Position Classification Description

Position Class Code / Title: X7014 / University Biosafety Officer
Recruitment Tier: Tier 1
FLSA: Exempt
Grade: 15
HR Review/Approval:COMP

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.


Under limited supervision, directs and oversees a comprehensive, University-wide Biosafety program designed to proactively ensure the minimization of risk related to non-compliance with regulations and policies governing the conduct of biomedical research. Implements guidelines established by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), the University of New Mexico, and agencies of the State and Federal governments, and coordinates the biosafety monitoring, compliance, and response activities of all UNM clinical and research facilities.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Develops, implements, and coordinates a comprehensive biological safety program for the University to enhance institutional biosafety-related objectives and to ensure compliance with all applicable regulations, guidelines, policies, and directives.
  2. Coordinates, quality controls, and monitors the delivery of biosafety education and training to any and all UNM faculty, staff, and students who work with or have potential for exposure to biological pathogenic agents.
  3. Monitors all UNM teaching and research activities involving the use of hazardous biological materials and recombinant DNA molecules for compliance with appropriate regulations, policies, procedures, and best practices.
  4. Reviews research grant applications, proposals, and activities involving biohazardous materials and recombinant DNA, and approves or recommends modifications to ensure safe practices; provides guidance to researchers and/or performs follow-up as appropriate.
  5. Oversees select agent transfers to and from University laboratories; monitors use of toxins covered by the CDC's Select Agent ruling.
  6. Informs and educates staff, students, and other constituencies regarding biosafety issues; develops comprehensive biosafety educational and outreach programs for schools and clinical/research laboratories.
  7. Oversees the supervision of personnel, which includes work allocation, training, promotion, enforcement of internal procedures and controls, and problem resolution; evaluates performance and makes recommendations for personnel actions; motivates employees to achieve peak productivity and performance.
  8. Inspects research and teaching facilities for compliance with regulations and guidelines pertaining to the use, handling, and disposal of potential biohazards and recombinant DNA; coordinates the review and investigation of all biosafety accidents occuring on University campuses, and develops corrective action plans.
  9. Develops and implements emergency response procedures for incidents involving biohazardous agents and materials, and maintains UNM Incident Action Plan for biohazards; develops medical surveillance criteria for activities involving biohazards and related materials; responds to biohazardous materials incidents as appropriate.
  10. Serves as principal source of expertise to the University regarding appropriate equipment, facilities, and work practices for protecting laboratories, staff, and the environment from contamination and infectious organizms.
  11. Provides technical guidance to faculty and staff in the development of safety plans for grant applications; advises facilities and physical plant staff regarding technical and programmatic issues involving laboratory biosafety design and maintenance.
  12. Participates in and provides leadership to various internal committees and task forces, such as the Biosafety Committee, the Animal Care and Use Committee, and the Bloodborne Pathogen/Tuberculosis Working Group; actively participates in external meetings and organizations, and maintains liaison with professional counterparts in other institutions.
  13. Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Molecular Biology or related field; at least 5 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

  • Ability to use independent judgment and to manage and impart confidential information.
  • Skill in examining and re-engineering operations and procedures, formulating policy, and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures.
  • Ability to develop and present educational programs and/or workshops.
  • Program development and management skills.
  • Investigative and problem solving skills.
  • Knowledge of budget preparation and fiscal management.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to effectively work with a wide range of individuals and constituencies in a diverse community.
  • Advanced analytical, evaluative, and objective critical thinking skills.
  • Technical leadership skills within area of expertise.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and the ability to interact effectively with a wide variety of people.
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of Federal and State regulations governing export control as applied to research in an institution of higher learning.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage a team of administrative staff, to include work allocation and prioritization, hiring, performance evaluation and management, training, and problem resolution.
  • Proficiency in the use of computers and Microsoft Office software.
  • Knowledge of current and emerging issues and trends in the area of export control.
  • Knowledge of faculty and/or staff hiring procedures.
  • Knowledge and understanding of biosafety principles, policies, and procedures.
  • Skill in budget preparation and fiscal management.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

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

Revised Date: 03/20/2017