Director of Animal Care

ALES Admin

Competition No.  -    A108449407
Closing Date  -    Will remain open until filled.

Location: This is an in-person role and is based out of North and South Campus Edmonton.

Working for the University of Alberta

The University of Alberta acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory, and respects the histories, languages and cultures of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant community.

The University of Alberta is teeming with change makers, community builders, and world shapers who lead with purpose each and every day. We are home to more than 40,000 students in 200+ undergraduate and 500+ graduate programs, over 13,000 faculty and staff, 260,000 alumni worldwide and have been recognized as one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for over a decade.

Your work will have a meaningful influence on a fascinating cross section of people—from our students and stakeholders, to our renowned researchers and innovators who are quite literally curing diseases, making discoveries and generating solutions that make the world healthier, safer, stronger, and more just.

Department/Faculty Summary

The Faculty of ALES is made up of 500+ faculty and staff, 1500+ undergraduates and 600+ graduate students. ALES is focused on teaching, research & community service in its departments and schools: Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science; Renewable Resources; Human Ecology; Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology. We have strong academic undergraduate and graduate programs, a large research infrastructure which includes 25,000 acres of farm & ranch land in key ecologies across Alberta, and high-impact research in collaboration with our partners.

Position Summary

Applications are invited for the position of Director of Animal Care in the Faculty of ALES. The Director of Animal Care (DAC) for the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences (ALES) applies the science and art of veterinary medicine in all its facets to support the research and teaching programs of the Faculty of ALES. Their primary role is as a specialized and local veterinary service provider to ALES research facilities and to liaison with external consultant veterinarians and the broader university community when/as needed, ensuring compliance with all protocols, safety, and ethics requirements at the University of Alberta (UofA).

This full-time continuing appointment as a Faculty Service Officer (FSO) level 3, reports to the Dean/Associate Dean Research, in the Faculty of ALES for purposes of administration, and to the University Veterinarian for purposes of animal welfare and care. The DAC is responsible for animal care and welfare in all aspects of ALES research and relevant curriculum.  The DAC offers expertise and objectivity in their Committee roles (University Animal Policy and Welfare Committee and the University Committee for Animal Resources), providing input into University policy and strategic direction concerning animal care; and to ensure that the University is in compliance with overall Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) requirements. The DAC works closely with the Animal Care and Use Committee for Livestock (ACUC:Livestock) and with other committees on campus to ensure that the animal research facilities and programs for the Faculty of ALES comply with the guidelines of the CCAC and policies of the UofA. The DAC is familiar with current CCAC guidelines, policies, and procedures, and with other pertinent guidelines, legislation and regulations. In this role, the DAC is the primary veterinarian on the ACUC:Livestock, reviewing Animal Use Protocols and liaising with people at all levels of the University community.

The DAC liaises with the Directors of Health Sciences Laboratory Animal Services and Science Animal Support Services, and the University Veterinarian.  The DAC serves as a resource in veterinary and comparative medicine to the research community, the Research Station Manager and the animal Unit Supervisors in ALES and contributes to scientific research, development of technology, publications and presentations of scientific results.  The DAC will need to be available to the Research Station Manager or Unit Supervisors in emergency situations which may occur outside of regular working hours.

The DAC may be offered opportunities to guest lecture in support of ALES undergraduate and graduate curriculum delivery, time and schedule permitting.

This position offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package which includes extended health, dental, glasses, travel health, and an annual professional expense allowance.

In accordance with the Faculty Service Officer Agreement, this position offers a comprehensive benefits package found at Faculty & Staff Benefits with an annual salary range of $97,751 to $137,003.


CCAC Compliance and Veterinary Support for Research CCAC Compliance Activities:

  • Review of all animal use protocols (AUPs) sent to ACUC: Livestock for approval, with special attention to areas of animal care, surgery, treatment, pain management and other technical procedures, monitoring and humane endpoints.
  • Assist Unit Supervisors of the ALES Facilities (eg: dairy, swine, poultry) in determining animal care policy and direction; provide advice on animal health and disease management.
  • Conduct regular (minimum quarterly) visits to animal facilities to oversee animal use and ensure that the facilities and animal care meet or exceed CCAC guidelines (including post-approval monitoring), industry Codes of Practice and food safety and food quality programs.

Veterinary Support Activities for Research:

  • Responsible for prescribing and dispensing controlled drugs under Health Canada guidelines and legislation, and prescribing and dispensing drugs under the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association regulations.
  • Examine, treat and make recommendations for animals on AUPs that are experiencing complications or health problems, advising on humane endpoints, euthanasia, post-mortem diagnosis and laboratory submissions as required.
  • The DAC collaborates and assists the Director of Health Sciences Laboratory Animal Services (HSLAS) and the Director of Science Animal Support Services (SASS) to coordinate veterinary activities and programs campus wide.

Assist the Research Stations Manager and Unit Supervisors:

  • In determining animal care policy and direction including advice on biosecurity, animal health, disease management and staff deployment.
  • In developing and implementing proper health and safety protocols/response within units, particularly with respect to zoonotic diseases and animal handling safety, and with ensuring compliance with all levels of jurisdictional policies and procedures. Failure to ensure adequate attention to proper safety practices could result in safety hazards. Contamination between different work areas or animal units could pose potential health hazards.

Minimum Qualifications

  • The DAC is required to hold a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, be licensed in Alberta and have experience in a wide variety of species, with an emphasis/specialization in livestock animal species. Higher level training (Lab Animal Medicine certificate, Master’s, PhD, etc.) is an asset.
  • A minimum of 5-years’ experience, comprised of a combination of veterinary, animal health and welfare, and management experience, with teaching experience deemed an asset.
  • Ability to develop, refine and implement standard operating procedures for animal care and research procedures, according to research projects’ requirements and current regulations and protocols.
  • Operational and technical understanding of techniques used in a wide range of animal-based research such as but not limited to poultry, dairy and beef cattle, swine, sheep and traditional laboratory animals.
  • Knowledge of research animal programs, CCAC policies and procedures and techniques used in animal research models.
  • Experience with research, and ability to integrate with academic studies at the frontier of existing knowledge, in order to provide support to researchers using a wide variety of species using current and complex technologies.
  • Strong communication skills (spoken and written English), with an ability to communicate with people with a wide range of educational levels and backgrounds, in what may be complex and difficult situations.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Supervisory and training skills and experience in animal science and biology-oriented laboratories. Supervision of technical personnel, veterinarians, and research personnel (academics and students) deemed an asset.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered. The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.