The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases is soliciting for continued operations support for Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) facilities at the National Biocontainment Laboratories at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and Boston University.
Operations support is provided in the following areas: facility maintenance and operations; biosecurity; environmental health and safety regulations and requirements; regulatory compliance; and specialized research support services.
The Laboratories serve as a national resource for efforts in conducting clinical and laboratory (in vitro and in vivo) research and testing on hazardous biological agents in support of NIAID’s Biodefense Research Agenda and other infectious diseases.
Operations support for the NBLs is provided in the following core areas:
Facility Maintenance and Operation – Provides high containment operational management monitoring and oversight; routine facilities maintenance and upkeep of the physical plant that supports the high containment space including a preventative maintenance plan for all BSL 4 equipment and systems; non-routine emergency repairs of BSL4 equipment and systems; specialized training for facilities personnel working in and around BSL4 space and associated building systems; and community outreach and communications.
BioSecurity – Ensures compliance with all evolving legislation and regulations related to control of select agents and other highly pathogenic agents; devises and directs relevant staff training activities; develops and implements prospective BSL 4 staff screenings and background checks; assists in planning for required biosecurity drills; and manages inventory and access to select agent inventories.
Environmental Health and Biosafety Regulations and Requirements – Provides critical health, safety, and training services; maintains consistency in biosafety and biocontainment practices; provides biosafety theory education and hands-on training; and leads registration, record keeping and administrative activities of the Select Agent program.
Regulatory Compliance – Provides oversight and coordination of all research functions that require compliance with regulatory statutes and guidelines for the purpose of supporting product licensure, promoting accuracy and integrity of any data generated in such studies; conducts relevant GLP compliance training for core directors and key staff; develops and maintains policies and procedures pertaining to GLP research; and provides advice and oversight for equipment procurement and facility commissioning activities.
Integrated Support Services – Provides specialized services essential to support BSL 4 activities in such cores as veterinary, imaging, insectary, and aerobiology services. These services are to provide only partial costs of specialized support resources and therefore the NBLs are required to develop and implement cost reimbursement business models that will generate grant or contract support for the direct costs of the research.
To ensure that the NBLs Operations Support Program contributes maximally and effectively to the NIAID biodefense and emerging infectious diseases effort, the overall direction and scope of activities of the Program will be coordinated and monitored by the NIAID Biodefense Facilities Program Office, in collaboration with the NBL Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PDs/PIs).
Further details are available via Funding Opportunity Announcement: RFA-AI-15-009.