Interview the Team – University of Oxford – Department of Biomedical Services

This one’s for the Vet Nurses out there! If you’re an experienced vet nurse who’s highly competent in anaesthesia and with strong communication skills, then the Technical Training Manager role could be the next career step you’re looking for.

Posted: 30/11/2023


Online via Zoom

Date & Time

12th December
19:30 GMT

Speakers & Host

Ellen, Laura, Andrew and Steven
Hosted by Melanie Barham

Could the Technical Training Manager role be for you?

This one’s for the Vet Nurses out there! If you’re an experienced vet nurse who’s highly competent in anaesthesia and with strong communication skills, then the Technical Training Manager role could be the next career step you’re looking for.

Watch back the conversation Mel had with Ellen, Laura, Andrew and Steven from the Department of Biomedical Sciences. They explored the role and the impact this newly created job could have on the research efforts of the whole University.

Here’s a few of their talking points:

  • The kind of work that the BMS group does and the global impact for human and animal health.
  • The ideal candidate and the impact they could have on welfare through training and compliance. Few roles offer the chance to influence animal welfare at this scale.
  • How the skills that experienced RVNs use everyday in clinic could translate into a new opportunity, training licensed technicians in anaesthesia across multiple species and creating the training and compliance plan for the department.
  • A typical day in the life working alongside the Named Veterinary Surgeon and how the new role will fit in with multiple stakeholders.
  • The remuneration and training opportunities.

Ellen Meek

I have held several roles across various fields since I graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2007 so my career has definitely been a stay, go and diversify story! I spent six years in small animal clinical practice before deciding to follow my passion for science communication, completing an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London whilst continuing to locum as a small animal vet. This led me first to roles in research administration and public engagement at the University of Oxford and then on to roles in research funding portfolio, project and programme management at the Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

 I have now come full circle from ‘go’ to ‘diversify’ and have returned back to the University of Oxford as Head of Compliance for the Department of Biomedical Services. In this new role I am able to combine my experience of policy development, programme and change management from my roles at EPSRC and UKRI, and my drive to make an impact on animal welfare that has never left me since my early days in clinical practice.

Laura Henderson

I’m an Australian vet who has been in the UK for three years now. I graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2019 and then worked in mixed practice in Victoria, Australia.

Since coming to the UK, I have worked at the RSPCA, and I am part way into completing a Master of Veterinary Science (Research).

I recently started as a Named Veterinary Surgeon at the University of Oxford at the beginning of 2023. I was hesitant about moving away from clinical practice, but my role as an NVS is much more interesting than I thought it would be!  My day-to-day is very diverse, I get to work with a lot of interesting people on groundbreaking things, and I make a tangible impact on animal welfare to a much greater extent than I ever could in practice!

Stephen Woodley

I started my career as an animal technologist in 2002 working as a Junior Animal Technologist at University College London (UCL) whilst studying. During my time at UCL I worked in several roles eventually becoming a Facility Manager. In 2015 I left UCL to work at King’s College London (KCL) as a Site Manager and eventually held the role as Director of Biological Services and a Home Office Project Licence Holder.

2016 I was awarded the AALAC International Fellowship Award. In 2019 was jointly awarded the Andrew Blake Tribute Award for our work on the reduction of tick over colonies through cryopreservation methods.

 October 2022, I embarked on a new role as Head of Research Delivery, Biomedical Services where I oversee research support and operations provided by the technical team. The team consists of 105 staff performing  a variety of different roles and disciplines. My main objective for the team is to help diversify our portfolio to further support staff and departmental development. 

I am currently studying a Master of Business Administration (MBA) which has been supported by the University of Oxford. 

Andrew Emberton

I began working with non-human primates (NHP’s) in Oxford as an animal technician in 2005, where I gained a valuable insight into the life experience and complex welfare needs of laboratory NHP’s. During my time in this role, I have worked with several different research groups, where I  gained considerable knowledge and experience of positive reinforcement training methods for laboratory NHP’s. Due to this experience, and with the support from the department of Biomedical Services (BMS), my usual role is the NHP training manager, where I support the research community with their investigations into the neural mechanisms of visual processing and decision making, by training NHP’s to cooperate with electrophysiology, and fMRI experiments.

 I am currently the acting NHP facility manager, where I am using my combined knowledge of NHP husbandry / welfare / behaviour, and research requirements to support both the care / welfare of the animals, and the research community with these prerequisites of experimental research.

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