Associate Provost for Research Safety

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Monday, October 30, 2023


Provost Office of Research

About the Department

The Office of Research Safety (ORS) is housed within the Office of Research at the University of Chicago. The Associate Provost for Research Safety (AP) leads the Office of Research Safety (ORS) to provide subject matter expertise, a research safety framework, and management of research safety support activities for the University. The AP leads all ORS teams, develops and oversees University-wide research safety standards, policies, and procedures to ensure a safe research environment and to facilitate research compliance; and will utilize the resources of ORS to ensure their implementation. The AP will report directly to the Vice Provost for Research (VPR) and be guided institutionally by the Research Safety Policy Council (RSPC), which will be chaired by the Provost and composed of the VPR, relevant Deans and other appropriate University leaders. The RSPC will be responsible for reviewing and approving University-wide research safety standards, policies and procedures, which the AP will then implement throughout the University.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The AP at the University of Chicago is an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of laboratory safety at a leading research institution. The AP provides leadership, strategic direction, management and communication of research safety requirements and programs to faculty, staff and students in laboratory and research environments University-wide. The AP will work closely with counterparts in the academic Divisions, the University Environmental Health and Safety Office and, as appropriate, with Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory.


  • Directs and develops a multidisciplinary, professional and technical team committed to coordination of laboratory safety and compliance services, including general laboratory safety, biosafety, and radiation safety, and related training.

  • Develops tools and systems necessary for University clients to assess and manage their research safety programs. Working with University clients, develops and coordinates implementation of comprehensive annual laboratory inspection program, safety audits, evaluations and surveys, and assists clients with risk-based customization of research safety programs appropriate for their facilities and research activities. Provides feedback to principal investigators and laboratory staff and students, including the leadership of research cores and other UC-managed research facilities on outstanding issues and coordinates the development of remedial action plans as required.

  • Maintains strong internal communication programs to ensure that University personnel engaged in research are aware of research safety and other safety program requirements, with the added goal of building strong relationships with the research community, thereby leading to the development of a vibrant culture of laboratory safety at the University of Chicago. Provides reports and detailed metrics to stakeholders on a regular basis to measure and analyze compliance status for required inspections, training, audits, surveys and research safety programs.

  • Provides leadership for research safety training programs; ensures that training requirements for laboratory personnel and management are communicated, managed and implemented; develops systems and processes to ensure compliance with training requirements in laboratory settings.

  • Develops and/or implements programs dealing with accident prevention and investigation in laboratory settings; identification, analysis and correction of safety hazards and code or compliance deficiencies; may occasionally design hazard control measures as a collaborative effort between safety and research professionals.

  • Develops health and safety guidelines and generates reports that highlight laboratory safety or compliance concerns; assists Divisional safety staff with establishment of appropriate response plans to address emerging and/or evolving regulations; provides technical expertise and consultation to various safety or compliance-based committees.

  • Provides leadership in emergency planning and management for research settings, including program development and implementation; serves as a member of the campus emergency response team and participates in University-wide emergency management activities; together with subject matter experts within the ORS coordinates response to research-related emergencies, conducts accident investigations and tracks remedial actions as required.

  • Staffs the RSPC.


  • Technical competence in a broad range of research safety issues: the position requires broad technical knowledge in the field of research safety as well as a grasp of safety risk management as applied to research.

  • Experience addressing research safety issues in a complex research environment and the ability to balance federal, state and local regulatory and sponsor requirements as well as campus and system-wide policies and procedures with the VPR's goal of creating a facilitative research environment.

  • The communication and relationship skills needed to engage diverse stakeholders across a fast-paced, decentralized academic and research enterprise and the ability to work collaboratively and productively with research faculty, staff and students.

  • Experience in team leadership and management.

  • Proficiency in balancing complex regulatory requirements against practical needs and limitations: the AP is responsible for evaluating and addressing, and even anticipating, changing University and faculty needs as well as emerging regulations and other compliance standards.

  • Strong management skills and a track record of success raising service levels and improving business processes.

  • Occasional travel to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.

Additional Requirements​​

Education, Experience, or Certifications:


  • Ph.D. in the Biological or Physical Sciences required.

  • Certified Biological Safety Professional and/or Certified Safety Professional status preferred.


  • 10+ years of experience in a research-safety field preferred; at least 7 years of experience directing a safety organization at a top-tier US research university preferred.

  • National stature in research safety as demonstrated by elected or appointed service on national committees and other ruling bodies in research safety preferred.

  • Documented experience training safety specialists preferred.

Technical Knowledge or Skills:

  • Excellent knowledge of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Required Documents:

  • Resume/CV

  • Cover Letter

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Benefit Eligibility


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Pay Frequency


Pay Range

Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours




Job is Exempt


Drug Test Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Health Screen Required


Posting Date


Remove from Posting On or Before


Posting Statement:​​

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu. Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.