University Classification: Safety Compliance Specialist
Job Code: PHD3
Pay Level: 5A
Position #: 00173434
Org/Dept/Sub-dept #: 04-0265-00006
Position # 00119630
Position Reports to: Nyree Mortensen

Position Specific Summary:

The Environmental Health and Safety Office is looking for an Associate Biosafety Officer. This position serves as the University’s Associate Biosafety Officer by assisting with the administration and management of the comprehensive institutional biosafety program. The biosafety program is directed toward promoting the health and safety of employees and regulatory compliance of the institution, in regard to research projects involving human and animal pathogens, biological toxins, select agents, recombinant DNA, and shipping biological materials.

Key Areas of Responsibilities and Specific Job Tasks

Key Areas of Responsibility

Specific Job Duties and Tasks

Workplace Assessments, Surveys and Inspections

· Review and approve inspection and/or evaluation reports.

· Participate in inspections/audits of research laboratories for compliance with applicable standards.

· Oversee and ensure database results are complete and accurate, and prepare appropriate technical reports.

Regulatory Compliance

· Implement federal, state and local regulatory requirements and guidelines.

· Develop and implement regulatory-based safety programs.

· Assist with the administration of a comprehensive institutional biosafety program that focuses on safety and regulatory compliance in research, workplace health and safety, transportation of biohazardous materials, and emergency preparedness.

· Evaluate research projects involving human and animal pathogens, biological toxins, CDC and/or APHIS select agents, rDNA, and support and advise researchers/units on regulatory compliance, issues of health and safety, and applicable regulatory guidelines.

· Review Sponsored Program research projects and evaluate rDNA, IACUC and research containment protocols for biological issues as needed.

· Serve as an Alternate Responsible Official for the University's Select Agent Program, which may include the need to respond outside of normal business hours.

· Oversee the University DOT/IATA program for bio-hazardous materials; maintains current resource materials and training for compliance.

· Provide guidance in the design and construction of laboratories/bio-containment facilities on campus as needed.

· Must be able to successfully complete the DOJ background check (security risk assessment).

· Must be able to wear personal protective equipment and respiratory protection.

Data Analysis

· Coordinate data collection, interpretation and report preparation for university departments, or for reports provided primarily through the Safety Officer to regulatory agencies.

· Assist with federal permit applications and requirements, as needed.

Equipment Operation and Maintenance

· • Oversee the management of the Biosafety Cabinet Program, which includes: ensuring all cabinets on campus remain compliant with institutional policies; providing guidance regarding the proper use of biosafety cabinets; acting as a liaison between the university research staff and the contracted company, as needed.

Exposure Monitoring

· Review exposure reports and communicate necessary changes to prevent reoccurrence.

· Investigate reports of injuries involving biological agents/sharps injuries.

Safety Training

· Develop, conduct, and maintain training programs and informational materials.

· Develop and maintain education/training/compliance materials and other resources for the purpose of educating personnel in appropriate biological safety procedures and regulatory compliance.

· Develop and conduct safety training courses pertinent and appropriate for a comprehensive biological safety program.


· Hire, develop and manage the performance of staff; ensure staff are compliant with UI policies and procedures.

· Recruit, develop, train and manage the performance of the Biosafety Coordinator.

Human Resources

· Interpret and implement HR policies and procedures; resolve issues.

· Provide administrative and/or functional supervision to the Biosafety Coordinator.

· Provide functional and/or administrative supervision of staff or students.

Universal Competencies

Collaboration/Positive Impact

Ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and civil manner and utilize existing resources and learning to achieve or exceed desired outcomes of current and future organizational goals/needs.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Ability to work with a variety of individuals and groups in a constructive and respectful manner while appreciating the unique contribution of an inclusive workforce that brings together the talents of people across multiple identities, including: race, creed, color, religion, national origins, age, sex, pregnancy, disability, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or associational preferences.

Service Excellence/Customer Focus

Ability to meet or exceed customer service needs and expectations and provide excellent service in a direct or indirect manner. Ability to effectively transmit and interpret information through appropriate communication with internal and external customers.

Technical Competencies

Employee Health and Safety


· Has implemented or managed employee health and safety processes in diverse environments.

· Educates employees on potential health and safety hazards specific to the business.

· Evaluates environment vs. OSHA and industry-specific health and safety guidelines.

· Enforces compliance with OSHA standards.

· Coordinates directly with emergency responders in the event of an emergency.

· Designs emergency evacuation plans; identifies and trains evacuation leaders.

Training Program Development


· Assists with the design and development of programs with technical content.

· Performs needs analyses and develops learning objectives.

· Assists in developing lesson plans and user guides for simple course modules.

· Develops and supports training materials and programs.

· Describes the application of adult learning principles to program development.



· Participates in audits of specific processes or functions.

· Documents established audit processes, practices and procedures.

· Assists in preparing audit reports.

· Implements internal and external audit requirements for a specific business activity.

· Evaluates the internal controls being used in a given business process.

Effective Communications


· Communicates well downward, upward, and outward.

· Employs appropriate methods of persuasion when soliciting agreement.

· Maintains focus on the topic at hand.

· Adapts documents and presentations for the intended audience.

· Reviews others' writing or presentations and provides feedback and coaching.

· Demonstrates both empathy and assertiveness when communicating a need or defending a position.

Relationship Management


· Maintains productive, long-term relationships with "customers."

· Conducts periodic reviews of work effort, progress, issues, and successes.

· Creates opportunities to educate teams on "customer" priorities.

· Participates in defining the terms of the services provided in a collaborative relationship.

· Communicates to "customers" regarding expectations of all parties.

· Empowers others to establish collaborative, healthy relationships.

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of tasks and levels of work difficulty that will be required of positions that will be given this title and shall not be construed as declaring what the specific duties and responsibilities of any particular position shall be. It is not intended to limit or in any way modify the right of any supervisor to assign, direct, and control the work of employees under his or her supervision. The use of a particular expression or illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties not mentioned that are of similar kind or level of difficulty.

As part of performing the key areas of responsibility and competencies described above, staff members are expected to meet reasonable standards of work quality and quantity, as well as expectations for attendance established by their supervisor. Staff members are also expected to comply with policies governing employee responsibilities and conduct, including those contained in the University Operations Manual.

Proficiency levels are defined as:

Basic Application - Uses basic understanding of the field to perform job duties; may need some guidance on job duties; applies learning to recommend options to address unusual situations.

Working Experience - Successfully completes diverse tasks of the job; applies and enhances knowledge and skill in both usual and unusual issues; needs minimal guidance in addressing unusual situations.

Extensive Experience - Performs without assistance; recognized as a resource to others; able to translate complex nuances to others; able to improve processes; focus on broad issues.

Expert/Leader - Seen as an expert and/or leader; guides, troubleshoots; has strategic focus; applies knowledge and skill across or in leading multiple projects/orgs; demonstrates knowledge of trends in field; leads in developing new processes.

Position Qualifications

Education or Equivalency Required

A Master’s degree in Microbiology, Virology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics, or related biological science, or an equivalent combination of education and progressively responsible work experience is required.

Required Qualification

· Demonstrate extensive experience with biomedical research involving human pathogens and recombinant DNA.

· Demonstrates extensive knowledge, of biosafety regulations, consensus standards and biosafety level (BLS) 2 lab practices.

· Demonstrates working knowledge of designing and developing educational/training programs.

· Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills.

· Demonstrate an ability to work with diverse individuals and groups in a constructive and civil manner.

· Demonstrate extensive attention to detail and accuracy.

· Possession of a valid state or commercial driver's license, and the ability to meet University Fleet Safety Standards.

Highly Desirable Qualification

· Experience with BSL3 biocontainment.

· Direct supervisory experience of students or professionals.

Desirable Qualification

· Demonstrate a knowledge of packaging and shipping regulations for biological materials.

· Demonstrate a knowledge of University of Iowa policies, procedures and regulations.

See requisition # 22004855 at

Applicable background checks will be conducted.

The University of Iowa is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment free from discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, religion, associational preference, status as a qualified individual with a disability, or status as a protected veteran.