Job Postings

Research Officer

Posted: December 16, 2020

The Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation Inc. (Fedoruk Centre) is inviting applications for a Research Officer (a) to provide collaborative scientific support for researchers who access the specialized facilities at the Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences (SCCS) and (b) to advance the capabilities of the SCCS by leading projects to develop new products or infrastructures.  


The Fedoruk Centre was established in 2011 under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, with an independent Board of Directors and a sole Member, the University of Saskatchewan (U Sask).   The purpose of the Fedoruk Centre is to help place Saskatchewan among global leaders of nuclear research, development and training through investment in partnerships with academia and industry.  The SCCS is owned by U Sask and operated by the Fedoruk Centre.  The facility encompasses a high-current ACSI TR24 cyclotron; cGMP-level radiopharmaceutical laboratories including hot cells, auto-synthesis units and a quality control system (HPLC, GC, TLC);  a suite of shielded work areas with radiochemistry equipment; two small-animal PET-CT scanners for preclinical research; and a suite of tools for nuclear imaging of living plants.  Besides serving as a resource for academic and industrial researchers, the SCCS supplies fludeoxyglucose (FDG) for PET-CT scanning in regional hospitals.  The SCCS is licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) as a Class II Nuclear Facility.  Radiopharmaceuticals are manufactured in compliance with regulations of the CNSC and Health Canada.  

The salary range for this Research Officer position is $66,500 – $110,000 per annum.  Placement within the range is dependent upon education and experience.  This is a continuing full-time position that is not within any collective bargaining unit. 

Primary Purpose: The Research Officer is responsible (a) to provide collaborative scientific support for researchers who access the specialized facilities at the Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences (SCCS) and (b) to lead internal projects developing new products or infrastructures.

Nature of Work: Reporting to the SCCS Facility General Manager, the Research Officer is part of a team that maintains the SCCS in a state of readiness for access by researchers from industry and academia to advance life sciences, technologies for health and agriculture, or innovations in the production of isotopes, radiochemicals and radiopharmaceuticals.  Besides providing resources for innovation in or through nuclear imaging, the SCCS also manufactures PET imaging agents for medical diagnoses and treatments in regional hospitals, which is an operational priority.  

The SCCS is equipped with an ACSI TR24 cyclotron; cGMP-level radiopharmaceutical laboratories including hot cells, auto-synthesis units and a quality control system (HPLC, GC, TLC); small-animal SPECT-PET-CT scanners for preclinical research; shielded work areas, and radiochemistry equipment.  Most of these facilities are accessible by users from academia and industry to develop new nuclear imaging agents for disease-targeting diagnoses and treatments, or to apply nuclear imaging methods to generate new knowledge in life sciences (plants, animals, humans).  

The Research Officer will serve as a professional Local Contact, enabling SCCS facility users to undertake research projects effectively, adapting to the support levels required for a project, and coordinating the resources that may be needed for project planning, through implementation, analysis and reporting.  The Research Officer will also serve as a Project Leader to advance the capabilities of the SCCS by developing new products, procedures and scientific infrastructures.  

The primary work environment is the suite of offices and labs in the Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences at 120 Maintenance Rd, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

 Accountabilities:

  • Participating in planning and implementing user research projects that require access to SCCS resources, considering safety, feasibility, project scope, scheduling and expert support;  
  • Collaborating with research users to a suitable level, for example training project team members in the safe operation of specialized equipment, analyzing data,  and contributing to articles for scientific publications or patent disclosures;
  • Leading internal projects to advance SCCS capabilities, and performing activities, for example:
  • Recommending equipment for procurement;
  • Carrying out experimental work for establishing and validating technical specifications related to newly synthesized molecules and radiochemical products;
  • Conducting studies to optimize synthesis efficiency for radiochemicals;
  • Developing or improving equipment capabilities to address technical challenges in producing and purifying radioisotopes;
  • Transferring knowledge from the development phase to operation or production teams;
  • Establishing protocols and procedures to advance new products towards application;
  • Maintaining knowledge of best practices for handling and analyzing radioactive materials;
  • Helping to evaluate new technologies for potential development within the SCCS; 
  • Preparing technical reports and articles for publication in peer-reviewed literature; and
  • Participating in scientific conferences and meetings.
  • Advising the Fedoruk Centre team and users to achieve best outcomes and minimize risks;  
  • Maintaining standards of quality and ensuring compliance with regulations; and
  • Performing related duties that support the key activities and purpose of the Fedoruk Centre.

Qualifications

Education 

  • PhD or Masters in chemistry, radiochemistry, physics or engineering

Experience 

  • At least three years of post-educational experience in a research laboratory supporting innovation with radioisotopes, radiochemistry and nuclear imaging methods is a requirement.   
  • Experience in radiation protection and safe handling of radioactive materials is required.
  • Experience in hands-on operation, data analysis and interpretation with radiochemical equipment (e.g.  High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), Liquid Chromatography/mass spectrometry (LCMS), Gas Chromatography (GC), and Gamma Spectroscopy (GS) would be an asset.
  • Experience in data analysis and interpretation of analytical data.
  • Experience in safe, ethical handling of living specimens would be an asset.

Technical:

  • Knowledge of radiation safety, safe handling of radionuclides and radiochemistry;
  • Knowledge of equipment to identity and quantify radiochemicals, such as High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), Liquid Chromatography/mass spectrometry (LCMS), gas chromatography (GC), and gamma spectroscopy;
  • Knowledge of radioisotope separation and radiochemistry methods (precipitation, coprecipitation, performing and interpreting serial dilutions), ionic exchange techniques and column chromatography;
  • Knowledge of cyclotron target designs and trends in radioisotope production; and
  • Knowledge of how to respond appropriately when an issue is discovered in safety or compliance.

Behavioral:

  • Works independently, while part of a team, basing decisions on principles and good judgment;
  • Promotes teamwork in a diverse, multidisciplinary environment;
  • Focuses on delivering commitments to clients and users, subject to our Strategic Plan 2025 and emerging priorities, as well as regulatory constraints; 
  • Communicates in a compelling, honest, persuasive and articulate manner, ensuring the message is clear, understood and consistent with Fedoruk Centre objectives;
  • Assesses personal strengths and weaknesses, for continuous self-development and improvement; 
  • Maintains effectiveness in the face of change or ambiguity; and
  • Treats people fairly, with dignity and integrity, promoting a safe, respectful workplace.

Condition: Any offer of employment will be conditional on the results of a medical assessment and/or vision examination to the extent permissible under employment law (The Saskatchewan Employment Act, S-15.1, 2013, as amended).

How to Apply:  Please submit a covering letter and resume in PDF format by email to niki.schrie@fedorukcentre.ca, with Subject Line: Research Officer; [your name]. Applicants must submit either a copy of their valid Canadian work permit or proof of citizenship/permanent residency status.


This position will be posted until filled.   Screening will begin on/about January 15/2021.  The start date for employment will be as mutually agreed.  While the Fedoruk Centre thanks all applicants for their interest, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.  Inquiries regarding this position may be directed to:

Niki Schrie, Human Resources and Operations Manager
Email: niki.schrie@fedorukcentre.ca

 The Fedoruk Centre is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

 

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