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ARS Home » Research » Research Project #440835

Research Project: Biological Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) Training Program for Research Support Personnel

Location: Operations

Project Number: 3022-32000-013-009-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2021
End Date: Sep 30, 2024

In order to staff the ARS's biocontainment research laboratories there is a need to create a highly trained workforce that is capable of working at BSL-3 and higher levels. The workforce needs to include research support staff and collaborators. The objectives of the program are: • To expose B.S./M.S./DVM, Ph.D level personnel to a BSL-3 (high containment) research environment as potential career choice; • To increase awareness of general biosecurity practices when dealing with select agents; and • To incorporate aspects of cyber vulnerability prevention in the laboratory.

The purpose of a Biological Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) Training Program is to provide introductory BSL-3/BSL-3Ag training to Research Personnel, either current federal staff, research fellows or recent graduates with career interests in ARS, who want to attain additional training and knowledge in the area of high-containment research. The course is carried out in coordination with the Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI) at Kansas State University (KSU). Also, lectures will be provided on current topics in transboundary animal and zoonotic disease research by experts in the field. The program is open to B.S./M.S. level Research Support Personnel interested in research and careers in the field of high consequence, transboundary and zoonotic diseases of animals. Eligibility: Applicants must be U.S. citizens with a GPA of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (for the respective B.S. and M.S. degrees). By the end of the course, participants will have proficiency in: • Demonstrating an understanding of risk group classifications and biosafety levels; • Identifying potential risks associated with executing standard laboratory practices; • Engage in laboratory practices that reduce the potential for aerosol exposures; • Identifying, selecting, and defending high containment practices required when manipulating agents and toxins; • Identifying areas of potential vulnerabilities in the laboratory ecosystem/network to include how technology introduction may impact laboratory operations (cybersecurity), safety, security, and overall laboratory capability; • Demonstrating essential biocontainment practices for use in BSL-3, ABSL-3 and BSL-3Ag settings.