Animal ethics Committee Member (Category A)

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute is a leader in pioneering cancer treatments. Our vision is to help people live better with cancer and defeat it. Our mission is to discover and develop breakthrough cancer therapies to provide the best health outcomes for patients.

 

Core Responsibilities of the Animal Ethics Committee Members

 

The use of animals for scientific purposes and teaching is governed by Australian and Victorian Legislation (the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019) and the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013 (the Code).

The roles and responsibilities of the AEC members are to ensure:

  1. Education and Legal Familiarity: Members should be willing to engage in education about ethics issues and familiarise themselves with relevant legislation and codes, such as Part 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (VIC), Part 5 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019 (VIC), Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.
  2. Independent Review: Members should be able to contribute to discussions independently and bring an impartial view to the committee’s deliberations.
  3. Ethical Review Process: Review and approve research project applications and associated documentation, ensuring that only ethically acceptable projects are approved.
  4. Commitment to Review: Members must commit time to thoroughly review applications and supporting documents before each meeting and attend committee meetings regularly.
  5. Communication: Regularly check and respond to emails and be available to respond to AEC Executive items as required, even outside of scheduled meetings.
  6. Site Inspections: Attend annual site inspections of animal holding facilities to ensure compliance with ethical standards and regulations.
  7. Conflict of Interest Disclosure: Members should declare any conflicts of interest before discussing or making decisions on matters related to those interests.
  8. Confidentiality: Maintain strict confidentiality regarding all meeting processes and discussions.
  9. Self-Evaluation: Complete an annual self-evaluation of the committee’s performance to identify areas for improvement.
  10. Corporate Policies and Practices: Abide by the corporate policies and practices of the organisation, such as ONJCRI.
  11. Confidentiality Agreement: Sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure the protection of sensitive information related to patients, employees, policies, processes, and projects.

 

Specific requirements for the position

 

These responsibilities ensure that the Category C member contributes effectively to the committee’s efforts to uphold ethical standards and promote animal welfare in research activities.

  1. Bringing Ethical and Animal Welfare Perspective: The Category C member should contribute an ethical and animal welfare perspective to the committee’s deliberations and activities.
  2. Awareness of Community Expectations: They should be aware of current community expectations and concerns regarding animal welfare and be able to effectively communicate these concerns within the committee.
  3. Commitment to Improving Animal Welfare: The member should demonstrate a strong commitment to and experience in improving the welfare of animals.
  4. Independence from Utilising Institutions: They should not be otherwise associated with institutions that utilise the animal ethics committee.
  5. Association with Animal Welfare Organisations: While not representing an animal welfare organisation, preference may be given to individuals who are active members of and endorsed by such organisations.
  6. Veterinarian Eligibility: Veterinarians with specific interests and experience in animal welfare may be eligible for this category.
  7. Responsiveness to Executive Items: Like other committee members, they should be responsive to AEC Executive items outside of monthly meetings.
  8. Attendance at Site Inspections: They should attend annual site inspections of animal holding facilities to assess welfare standards and compliance.

 

Essential Qualifications, skills, and expertise

  1. Educational Requirement:
    • Individuals with a degree registerable in Australia as a veterinary surgeon.
  2. Membership Criteria:
    • Currently registered with any Australian Veterinary Surgeons Board or equivalent.
    • Confirmed to have been awarded a veterinary qualification from a recognised institution that meets the requirements of any Australian Veterinary Surgeons Board or equivalent (e.g., BVSc, MRCVS, DVM from recognised institutions).
  1. Should demonstrate computer literacy skills – Skills in using Microsoft Word, and Excel and the ability to communicate through emails. Must be able to use online communication platforms such as Zoom and Teams where required.
  2. Must be able to learn animal and ethics management systems where required. Training will be provided.
  3. Must be able to attend AEC meetings that are held at ONJCRI once a month on Wednesdays between February to December (10:00-1:00). These sessions are remunerated.

 

Benefits

 

As a member of the ONJCRI AEC, you will receive the following benefits:

  • Remuneration to support costs you incur associated with performing your role and attending meetings.
  • Training support for your role as an AEC member
  • The opportunity to understand the cutting-edge cancer research being performed at the ONJCRI.
  • Development of knowledge related to the legislative framework governing animal use in research.

Submit your applications as a brief CV with a cover letter to Lakmie Gunarathne, Research Ethics and Governance Manager using the subject line:

“Animal Ethics Committee Member – Category A (Voluntary)”

The cover letter should address the Specific Requirements for the position, explain why you are interested in joining the Animal Ethics Committee, and include any relevant qualifications, skills, or attributes.