor, other animal care technicians, veterinary technicians and Clinical Veterinarians. Liaises with researchers and their teams.

CDM is a 90,000 sq. ft. animal facility capable of holding 27,000 rodent cages. CDM is a main barrier facility and operations include Breeding, Containment Level 2, procedural and surgical space, information technology, and material management.

CDM is part of Animal Care Services (ACS), the largest animal care program in Western Canada and the second largest in Canada, is responsible for providing research support to the animal-based research community associated with the University of British Columbia and its affiliates through its veterinary services team, the compliance team, the procurement team and its facilities. ACS is committed to providing excellence in research support to all UBC researchers with accountability, communication, cooperation, customer service and integrity. ACS reports to the Associate Vice President Research & Innovation.

Work Performed

Provides consistent, high quality, compassionate care to all animals.

Responsible for daily providing basic husbandry, handling, restraint, and health, behavior and welfare surveillance of laboratory animals, small animal species, along with continuous awareness of current species-specific welfare issues in accordance with Canadian Council of Animal Care guidelines. This includes animal handling; inventories and record keeping for each animal; maintaining breeding colonies of various animals which include breeding, feeding, weaning, and keeping records of activities; performing rounds to observe and check the physical health and well-being of laboratory animals; preparing health reports; isolates infected or ill animals and reports to veterinarian; general housekeeping and maintenance of facility and equipment.

Performs minor surgeries and techniques, including blood, tissue and organ collection as necessary under the supervision of the Operations Manager or Veterinarian.

Receives and packs live animal shipments.

Packages, labels, processes biological, biochemical, radioactive and hazardous materials out of the facility.

Performs duties in the cage wash area.

Be responsible for the maintenance, cleanliness and organization of cages, equipment, surgical and storage facilities. Be responsible for the maintenance storeroom supplies. Performs routine cleaning of animal lodging facilities.

Follows all safety standards, standard operating procedures and policies.

Assists CDM research staff and users with animal care procedures and techniques.

Recommends revisions to existing policies and procedures to the Zone Supervisor.

Maintains required courses, certifications and testing.

Sits on the CDM Safety Committee as a member.

Treats confidentially all information related to research projects, personnel, and locations, and agrees not to disclose any such information to any person except as may be necessary in the proper discharge of work obligations.

Keep abreast of developments in the area of expertise and participating in continuing education programs.

Perform other related tasks as required.Duties include:
  • Managing breeding colonies (under general supervision)
  • Performing minor surgeries and techniques, including: tissue collection and organs, blood collection, surgical implantations, tumour implantations, injections, embryo manipulations, vessel cannulation.
  • Performing laboratory techniques such as media preparation, cell culture, hormone preparation as required
  • Identify, report and treat sick animals.
  • Demonstrating and explaining T2 duties and tasks
  • Assisting CDM Staff and Users
  • Animal handling, feeding, watering and health monitoring
  • Daily census recording
  • Maintaining records
  • Maintaining inventory
  • Assisting in sample collection
  • Recognizing and reporting concerns involving the animals, animal rooms, and the facility in general - Participating in continuing education program
  • Shipping and receiving of animals
  • Operation of rack and tunnel washers
  • Cleaning of cages, accessories, bottles, carts, and racks
  • General Housekeeping, including:
  • Preparation and use of disinfectants and detergents
  • Operating a bedding vacuum system, bottle filling system, high pressure spray units and autoclaves
  • Removal of waste
  • Cleaning and general facility upkeep
  • Assemble clean caging units
  • Perform minor maintenance tasks on facility related equipment
  • Performing other related duties
Supervision Received

Works under direction of the Operations Manager. Receives instructions during orientation, on subsequent new assignments, on changes in procedures, and on unusual problems or matters which are not covered under established SOP's and policies. Carries out familiar duties and responsibilities under general supervision.

Supervision Given

The incumbent may distribute work assignments to employees at lower classification levels and initiate new employees into routines, procedures, and operation of equipment. May instruct co-workers, researchers, and their staff in techniques and procedures; and ensure adherence to established SOP's and policies.

Consequence of Error/Judgement

The incumbent must be willing to pay attention to details, be aware of pitfalls and be willing to repeat tasks if necessary. Most of the procedures will require following a protocol already in place; however, there is room for innovative thinking to improve upon existing protocols and provide input into the direction of the project. These positions are expected to exercise some initiative and judgment in establishing priorities and carrying tasks through to completion; new or unusual problems would be referred to supervisor. Incorrect decisions could result in deterioration of animal health and/or disruption or ruination of a research study. Inappropriate judgment exercised by the position may impact the success of the facility, leading to increased expenses, time loss, and reputational damage.


High School graduation. Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline or graduation from a technical college or institute. B.Sc. degree in an animal related field and/or AHT diploma preferred. CALAS Registered Laboratory Animal Technician (RLAT) preferred. Minimum of 2 years related experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience in working with small animals in a research capacity. A sound theoretical and working knowledge of the principles and practice of laboratory animal science.
Ability to work effectively independently in a team environment.
Ability to work weekends, evenings and statutory holidays.
Ability to be thorough, accurate, and have a high level of attention to detail.
Ability to perform the physical demands of the job: work with high humidity, variable temperatures, and continuous exposure to animal dander, odours, excreta, dust, and noise; independently be able to walk and stand for extended periods, lift, carry, and move up to 25 kg objects over a distance; perform repetitive tasks; good manual dexterity, mobility, auditory, olfactory, and visual skills.
Ability to operate job-related equipment (e.g., rack and tunnel washers, autoclaves, dry heat oven, floor cleaning machine, industrial washers and dryers, bedding vacuum and dispensing system, bottle filling system, and high pressure spray units).
Ability to effectively use software at a moderate level (e.g., Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, NTM eSirius, Mosaic Vivarium).
Ability to read and comprehend technical material.
Be willing to maintain and upgrade training.
Ability to train others.
Ability to understand and apply policies, SOPs, instructions and applicable Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guidelines.
Ability to prioritize and work effectively under pressure to meet deadlines.
Ability to communicate in a clear, attentive, and polite manner, both verbally and in writing.
Ability to listen actively and attentively, and obtain clarification as required.
Ability to deal with a diversity of people in a calm, courteous, and effective manner.
Ability to work toward consensus and resolve differences.
Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships.
Ability to effectively resolve complaints and interpersonal conflict in a calm, non-confrontational manner, and by exercising sound judgment.
Ability to exercise tact and discretion.

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.