BRF Shipping & Colony Coordinator

In the Crick's Stp-Brf | Brf Database & It Liaison Team.

Part of Crick Operations.

Key information

Job reference
From £33,700, subject to skills and experience.
Application close date
29 August 2022, 23:59 BST
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 02 August 2022

BRF Shipping & Colony Coordinator


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



The Biological Research Facility (BRF) supports all animal research at the Crick through our comprehensive animal care and use programme. The BRF provides the Cricks laboratory animal resource and technical services. High quality multidisciplinary in-vivo and ex-vivo research support is 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.

The post holder will be a key part of the Colony Management Service. They will be expected to work independently with a minimum of supervision, reporting regularly to senior staff and working closely with members of the BRF Senior Team and the Francis Crick Institute Scientists. They will work closely with the BRF Import/Export Manager who has overall responsibility for animal shipments and the BRF Database team (MCMS).

The overall purpose of this job is to contribute to the management and to delivery of a dedicated BRF import and export service of animals and germplasm to and from the Francis Crick Institute. In addition, the role will involve working with the wider CMS team,  supporting the MCMS helpdesk team and the colony coordinators on a daily basis.

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

Playing a key role in the service to provide an efficient management of the export and import of animals, and germplasm worldwide. This will involve management & accountability for animals and germplasm shipments by:

  • Taking a lead in the project management of shipments, working with the MCMS database team to optimise the Shipment database and developing project management tools.
  • Work with the Import/export manager to provide consistent service across all animal related shipments to and from the Crick
  • Working with the Shipment manager to take on a portion of the shipment work and for those manage all related logistic including:
    • Maintenance of shipment records and associated documents
    • Application for and management of relevant customs paperwork (Import/Export licences; custom invoices etc)
    • Purchase of animals and germplasm and biological material from commercial companies as required and requested, ensuring value for money at all times.
  • Being a point of contact to address any issues raised with animal shipments, providing solutions, resolving problems, which may arise. Liaising with investigators within the Crick and other universities/institutes, the Veterinarians, SHS and animal care staff on shipments
  • Acting as a liaison between CMS and GeMS (Genetic Modification Service) on imports and exports, in particular frozen shipments; keeping GeMS appraised of incoming lines for rederivation; and working with a member of the team the to ensure correct thaw protocols are sent and received and stock levels are maintained and full permission is obtained for use of frozen stock.
  • Assisting with physical transport of animals and dry shippers around the Crick, ensuring maintenance of dry shippers, and working with LN2 safely and in a responsible manner.
  • Ensure the application and implementation of Crick and BRF policies and practices in area domain as necessary, using own discretion and decision making to achieve solutions.
  • Produce regular reports on the service and current imports & exports, and ensuring all aspects of the active imports and exports are recorded in such a way as to ensure continuity and clarity that would enable any other person to understand and complete process.
  • Participate in the IP management of lines at the Crick – ensuring accurate records are maintained for the exchange of lines within and without the Crick, liaising with legal and tracking down the Ip owners as required.
  • Develop their knowledge of genetics and mouse background and GA modifications such that they will be able to provide appropriate advice on the best strains and source of mice (& other lab species) for Crick users.

In addition, the post holder will be expected to carry out any other duties as may be appropriate to the role as directed.

This will specifically include

  • Becoming proficient in the Mouse colony management system (MCMS) and associated tools. This will involve providing MCMS helpdesk support to Crick staff across all levels and functions under minimal supervision
  • Where there is capacity, to assist the Colony Management team with management and review of the Cricks colonies and setting up new colonies.
  • Helping with husbandry in the units where necessary.

Full training will be given and post holders will be expected to participate in continuing professional development.

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:

  • Excellent customer service skills and experience of operating in a challenging and changing work environment with multiple competing priorities
  • Good communication skills with the ability and knowledge to build and maintain effective relationships with a range of internal & external colleagues (UK & international)
  • A good understanding of mouse genetics and genetic modification.
  • Ability to organise and prioritise own workload and multitask to meet defined and conflicting deadlines, fluctuations in function and resource availability to deliver the expected standards required working under minimum supervision.
  • Proficient in the use of a variety of software packages, such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, Access, to produce correspondence and documents and other in-house databases to maintain and update records, presentations, spreadsheets etc.
  • An interest in biomedical research and a willingness to develop knowledge and understanding of the research programs at the Crick; knowledge of the Crick, its objectives, policies, practices and aims.


Qualifications, experience and competencies:

  • Experience or relevant qualification of working within animal based environment
  • Understanding of A(SP)A, industry relevant management and legislative documents.
  • Knowledge of IATA (LAR) regulations the Balai Directive, DEFRA / APHA requirements, and of all customs paperwork, and licences required to import and export worldwide
  • Experience of relational databases
  • Ability to use initiative, applying and interpreting regulations and guidelines to make decisions to achieve solutions.
  • Project management would be helpful in managing the complex workload.