At PCRC, the needs of the animals are first and foremost. Each animal receives the best care possible for his or her physical, psychological and social well-being. The animals are treated with respect, compassion and empathy.
The Preclinical Research Center (PCRC) is seeking a self-starting employee, who is a team player committed to performing high-quality animal clinical care and research in a fast-paced research laboratory setting. This position will be a part of a team that is committed to caring for the animals that make it possible to advance groundbreaking research in transplantation, COVID-19, diabetes, obesity, and regenerative medicine to the clinic, while simultaneously conducting the fully-funded (NIH, JDRF [Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation] and Industry) research of PCRC. Specifically, PCRC’s research is focused on studying the effects of improving the welfare of animals used in biomedical models, thus enhancing the translational value of animal models used in biomedical research. As such, the employee must have interest in cooperative handling, enrichment, and animal husbandry (behavioral management) with rodents, pigs, and nonhuman primates. The translational and high regulatory research completed at PCRC requires attention to detail and the ability to follow precise written protocols that adhere to GLP regulations.
The employee will learn how to provide and be responsible for daily behavioral management, care, enrichment, and nurturing to animals by preparing food, cleaning enclosures, and maintaining the Center facility. They will receive training, in becoming proficient in transfer, handling, specialized individual care, and will begin to acquire skills in Colony Management. Additionally, the employee will perform research and related tasks in animal husbandry in evaluating the influence on animal welfare and scientific outcomes. The Center has a unique focus on primates, so while employees will be working with a variety of animals, they should have a strong interest in working with monkeys as this is an entry-level position in primate care, behavioral management and research.
The employee will participate in center support by training new volunteers, keeping detailed records and reporting on the status of the animals, making updates and revisions to SOPs, and handle specimens or equipment while wearing appropriate personal protective equipment. When not occupied with routine tasks, the employee is expected to participate in other lab tasks as assigned to advance the team’s work. Specific duties include:
Research & Lab Support – 50% • Perform NIH, JDRF and business & industry funded research focused on the role of husbandry as it relates to animal welfare, scientific outcomes, and support of the Program Director’s scientific welfare philosophy • Under the direction of senior staff, perform daily observation/assessment of animals (ie. Fecal scoring, health indicators such as appetite, social compatibility with other animal subjects, weight fluctuations, Lixit training for hydration assessment, activity level, overall health status) to generate data points to use in metabolic research in order to minimize disruptions during treatment sessions • Record data, make assessments, and perform basic data analysis in order to inform future actions/decisions pertaining to animal enrichment • Perform instrument calibration and point of care assays • Identify the enrichment needs of individual animals and their phase within a study in order to prepare and maintain specialty housing setups for metabolic or infectious disease, paying particular attention to each individual animal and their requirements • Performs record-keeping tasks, including recording of body weight measurements, animal observations (fecal scoring 1-4, enrichment identification and rotation, etc), procedures completed, temperament and sociality assessments • Assist with animal handling for cooperation with care and research task performance • Maintain meticulous records and collect research data in accordance with GLP guidelines • Maintains a clean environment and ensures that areas are adequately ordered, stocked and that equipment is in working order • Assist with development of protocol for process improvement and animal welfare projects • Assist with training and educational programs and tours • Responsible for safe keeping of sensitive and confidential material • Establish and maintain a working knowledge of the principles behind daily work • Participate in Center meetings/rounds • Assemble instrument and packs as needed • Clean lab, instruments, and equipment • Other duties as assigned—will develop cross-functional skills by assisting all areas of lab
Behavioral Management and Specialized Husbandry – 50% • Identify the specific factors/conditions of animal subjects (ie. Age, physical condition, etc) in order to maintain species appropriate housing, social grouping, nutrition and care • Identify specific needs and history of animal subjects in order to prepare appropriate nutritionally balanced food and special diets, clean and enrich enclosures, provide for socialization, and maintain the Center facility according to scientific protocols • Prepares supplies and paperwork supporting facility management, husbandry, and clinical care • Under the direction of senior staff, participate in veterinary consults, treatment plans, and follow up • Facilitate open and professional communication related to animals under their care and teamwork among a diverse team (technicians, students, DVMs, scientists) to support positive outcomes and excellent animal care • Performs record-keeping tasks, including recording of: biscuit consumption, daily enrichment offerings, supplies used, senior staff communications, census information, etc. • Must adhere to safety and infection control policies and procedures and be willing to clean and deep clean areas • Assist with surgical induction and recovery of large and small animals • Must have the ability to work in a clinical care setting
The University of Minnesota offers a comprehensive benefits package including:
Competitive wages, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave
Low cost medical, dental, and pharmacy plans
Health care and dependent daycare flexible spending accounts
Excellent retirement plans with employer match
Disability and employer paid life insurance
Wellbeing program with reduced insurance premiums
Tuition reimbursement opportunities covering 75%-100% of eligible tuition
Student loan forgiveness opportunity
Opportunities for growth and promotion
Employee Assistance Program
For more information regarding benefits please click here.
Required Qualifications • Bachelor’s degree in a social or natural science or combination of 4 years of related education and experience in the animal sciences, biological sciences, analytical sciences, or related health sciences • Experience working with small and large animals • Able to function independently as well as in a group • Must be willing to work a flexible work week; core lab hours are 7am to 3:30pm with rotational schedule for evenings, weekends and holidays • Must be able to lift 50lbs by oneself, must be able to sit and stand for long periods • A current negative tuberculosis screening and measles vaccination is required as a condition of employment
Preferred: • Experience with animal models for medical research • Basic skill in clinical observation and treatment • Experience in basic small and large animal handling and behavior • Proficient in Microsoft Office suite • Experience conducting research in accordance with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.