Senior Teaching Technician (Wet Lab) – Collaborative Teaching Laboratory
Job ID: 416
Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK
Faculty:College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Salary: Full time starting salary is normally in the range £25,506 to £27,399 with potential progression once in post to £31,718
Contract Type: Permanent – Full Time
Closing Date: 1st November 2022
Collaborative Teaching Laboratory in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK
Full time starting salary is normally in the range £25,506 to £27,399 with potential progression once in post to £31,718
Full Time, Permanent
Closing date: 1 November 2022
Our offer to you
People are at the heart of what we are and do.
The University of Birmingham is proud to have been a part of the City of Birmingham and the wider region for over 100 years, and we are equally proud to be recognised as a leading global university. We want to attract talented people from across the city and beyond, support them to succeed, and celebrate their success.
We are committed to helping the people who work here to develop through our sector-leading Birmingham Professional programme which provides all professional services staff with development opportunities and the encouragement to reach their full potential. With almost 5,000 professional services jobs in a wide-range of functions in Edgbaston and in our campus in Dubai, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to develop your career at the University.
We believe there is no such thing as a typical member of staff and that diversity is a source of strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation, and debate. We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is at the heart of who and what we are, and how we work.
Supporting our people to achieve a healthy work/life balance is important both to our employees and to the success of the University and, depending on the role, we offer a variety of flexible working arrangements. We therefore welcome discussions on all forms of flexible working. In addition, you will receive a generous package of benefits including 40 days paid holiday a year, one paid day a year for volunteering, occupational sick pay, and a pension scheme. We also have three high quality subsidised day nurseries.
The University is situated in leafy Edgbaston and there are excellent transport links to our beautiful campus, including main bus routes and a train station on site. On campus we have a state-of-the-art sports centre with pool, shops, places to eat and drink, our own art gallery, museum and botanical gardens.
Find out more about the benefits of working for the University of Birmingham
The Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) represents a £42m investment in STEM teaching. The CTL provides primarily undergraduate students with a transformational teaching experience in a state-of-the-art facilities to encourage and enable inter-disciplinary working.
This position will suit a candidate with good experience working within a laboratory, and a Chemistry background (ideally to degree level). This position is responsible for helping support undergraduate teaching session in the CTL Wet Lab. You will complete a wide range of sometimes complex preparation activities crossing a number of subjects (e.g. Chemistry, Biochemistry, Geography & Chemical Engineering). This will involve the use of scientific equipment and specialist techniques. As part of your role, you will be required to maintain and troubleshoot equipment to ensure they are in working order and ready for teaching. Examples of equipment used include complex Chemistry instrumentation such as HPLC, GC or FTIR.
This remit for this role is to provide support to academic teaching, although you will not be teaching yourself. Instead the position is designed to ensure everything is in place ready for students at the start of a session and to help with any issues that may arise during teaching.
You will provide technical expertise, support and guidance in either teaching support or research support. You may supervise a number of technical staff but even where you do not directly supervise staff you will still be expected to act as a role model and coach others as appropriate.
If you are in a research post you will need an in-depth understanding of the research questions, techniques and experimental protocols. You will be able to use your in-depth knowledge to advise on procedures, diagnose and resolve problems, and proactively suggest solutions to issues which arise. You may need to operate out of normal working hours to accommodate experimental procedures.
If you are in the teaching laboratories you will need a significant understanding of the requirements to deliver undergraduate classes, an in-depth understanding of all main subject areas, the ability to respond quickly and positively to changes in protocols, and troubleshoot problems, and optimise protocols to ensure a positive student experience. You may need to operate out of normal working hours to accommodate classes.
In order to flexibly use resources you may be offered the opportunity to work in different areas of the department or wider university.
- If in a supervisory position, you will supervise the day to day activities of a number of other technical staff.
- You will provide support and guidance, and work closely with your staff in relation to working requirements, working environment, staff wellbeing, identifying any training requirements as appropriate.
- Even if you are not in a supervisory position you will still be expected to act as a role model and coach staff in the locality.
- You will discuss the daily programme of work with your manager and other technical staff in the area to ensure the daily programme of work, session protocols and outcomes are clear.
- You will plan, based on the available timetabling information, the most efficient/effective means to turnaround the daily classes.
- You will research, design, trial & modifying practical protocols for class teaching.
- Support the teaching laboratories managers where required and to deputise for them in their absence.
- Keeping the teaching laboratories manager informed as to changes to protocols/sessions, content of any discussions with academic session leads and other matters relating to the teaching laboratories.
- Initiate discussion with the teaching laboratories manager on any issues that may compromise the core function of the laboratories or for information that is related to the core functions of the teaching laboratories.
- Instruct and provide high level technical support for students in the correct and safe handling of laboratory and fieldwork equipment including preparation of samples, analysis methods and preparation techniques.
- Preparation of a diverse range of materials used during practical sessions, to be able to calculate and prepare a wide range of laboratory reagents (stocks and working solutions), be able to accurately and reproducibly dispense reagents (using aseptic techniques where necessary) and provide a consistent results delivery service.
- Prepare and support open day, Applicant Visitor Day events, Continuous Professional Development and other external requirements within the laboratories or other areas as and when required.
- Oversee that the laboratories are suitably prepared for practicals and the setup/takedown of equipment/materials used during sessions.
- Check practical layouts prior to classes and ensure that all requirements are in place.
- Be familiar with the use of a broad spectrum of general laboratory equipment and specialised equipment.
- Demonstrate equipment use, high level techniques and procedures to staff and students.
- Trouble-shoot and respond to problems, which may occur during practical sessions, using your in-depth knowledge and your ability to diagnose/resolve problems and suggest solutions.
Health and Safety duties
- Proactive support for health and safety within the laboratory. This may include being required to look after a communal area as part of your duties. Comply with all current rules and ensure all required assessments are in place, approved and up to date.
- Fully understand the safety aspects of equipment operation and be able to demonstrate/train staff (at all levels) on the correct usage of the equipment.
- Ensuring that regular maintenance processes are carried out and that appropriate records are maintained.
- Reporting any breaches or non-compliance with H&S procedures to the relevant manager(s).
- Upholding the correct waste disposal stream as governed by College and local policy for laboratory.
- Upholding the correct waste disposal stream as governed by College and local policy for the laboratory.
- Postholders may be asked to undergo training as a First Aider.
General Administration and Organisation
- Ensuring all records are accurate and kept up to date.
- Proactively maintain stocks of consumables, and when required generate purchase order requisitions using University systems.
- Receipt and correct storage of consumables/equipment and chemical reagents.
- Ensuring that the facilities are maintained in a clean, functional and safe condition, reporting any problems through the appropriate channels.
- Ensuring that PAT testing, calibration of equipment and locally and centrally held equipment inventories are up to date and maintained.
- Adopt a proactive attitude to assisting with and implementing carbon reduction and energy saving measures.
- Maintain a technical support based teaching laboratory website (how to guides for the preparation of materials, practical setup guides), and keeping these up to date as and when session requirements or protocols change or maintaining relevant research lab databases/records.
- In collaboration with the relevant manager the post holder will take an active role in the training and mentoring process for junior or newly appointed staff.
- Supports equality and values diversity, moderates own behaviour to avoid unfair discriminatory impact or bias on others.
- Any other duties as may reasonably be required.
Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience
- Experience working within a chemistry laboratory environment
- Studied Chemistry to degree level.
- Complete a wide range of sometimes complex preparation activities crossing a number of subjects (e.g. Chemistry, Biochemistry, Geography & Chemical Engineering). This will involve the use of scientific equipment and specialist techniques.
- The ability to identify non-obvious faults and troubleshoot equipment.
- Experience working with complex Chemistry instrumentation such as HPLC, GC or FTIR.
- Extensive relevant workplace experience, equivalent professional qualification or degree in an appropriate subject.
- In-depth practical knowledge of relevant technical and scientific methods.
- Extensive experience of similar laboratory based work, together with familiarity with a wide range of laboratory equipment.
- Positive service attitude and shows courtesy in dealing with others.
- Ability to organise and manage own work load and demonstrate flexibility in terms of work practices/requirements.
- Ability to work under minimal supervision but function as part of a team.
- Knowledge of current legislation relevant to the role.
- Knowledge of current H&S policies and ability to uphold same.
- Proficiency in commonly used software packages.
- Understands the importance of equality and diversity in the workplace
- Ability to identify and respond to equality and diversity issues in line with relevant policies and procedures
You will provide specialist expertise in your area and provide advice and support to a range of customers. You may supervise staff; even where you do not have supervisory responsibilities you will be expected to act as a role model for other staff. You may be involved in budget monitoring.
Planning and organising
You will be required to work independently on daily, weekly and monthly tasks but also on projects with medium-longer-term horizons without daily supervision. You will ensure that you have the resources required, which will require planning ahead and procurement of goods.
Problem solving and decision making
You will be able to research, modify and adapt protocols after consulting relevant manager, and prepare for teaching or research experiments. You will be able to uphold Health and Safety procedures. You will need to be confident in identifying problems, breaking them down and implementing solutions. Although you will work under the direction of more senior staff you will be able to carry out your work with a large amount of autonomy.
Internal and external relationships
This role will be advising and supporting research staff and/or students, and with external contacts such as company representatives.
Informal enquires to Cheryl Powell, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
View our staff values and behaviours here
Valuing excellence, sustaining investment
We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.