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Cell Biology/Anatomy and Microscopy Technican

Department: Biology Effective Date: May, 2012


37.5 hr/wk

Reports to: Administrative Officer

General Accountability

The incumbent reports to the Administrative Officer in the Department of Biology as well as the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies. The incumbent also reports to the Director of the Confocal Microscopy Lab for all items pertaining to the facility. The incumbent provides technical support to faculty and instructors by preparing for and assisting in undergraduate laboratory activities for an assigned group of courses.  The incumbent is responsible for the training and development, maintenance and general operation of all departmental microscope facilities (currently Confocal, SEM, TEM). 

Nature and Scope

In the Department of Biology, there are 13 departmental technicians that are responsible for providing support to our faculty and instructors for the delivery of our undergraduate labs. Biology is responsible for the course delivery to well over 6500 undergraduate students per term.


The technician is required to work closely with course instructors to ensure the seamless delivery of undergraduate labs including course preparation of consumables, manuals and personnel. The incumbent is also required to manage and supervise the microscopy facilities in the Department. This includes ancillary equipment as well as the microscopes themselves. The incumbent must perform ‘day to day’ maintenance on the equipment to ensure consistent performance of the equipment. The Confocal Facility is a Biology/Optometry joint facility; the Technician must interact diplomatically with faculty, staff and students from both Biology and Optometry. The incumbent is also required to do technical preparation of teaching laboratories for undergraduate courses, demonstrations of techniques as required, modification of lab course exercises as required, and preparation of laboratory manuals as required.  The incumbent also is required to co-ordinate the use, maintenance, purchase and repair of shared teaching and research equipment. 

Significant internal and external relationships for this position include:


Statistical Data

The Department of Biology has 40 faculty members, 3 instructors, 12 undergraduate officers, 4 CRC Chairs, 27 postdoctoral fellows/research associates, The Department offers programs in Honours Biology, Honours Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, and Biomedical Sciences. There are a total of 17 technical support staff and 7 administrative support staff.  The Department teaches courses to approximately 6500 undergraduate students each term and graduate enrolment is approximately 160 students.  The departmental operating budget is approximately six million dollars and total research income exceeds six million dollars.  The department has a TA budget of approximately eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars and hires approximately 100-150 TA’s per term.


The incumbent is required to provide technical input into decision making with respect to major technical purchases. Some examples are: Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) (about $150,000), Transmission Microscope (TEM) (about $350,000), Confocal Microscope (about $750,000), refrigerated centrifuge (about $40,000), Lab glassware washer (about $12,000), large refrigerators to house dissected cats (about $15,000), microplate reader for teaching (about $10,000), UV spectrophotometers (about $20,000), centrifuges for teaching (about $75,000), and various other smaller items for teaching and shared departmental use.

Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions

Due to the nature of the position, the incumbent will work with chemicals and equipment that can produce foul smelling fumes