BRF Senior Research Scientist (Unit Manger/NACWO)

In the Crick's Stp-Brf | Brf Operations - Experimental Team - 1.

Part of Crick Operations.

Key information

Job reference
From £43,000 per annum, subject to skills and experience.
Application close date
29 November 2022, 23:59 GMT
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 16 November 2022

BRF Senior Research Scientist (Unit Manager/NACWO)

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

Reports to: Head of BRF Operations


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 and manages several multidisciplinary animal facilities housing rodents, zebrafish, Xenopus spp., laboratory opossums and ferrets, with associated specialist equipment and dedicated areas. It provides a service to ~550 Personal Licensees using ~55 Home Office Project Licences and has over 150 staff.

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. The BRF department brings together a number of highly skilled and specialised individuals who contribute to the culture of care of animals in a laboratory environment.

The BRF Senior Research Scientist (SRS) will be responsible for the high-quality management and leadership of an animal unit. The post-holder will be an experienced manager and expected to lead on the delivery of high-quality animal husbandry and procedural support to a variety of laboratory species, some of which are housed within isolators, IVC’s and within containment 2,3 and 4 level facilities. This role will include NACWO responsibilities.

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • Management of an experimental/breeding unit, leading, developing and performance managing the Research Scientists, Research Officers and Support Technicians to ensure a high performing team and the delivery of a high-quality service
  • To fulfil the role of Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer, as defined in the Home Office’s Guidance Notes to the operation of the ASPA 1986 (amended 2012), for defined areas
  • Provide and manage specialist techniques within the BRF, ensuring that staff operate best practice at all times, maintaining the highest possible levels of animal health and welfare and procedural support
  • Ensuring staff and users are trained and competent and work to approved practices and procedures, including S1K methods
  • Ensure the PDRS of the team is performed in line with the Crick processes with a focus on individuals’ performance and their CPD
  • Providing an excellent service to scientific users, that supports research, including specialist advice in the areas of animal welfare and the 3Rs
  • Provide written and verbal reports as required, including those that need NACWO representation or those related to animal welfare, production, scientific procedures and health and safety matters
  • Chairing and participating in committees and forums, including the Named Persons Forum
  • Maintain the integrity of the barrier for the area(s) responsible for and report breaches to the BRF Head of Operations and Named Veterinary Surgeon in a timely manner
  • Participation in the weekend/public/privilege holiday rota for essential animal care
  • Take an active role in the out of hours emergency back-up procedures
  • Support the Head of BRF Operations with the broader objectives for the BRF, including the delivery of projects relating to the BRF and particularly the 3Rs.
  • Deputise for the Head of BRF Operations to cover absence when needed
  • Ordering consumables via Workday, ensuring value for money at all times
  • Review and update relevant SOP’s and RA’s, ensuring changes are communicated to the team and ensure compliance to SOPs by all staff
  • Competent at using and training team members on the in-house database systems
  • Reporting any issues with any in house database systems to the BRF Head of Operations and cascading to appropriate working groups
  • Keeping up to date with developments, identifying and applying new techniques, work practices and procedures as appropriate

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values:

Bold; Open; Collegial in addition to the following:


Qualifications, experience and competencies

  • Proven managerial experience necessary to successfully manage teams, resources and stakeholders within a research environment.
  • Substantial animal technology/research experience
  • IAT Level 3/Membership or professional equivalent/qualification
  • NACWO experience
  • Detailed practical knowledge of ASPA and Health and Safety and/or other relevant legislation
  • Knowledge and experience of breeding of genetically altered rodents and/or working with laboratory animals in an experimental/containment 2 environment
  • Evidence of and commitment to CPD
  • Home Office Licence (PIL A, B, L&E1)
  • Strong planning skills, the ability to prioritize in the face of competing demands, proven success in delivering work personally (and through others) to tight deadlines
  • Ability to use initiative, applying and interpreting regulations and guidelines to make decisions to achieve solutions
  • proactively identify relevant areas of development in working practices and troubleshoot accordingly when necessary
  • Strong decision-making skills with the ability to use initiative and improvise in a changing environment
  • Strong IT skills including working with database systems.
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written with the ability to relay straight forward and complex information to a broad range   of stakeholders.
  • Experience of training staff and assessing competency in their duties, working to defined standard operational procedures
  • Good interpersonal skills enabling the post holder to influence and deliver at all levels
  • Proactive and flexible in approach and ability to think beyond immediate work area.


Qualifications, experience and competencies

  • IAT Level 4 or professional equivalent/qualification
  • Qualifications in management
  • Registered Animal Technician (RAnTech)
  • Experience working with multi species
  • Containment level 3-4 experience
  • Home Office Licence (PIL C)
  • Specialised technical support/research experience
  • Experience of working with the MCMS (database) system.