BRF Colony Coordinator

In the Crick's Stp-Brf | Brf Colony Management Team.

Part of Crick Operations.

Key information

Job reference
From £32,500 per annum, subject to skills and experience.
Application close date
08 December 2021, 23:59 GMT
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 18 November 2021

Reports to: BRF Senior Colony Manager

This is a full time, permanent position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.



The Biological Research Facility supports all animal research at the Crick through our comprehensive animal care and use programme. The Biological Research Facility provides the Crick's laboratory animal resource and technical services. High quality multidisciplinary in-vivo and ex-vivo research support are at the heart of the BRF's philosophy and operations. The BRF is committed to improving animal welfare, scientific quality, care of staff and transparency for stakeholders. The BRF teams integrate husbandry of multiple species within a range of facilities, using state of the art technologies, via a talented and skilled team.

Reporting to the BRF Senior Colony Managers & the Head of Colony Management Services, the post holder will play a key role in the development & management of the rodent colonies at the Crick. The postholder will work with other BRF colony coordinators, members of Colony Management Services (CMS) & the wider BRF to provide a cohesive, comprehensive, flexible and adaptable service to the Crick.  

The BRF Colony coordinators will be responsible for directly managing a large portion of the Institute’s strains on short-term projects & providing oversight and rolling checks of all Crick colonies, as well as collaborating with the members of CMS and the BRF to advance training and development of colony management skills amongst BRF and Scientific staff.

As part of this role they will be expected to liaise with the groups assigned to them regularly, designing and implementing optimal breeding strategies for their stakeholders. They will be expected to manage genotyping, breeding, cohort generation and archiving of the lines under their remit applying the 3Rs and principals of A(SP)A at all times, ensuring efficient use of animals and space, and to share their expertise freely with BRF & scientific staff. In addition they will have a role in training and development of colony management skills amongst BRF and Scientific staff, and acting as an MCMS superuser.

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • The post holder will be expected to colony manage the mice for several scientific groups or BRF lines, liaising with groups regularly to set realistic colony aims. Applying standard breeding strategies or bespoke designed breeding to achieve established aims within a defined timeframe, and reporting as required.

  • General colony maintenance instructions; genotyping the line, issuing breeding instructions, setting the correct colony size, archiving the line, managing new colony production, breeding experimental cohorts,

  • To work actively within the BRF units, training BRF staff to carry out day-to-day management of some of the strains under their management, where appropriate, reducing the task led management culture, with particular respect to troubleshooting.

  • The postholder will be involved in other tasks related to colony management and will be expected to lead on several of these areas. Some examples include managing and testing the genetic stability of the lines; reporting on the microbiome of the lines; improving the quality of the molecular biological testing of lines; looking at characterisation of lines; Working on the import & export of animals to the Crick; managing the cryopreservation or rederivation pipelines with respect to colony management, project management & working towards best practice and service improvement in all of these.

  • The colony coordinators will be expected to participate in a regular activity to provide advice to other groups providing bespoke advice on colony management.

  • The postholder will be expected to participate in programme of regular rolling checks, group by group to ensure all colonies are at an agreed standard (E.g. MCMS colony notes data on phenotype, development, breeding scheme, cryopreserved, defined background, optimal breeding efficiency etc) will be key. This will apply to all new colonies produced, rederived or crossed.

  • The Post holder may assist in the delivery of colony management training courses for new and existing scientists and BRF staff.

  • The Postholder will be expected to assist act as a superuser for the MCMS, both dealing with helpdesk queries, and assisting in the training of users as required by the BRF’s IT and database manager. They may also be expected to assist with beta testing new versions of the MCMS, as well as assisting with development workshops.

  • Participate in a forum of the Institute’s colony managers, both BRF and those imbedded in the lab promoting best practice and assisting with training, as well as development of the MCMS (Institute’s Mouse Colony Management System)

  • The postholder will be expected to assist in other BRF activities related to colony management, including assisting in the units with husbandry where required, carrying out procedures for genotyping of lines, such as DNA extraction & PCR, assisting in archiving of mouse & fish lines (cryopreservation, dissection, superovulation, IVF), providing aseptic assistance to the surgical team and helping with import & export administrative tasks & shipper collection. 

  • To carry out any other reasonable request from the Senior CM, Head(s) of CMS and the Director of the BRF

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:


Qualifications, experience and competencies:

  • Relevant qualification or relevant experience
  • Experience in and possess a proven track record in a relevant position.
  • Working knowledge of GA production & breeding strategies.
  • Experience of contributing effectively to the work of a team, a flexible and cooperative approach to working with others
  • Experience and willingness to work on animal models
  • Able to work independently and drive a project forward
  • Excellent project planning, time-keeping, organisational and record-keeping skills
  • Ability to interpret and communicate information effectively to staff across all levels, building and maintaining effective relationships with stakeholders.
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written with the ability to relay straight forward and complex information to a broad range of stakeholders


  • Further relevant qualification
  • Experience of supervising and/or training others
  • A working knowledge of genetics
  • Knowledge of and competence with MCMS
  • Familiarity with the Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and past or present holder of a personal licence