Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: X0023 / Biosafety Specialist
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 13

This is a description of a Staff Position Classification. It is not an announcement of a position opening. To view descriptions of current openings, please go to UNMJobs and Search Postings to view positions that are currently accepting applications.

The following statements are intended to describe, in broad terms, the general functions and responsibility levels characteristic of positions assigned to this classification. They should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of the specific duties and prerequisites applicable to individual positions that have been so classified.


Provides professional assistance to the University Biosafety Officer in monitoring and coordinating the campus-wide biosafety program, to include risk-based laboratory inspections, accident investigations, and record keeping. Assesses University facilities to determine suitability for use in potentially hazardous biomedical research operations, and advises professional and technical staff regarding biosafety practices, procedures, and regulatory requirements.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Performs on-site regulatory/policy compliance reviews of facilities to be used for biohazardous agent manipulations; inspects, assesses, and reports on suitability for use, and interfaces with lab personnel, investigators, and others as needed to ensure follow up and correction of problems.
  2. Conducts research and review of Federal, State, and local regulations pertaining to the handling, disposition, and use of recombinant DNA molecules, microbial animal and human pathogens, and biotoxins in research.
  3. Initiates and conducts literature and internet research to obtain scientific information related to specific microorganisms, recombinant DNA molecules, and biotoxins.
  4. Develops and maintains databases of information related to biohazardous materials holdings around the University; maintains records of Institutional Biosafety Committee approvals for usage of biohazardous materials.
  5. Develops and maintains confidential files of information related to UNM Select Agent holdings and legal filings in reference to regulatory compliance with the US Patriot Act.
  6. Conducts risk-based inspections of BSL1 and 2 laboratory and animal facilities (biomedical facilities utilizing moderate level microbial pathogens).
  7. Conducts routine inspections of BSL3 laboratory and animal facilities (biomedical facilities utilizing high level microbial pathogens, biotoxins, and Select Agents).
  8. Coordinates the development and preparation of content for the Insitutional Biosafety Committee web page; develops and prepares content of biosafety training modules.
  9. Provides guidance and assistance to investigators with respect to institutional and regulatory filings related to biosafety.
  10. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in Microbiology or Biomedical Sciences; at least 3 years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
  • Completed degree(s) from an accredited institution that are above the minimum education requirement may be substituted for experience on a year for year basis.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required

  • Investigative and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to create, compose, and edit written materials.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively work with a wide range of individuals and constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Working knowledge of biomedical laboratory methods, procedures, techniques, facilities, and equipment.
  • Ability to communicate technical information to non-technical personnel.
  • Skill in examining and evaluating operations and developing and/or re-engineering operating strategies, systems, and procedures.
  • Ability to gather data, compile information, and prepare reports.
  • Current knowledge and understanding of Federal, State, and local laws, regulations, and standards for the disposition and use of biohazardous agents in biomedical laboratory and animal research facilities.
  • Knowledge of recombinant DNA, microbial animal and human pathogens, and biotoxins.
  • Skill in the use of personal computers and related software applications.
  • Ability to work independently and to organize and prioritize work assignments.
  • Knowledge of information and bibliographic research principles, methods, and techniques.
  • Database and records management skills.
  • Ability to utilize computerized word processing and internet software.

Conditions of Employment

  • May be required to submit to annual TB and rubella screening.
  • UNM will provide Hepatitis vaccination, candidate may decline vaccination through declination form or may provide record of vaccination from previous employer.
  • Must be qualified to sit for the Certified Biosafety Professional exam (CBSP) or the Specialist Microbiologist in Biological Safety Microbiology exam.
  • Must be capable of passing DOJ / FBI security clearance for access to labs holding Select Agents, as defined by 42 CFR 73, "Possession, Use, and Transfer of Select Agents and Toxins".
  • Successful candidate must submit to post-offer, pre-employment physical examination and medical history check.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

  • Light physical effort. Requires handling of average-weight objects up to 10 pounds or some standing or walking. Effort applies to no more than two (2) hours per day.
  • Work environment involves exposure to potentially dangerous materials and situations that require following extensive safety precautions and may include the use of protective equipment.
  • Work may involve moderate exposure to unusual elements, such as extreme temperatures, dirt, dust, fumes, smoke, unpleasant odors, and/or loud noises.

The University of New Mexico provides all training required by OSHA to ensure employee safety.

Revised Date: 03/20/2017