Head of Veterinary and Animal Health Services

In the Crick's Stp|Brf.

Deadline for applications has passed.

Key information

Job reference
From £49,000 per annum, subject to skills and experience.
Applications closed
17 February 2022, 23:59 GMT
Hours per week
36 (full time)
Posted 27 January 2022

Reports to: Director of the BRF

This is a full-time, permanent position on Crick terms and conditions of employment.



The Biological Research Facility supports all animal research at the Crick through our comprehensive animal care and use programme. The Biological Research Facility provides the Crick's laboratory animal resource and technical services. High quality multidisciplinary in-vivo and ex-vivo research support are at the heart of the BRF's philosophy and operations. The BRF is committed to improving animal welfare, scientific quality, care of staff and transparency for stakeholders. The BRF teams integrate husbandry of multiple species within a range of facilities, using state of the art technologies, via a talented and skilled team

The Head of Veterinary and Animal Health services is responsible for overseeing the Named Veterinary Surgeon (NVS) Service and the Animal Health (AH) Service. This role provides a comprehensive veterinary clinical service, at all times, ensuring a smooth function and compliance with both the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (Amended 2012) and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ code of practice. This role is pivotal to ensure the health and welfare of the institutes animals with the provision of technical advice and services to the BRF team and the institute’s scientific staff.

Key responsibilities

These include but are not limited to:

  • Effectively managing, leading, developing, motivating and performance managing the NVS and the AH service and team
  • To design, conduct and participate in original research projects, including but not limited to:
    • 3Rs projects
    • Research into prevention, identification, containment and treatment of animal diseases
    • Any study relevant to the mission of the institute or the welfare of the protected animals under care of the NVS
  • To participate in the conduct of scientific programmes of work as appropriate to the post holders’ knowledge, technical expertise, and experience
  • Management of the Animal Health service and ensure an effective state of the art health monitoring programme is in place and executed in all animal units at the institute
  • Maintain and develop relevant expertise with the species used by the science through consultation, literature review and attending scientific meetings
  • Supervise the maintenance of appropriate health records relating to all protected animals
  • Certify, where appropriate, that an animal is fit to travel to another establishment or abroad; to be used in further regulated procedures; to be released to the wild; or to be released for non-scientific purposes
  • Participate in the local Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body (AWERB). including drafting reports for the Establishment Licence Holder and the main AWERB committees
  • Write reports, protocols, and Standard Operating Procedures
  • To hold, as deemed necessary, a Personal/Project Licence under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (amended 2012)
  • Advise Project Licence applicants on the drafting of Project Licence applications and amendments
  • Advise Personal/Project Licence holders on the practical applications of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement)
  • Advise licencees and others on appropriate methods of anaesthesia, analgesia and euthanasia, surgical technique, choice of species, and on the recognition of pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm and severity assessment
  • Advise on current best practice and 3Rs for procedural work in support of the institute’s research involving laboratory animals
  • Develop, organise and teach training programmes, for both internal and external delegates in collaboration with the NTCO
  • Assist with training and competence assessments of Personal Licence holders and others
  • To advise and support the BRF surgical service, and other relevant stakeholders to develop best practices in surgical procedures across the Crick, providing surgical support and advice
  • Supply and direct the use of controlled drugs and other prescription only medicines for use on protected animals in the institute
  • Fulfil   the   role   of Official Veterinarian (OCQ(V)) for the Institute or other regulatory/statutory role
  • Knowledge of and proven competence with MCMS and other commonly used databases by the BRF

Key experience and competencies

The post holder should embody and demonstrate our core Crick values: bold, imaginative, open, dynamic and collegial, in addition to the following:


Qualifications, experience and competencies:

  • Veterinary degree
  • Proven leadership and team management experience
  • To hold current and valid Membership of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • A full understanding of health and safety requirements in relation to animal care and use
  • Substantial knowledge of laboratory rodents, ferrets, opossums and aquatic species
  • Substantial practical experience with laboratory rodents, ferrets, opossums and aquatic species
  • Knowledge and understanding of the requirements of the legislative framework, Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (Amended 2012)
  • Experience with research using animals and with lab animal medicine
  • Capable of solving complicated clinical problems in a rational and organised fashion
  • Evidence of and commitment to CPD
  • Good communication skills, both oral and written with the ability to relay straight forward and complex information to a broad range of stakeholders
  • Good interpersonal skills enabling the post holder to influence and deliver at all levels
  • Strong planning skills, the ability to prioritise in the face of competing demands, proven success in delivering work personally (and through others) to tight deadlines
  • Strong decision making skills with the ability to use initiative and improvise in a changing environment


  • Post-graduate qualification in laboratory animal science or medicine (Dipl. ECLAM and/or PhD)
  • Substantial post-graduate work experience, primarily in clinical veterinary practice or in biomedical research
  • Experience with the provision of service in a core technology platform
  • Membership level of LASA and/ or IAT or equivalent