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Animal Health Monitoring Programme Assistant (RO) - BRF

Francis Crick Institute
London (Central), London (Greater) (GB)
From £27,100 per annum, subject to skills and experience
Closing date
14 Jun 2023

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Life Science
Job Type
Research Assistant
Employment - Hours
Full time
Professional certification

Job Details

Animal Health Monitoring Programme Assistant (RO) – BRF


Reports to: Animal HM Programme Coordinator

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


The Biological Research Facility (BRF) supports all animal research at the Crick through our comprehensive animal care and use programme. The BRF provides the Crick's laboratory animal resource and technical services. High quality multidisciplinary in-vivo and ex-vivo research support is 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 Veterinary and Animal Health Services department oversees and is responsible for the BRF’s health monitoring (HM) programme. The importance to science of maintaining animals to a defined microbiological health status, together with the maintenance of biosecurity measures to prevent the ingress of undesirable micro-organisms, cannot be overemphasised. Not only does this improve the quality of scientific data by reducing variability between studies, it leads to a significant improvement to animal health and husbandry practices.

The Animal HM Programme Assistant provides consistency and accuracy of sampling across the different animal units within the BRF, and supports the Animal HM Programme Coordinator and the NVS team with a wide variety of duties related with the testing of animals and other samples with the aim of maintaining healthy laboratory animals.

Key responsibilities

This is an outline of the tasks, duties, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role:

  • Reporting to and deputising for the BRF Animal HM Programme Coordinator when/as required
  • Contributing to the HM programme in an efficient, timely and reliable manner, according to schedule and ensuring appropriate quality control measures:
    • Visiting BRF animal units and other areas for the collection of animal and environmental samples, avoiding cross-contamination and respecting barrier constraints
    • Blood collection in laboratory animals
    • Labelling and processing of samples for submission to other STPs and external contractors e.g. for bacteriology, parasitology, serology, histopathology, PCR
    • Collation of laboratory and health monitoring screening results
    • Maintenance of accurately written and computer-based records of all outgoing and incoming animals, samples, results and reports
  • Maintaining and developing general expertise in:
    • Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (Amended 2012)
    • Biosecurity and husbandry practices, animal handling and welfare needs
    • Anatomy of the species used at the Institute (e.g. rodents, aquatic species)
    • Euthanasia of laboratory animals by approved methods, post-mortem examination, and recording of gross pathology abnormalities, e.g. photographs and fixation of tissues for further assessment by the Animal HM Programme Coordinator, NVS or Head of department
    • Actively advancing the training offered by the BRF and the supervision of others where appropriate (e.g. sample collection, necropsy), with both oral and written performance-related feedback, as required
  • General housekeeping of the laboratory:
    • Routine checks of consumables, the ordering and maintenance of stocks
    • Preparation of solutions as required, being aware of relevant H&S legislation, and keeping a clean and safe working environment in the laboratory
    • Cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation (e.g. autoclave, ethylene oxide) of items and equipment as required
    • ensuring compliance with local requirements and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
    • maintaining and updating SOPs, legislative documents and laboratory records (e.g. fridge and room environmental data)
  • Carrying out any other duties as may be reasonably required by the line managers, on an ongoing basis and in accordance with the changing needs of the Institute

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, open and collegial, in addition to the following:

Qualifications, experience and competencies


  • Educated to GCSE level or equivalent and possess a minimum of 5 GCSEs (including Maths and/or Science)
  • Respects and has empathy towards the care and use of animals in science
  • Can demonstrate contributing effectively to the work of a team
  • Good time-management, organisational and observational skills
  • Proven accurate record-keeping skills and attention to detail
  • Possesses clear and effective written and oral communication skills
  • Computer literate, including the use of Microsoft, the internet and databases
  • Conscientious, reliable and proactive, with a positive and flexible approach


  • A basic knowledge and understanding of animal health monitoring and biosecurity
  • Experience working with laboratory animals like rodents and aquatic species
  • Familiarity with what constitutes a ‘normal’ animal, internally and externally
  • Experience with different routes of blood sampling of rodents (tail vein, saphenous vein, cardiac puncture) and Schedule 1 killing methods
  • Knowledge of Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (as amended 2012)
  • Holding a Home Office Personal Licence (PIL)

Find out what benefits the Crick has to offer:

For more information on our great pay and benefits package please click here:

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion:

We welcome applications from all backgrounds. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities, regardless of ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, pregnancy, age, disability, or civil partnership, marital or family status. We particularly welcome applications from people who are Minority Ethnic as they are currently underrepresented in the Crick at this level.

Diversity is essential to excellence in scientific endeavour. It increases breadth and perspective, leading to more innovation and creativity. We want the Crick to be a place where everyone feels valued and where diversity is celebrated and seen as part of the foundation for our Institute’s success.

The Crick is committed to creating equality of opportunity and promoting diversity and inclusivity. We all share in the responsibility to actively promote dignity, respect, inclusivity and equal treatment and it is our aim to ensure that these principles are reflected and implemented in all strategies, policies and practices.

Read more on our website:


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At the Crick, we’re committed to advancing, promoting, and sharing understanding of human health and disease. We do that by attracting talented and ambitious people from all disciplines and backgrounds and giving them the support and freedom they need to succeed. Inside the Crick, you’ll discover scientists working to stretch the very limits of what we know about how life works. Their research holds the key to answering fundamental questions about human health and disease. Our bold and innovative research projects bring together scientists and technicians from all disciplines in the pursuit of discovery without boundaries. With the support of our partners, we’re bridging the gap between discovery and application to help change lives for the better. And through our dynamic structure, we’re able to develop the science leaders of tomorrow. That’s our bold idea, tell us yours.

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