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Director, Vivarium Operations

Society for Conservation Biology
Somerville, Massachusetts, US
Closing date
Sep 23, 2023

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The Ragon Institute is a highly unique, innovative and collaborative research center at the forefront of biomedical science. Founded by Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT, and Harvard, the Ragon vision is a bold one: to harness the power of the immune system to prevent and cure human disease on a global scale. This vision is pursued and advanced every day by a group of highly motivated individuals. The Ragon Institute, at every level, depends upon collaboration, compassion, dedication, and innovation. It is a results-oriented organization that seeks people who not only embrace these values, but who thrive in teams and want to work in a dynamic environment.

At the Ragon Institute, people are our greatest asset. In this newly developed role, the Vivarium Director of Operations will be an integral part of the evolution of our organization. Reporting to the Director of Centralized Research Services, the Vivarium Director be responsible for supporting a world class facility that complements the Ragon's scientific agenda. Not only will the Vivarium Director be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Ragon's current animal unit, but they will also play a critical role in overseeing the successful move of our operations to a new, 300,000 sq ft facility containing 14,000 animal cages.

This individual will provide leadership and direction to vivarium staff to ensure that Institute needs and goals are met. The Vivarium Director will be responsible for the emergence of innovative programs, services, and facilities while meeting all institutional, local, state, and federal guidelines and regulations. This individual works closely with research staff members, Mass General staff and Ragon Executive Leadership to institute practical programs and provide leadership. This individual is also responsible for budgetary requirements including but not limited to cost reduction practices, and budgetary submissions.

  • Devise a strategy and build an infrastructure to support a state-of-the-art vivarium for a rapidly growing research institute; identify appropriate facility operating metrics and regularly analyze data; develop process to track core utilization and optimization; Oversee operational workflow and policy development.
  • Collaborates with The Director of Centralized Research Services in preparation of the capital and operational budget, within established organizational guidelines, including the review of equipment specifications, purchase orders and contractual agreements with commercial suppliers. Develops long-range business plans and monitors budgets to ensure fiscal solvency.
  • Provides direct oversight and training to managers in relation to husbandry staff overseeing the facilities and provides general oversight to organization under supervision.
  • Ensures that all ARF policies, procedures and programs are conducted in compliance with all institutional, city, state and federal regulations and guidelines, including AAALAC-I, OLAW, NIH, CDC, Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, USDA and the institutional ACUC and Animal Users Group.
  • Leads the monthly Mouse User Committee in collaboration with the faculty chair. Ensures institutional and faculty needs are listened to and that plans to address concerns are executed upon.
  • In conjunction with the Institutional Biosafety Officer, provides oversight for the Animal Biosafety Level 2 and 3 research facilities, including the development of policies and procedures, which provide safety for staff, investigators, and 300the public from the potential dangers of infectious diseases.
  • Assists in ensuring appropriate staffing to meet the current need of services and predicts future needs to accommodate the growth of programs and services.
  • Executes performance evaluations by determining the competency and performance of subordinate staff.
  • Communicates regularly and works collaboratively with Investigators to provide quality of services, including but not limited to; appropriate utilization of resources, animal space allocations, specific research issues, adherence to establish standards and other needs as defined by the Investigator and the leadership team.
  • Responsible for overseeing the monitoring of environmental changes via Siemen's system ensuring deviations are reported to appropriate maintenance personnel.
  • Oversees the coordination for the removal of waste disposal from animal rooms, including hazardous waste from the ABSL2 and ABSL3 area.
  • Assures that all areas maintain sufficient inventories of supplies, equipment and items needed to conduct the day-to-day activities.
  • Collaborates with Facilities Team / Security Office with the implementation and maintenance of the computerized card key security system


Responsible for indirect oversight of all investigators and animal care staff.


The primary work will involve sitting, walking, and standing and normal hand and eye coordination for performing activities such as word processing, injections, and animal handling. Ability to express or exchange ideas by means of spoken word, receive detailed information through oral communications and make fine discrimination in sound. The ability to view a computer monitor for prolonged periods of time. The ability to wear safety glasses, gloves, gowns, masks/respirators, and other safety equipment as may be required. This position requires exceptional interpersonal skills in dealing with multiple persons and issues concurrently.
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, Biology, Zoology, Veterinarian Science, or a related science is required.
  • Advanced degree preferred (i.e., MBA, PhD) but will consider AALAS Certified Manager of Animal Resources (CMAR) certification.
  • A BS degree and extensive experience will be considered to the BS/Master's degree combination.
  • CMAR is expected after 1 year of appointment.
  • A minimum of 8 years of progressive management/administrative experience in a large research animal facility is required.

  • Strong proficiency in computer skills is required, including but not limited to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and database software.
  • Possess excellence in communication skills and written and verbal reporting
  • Extensive knowledge of all equipment used in the care and research of animals including animal housing systems, cage wash systems to perform sanitation, autoclave systems to provide sterilization and biological safety cabinets. An understanding of HVAC systems within the facilities is important, as to be able to identify and report problems to maintenance.
  • Job Field: Research-Management
  • Organization: Massachusetts General Hospital(MGH)
  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Shift: Day Job
  • Employee Status: Regular

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