Core Facility Director – RNA & Formulation Core facility – UBC

Staff | Core Facility Director – RNA & Formulation Core facility – University of British Columbia

AAPS Salaried – Research and Facilitation, Level C

Position start date: November 1, 2022

 Posting End Date: TBD – extended

Additional Information

Note: Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM on the day prior to the Posting End Date above.

Job Description Summary

The RNA & Formulation Core Director is responsible for establishing and operating a new cost recovery core service facility which will provide RNA and formulations to academic and industrial users. Major responsibilities of the position include planning, preparing budgets and forecasting, providing technical expertise, implementing protocols, and managing research staff to deliver technical services. Key services of the core facility are to produce quality RNA and nanoparticle formulations for delivery to users, and it will be the responsibility of the Director to oversee operations of the facility.

Organizational Status

This position reports directly to the Dr. Anna Blakney, Dr. Eric Jan and Dr. Pieter Cullis, who lead the RNA & Formulation Core, and works closely with faculty, staff, postdoctoral research fellows, students and external stakeholders.

Work Performed

  • Establish and manage a new cost recovery core service facility which will provide RNA and formulations on a fee-for-service basis to the research community, both internal and external to UBC.
  • Develop and manage annual budgets and period cost and productivity analyses. Prepare funding proposals, including CFI capital equipment grants, institutional funding opportunities, matching funding, and other grant opportunities.
  • Facilitate the process of collaborative research agreements, working with the UILO.
  • Set pricing and implement invoicing workflow for services provided to users. Establishes procedures for record keeping and tracking of invoice payments.
  • Develop strategic research plans for sustainable long-term operation.
  • Select and procures all research equipment and supplies. Advises Core Leaders on purchases of all major scientific equipment.
  • Design and implement modifications on existing instrumentation and techniques to accommodate the needs of research groups.
  • Establish preventative maintenance programs for all equipment and instruments. Provide leadership in diagnosis of instrument failures and oversees repair.
  • Advance technologies within the Core facility by developing analytical techniques and methodologies on new instrumentations for RNA synthesis and LNP production, and related areas.
  • Ensure comprehensive safety of the Core facility, including appropriate training and safety compliance with UBC Safety and Risk Services, WorkSafe BC policies, federal and provincial regulations.
  • Plan and develop training programs for technicians, including the possibility of negotiating training programs with vendors.
  • Provide technical expertise and advise research groups on RNA and formulation design and preparation.
  • First point of contact for liaising funding agencies, vendors, and suppliers regarding the instrumentation and operation thereof.
  • Establish and further relationships with users from on and off campus, and set up sustainable service contracts.
  • Keep current in the field of RNA production and QC, and formulation production and characterization, by following scientific literature and attending conferences.
  • Any other task as required
  • Consequence of Error/Judgement
  • Exercises professional judgement and initiative in the overall coordination and management of the Core facility. Accountable for the effective execution of all operations. Delay in producing RNA and/or formulations could result in delays in research and/or cancellations of research grants. Errors in leadership may result in delays research, damage to scientific instruments, high expenditures to correct instrument failures, and have consequences on human health and safety.


Supervision Received

Works with wide latitude. Work is reviewed periodically to assess the validity of defined goals by the Core Leaders.

Supervision Given

Provides direction and technical knowledge to Core facility team. May directly supervise one or more research technicians in the routine production of RNA and formulations, and use of instruments. Provides consultations to faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, visiting scientists in related areas of expertise.

Minimum Qualifications

For research work, a post-graduate degree or equivalent professional designation with a minimum of four years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Otherwise, an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline is required with a minimum of six years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Preference will be given to those with experience in producing RNA and nanoparticle formulations or an MSc/PhD in Molecular Biology or Biochemistry, and to an applicant with industrial (non-academic) laboratory experience including supervision of technicians or trainees. Extensive practical and theoretical knowledge on in vitro transcription of RNA, nanoparticle formulations, drug delivery and detailed knowledge of instrumentation required for production and quality control.
  • Ability to work design protocols for producing and characterizing RNA and formulations.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community; and the ability to exercise tact and discretion.
  • Ability to identify, obtain, and effectively manage organizational resources (e.g., people, materials, assets, budgets).
  • Ability to foster a cooperative work environment.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to manage technicians and communicate effectively with service users.
  • Ability to work effectively with department and institutional units on operational aspects of the Core.
  • Ability to schedule workload to meet Core facility requirements.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment.
  • Must have accuracy and attention to detail; and the ability to prioritize and work effectively under pressure to meet deadlines.