Life Sciences Animal Technician II

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Life Sciences Animal Technician II

Date Posted July 29, 2018
Job Type Temporary
Hours Per Week 0 – 20
PAVIR Job ID VMU1802.18
Salary Range DOE


The Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR) is seeking an Animal Technician will work in the Research Service Veterinary Medical Unit (VMU) under the direction of the facility supervisor and the Veterinary Medical Officer.

The primary purpose of this position is to provide care to research animals by practicing standardized animal husbandry procedures.

This is a temporary, part time (0 – 20 hrs/wk), non – exempt position.

PAVIR is a nonprofit foundation affiliated with the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS). As a condition of employment, all PAVIR employees are required to have an approved Without Compensation (WOC) appointment with VAPAHCS and complete a background check before they can commence work.


  • Provide standard and specialized care for a diverse group of species including several species of transgenic mice and rats, hamsters, rabbits, pigs, amphibians, and sheep;
  • Remove dead animals on a daily basis and report to veterinary staff;
  • Check the condition of all cages on a daily basis and change cages as frequently as needed to assure an appropriate micro-environment for the animals;
  • Maintain cleanliness of all equipment used by animals such as cages, water bottles, wire bar lids, and filter tops;
  • Maintain cleanliness of animal rooms as well as support areas as assigned;
  • Assess and improve sanitation practices based on current health status;
  • Observe the general health status of all animals and identify signs of illness and disease;
  • Assess Rodent health and apply treatment and preventative measures;
  • Communicate with veterinarian and PI staff on rodent health management;
  • Assure successful operation of ventilated racks and hoods;
  • Assure accuracy of light cycles and temperature ranges in the animal room;
  • Inform VMU supervisor of any needed repairs in a timely fashion;
  • Document the occurrence of any clinical problems that are observed in the animals;
  • Communicate effectively with veterinary staff regarding these occurrences and provide follow up to the veterinary staff as well as the investigators;
  • Oversee logistics related to synchronizing supplies delivery traffic, facility maintenance/Engineering, pest control, EMS;
  • Perform rodent procedures such as blood draws, injections, and anesthesia;
  • Monitor breeding and identification of all rodents in the colony and assure that required documentation is maintained to assure that all animals are properly identified;
  • Develop and share solutions for operational challenges with VMU management;
  • Receive incoming animals, check shipping documents, and house them as described in the standard operating procedures;
  • Provide VMU management with a current caging and equipment inventory in a timely manner to assure that caging needs are consistently met and equipment shortages do not occur.
  • Other duties as assigned.



Required: HS diploma or equivalent required;

License / Certification:

Desired: Certificate as Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT) or other level of animal technician certification (LAT, LATG, RVT)


Required: Experience providing care to research animals in a research setting, in collaboration with fellow caretakers, investigators, and veterinary staff;

Knowledge / Skills / Abilities:

  • Ability to make judgment calls on rodent housing traffic based on health status;
  • Knowledge of Atune animal tracking database (optional)

Environmental Conditions / Physical Demands:

Physical: Requires ability to lift feed materials of up to 50 pounds; walk or stand for an extended period of time, and frequently work in a seated position.  Light physical effort is required to lift or handle small docile animals.  More physical effort can be required when working with larger species.  Requires strength and agility to capture and restrain larger species as needed;

Environmental: Exposure to wet lab environment, bloodborne pathogens, toxic/caustic chemicals or reagents and potentially noisy equipment

Working conditions: The workplace is set in an animal research facility with potential exposure to zoonotic diseases, as well as possibilities of being bitten, scratched or kicked by animals.  Allergic responses may develop to animal dander.  Animal procedures and / or sanitizing efforts may sometimes involve exposure to anesthetic gases, radiation, and chemicals.  The animal technician will be provided with appropriate protective equipment to ameliorate these conditions.

PAVIR engages in nonprofit medical research and works with sponsors and the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in administering funds for conducting research to find new and improved ways to combat human disease and help people with disabilities. Please refer to our website for additional information:

PAVIR is pleased to be an Equal Opportunity Employer for Minorities, Females, Protected Veterans, and Qualified Individuals with a Disability.


  • Sick Pay
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with Company Match and Profit Share
  • Employee Assistance Program
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