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Research Project: Development of a Biosafety/Biorisk Management Graduate Certificate Program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)

Location: Operations

Project Number: 3022-32000-013-012-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2022
End Date: Mar 31, 2027

The goal of this initiative is to develop and offer an online Biosafety/Biorisk Management Certificate at Indiana University of PA (IUP) for both students and professionals interested in gaining the necessary skills to support the safe and secure execution of life science operations with a focus on high/maximum containment facilities. This online training certificate could be supplemented with hands-on training opportunities that are supported through this program. Students that matriculate from this certificate program will become competitive for entry-level biorisk management positions with the U.S. life science enterprises (e.g., universities, federal government, biotech, human/veterinary facilities, pharmaceutical facilities, etc.). This certificate will also provide practicing professionals the opportunity to obtain necessary education credits needed when seeking their Certified Biological Safety Professional (CBSP) certification through the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) International or as continuing education credits for those already credentialed. The objectives of this certificate program are to: • Prepare students and professionals for entry into the biosafety/biorisk management profession • Enable students to be well versed in the ABSA International core competencies needed by biosafety professionals for certification including: o Risk Assessment and Hazard Identification -biological hazards o Disinfection, Decontamination, and Sterilization o Work Practices and Procedures o Regulatory Aspects, Standards, and Guidelines o Biorisk Program Management and Development o Equipment Operation and Certification o Biocontainment Facility Design • Enhance student comprehension in the fundamental areas of molecular biology and microbiology. • Fulfill a need for the lack of educationally prepared biosafety professionals in the U.S. • Partner with research institutions that house high-containment laboratories for enhanced student learning. • When practical, offer hands-on learning opportunities through site visits/tours, etc. • Offer continuing education units (CEU’s) for professional development.

This certificate would be a 15-21 credit collaborative program between the Cooperator Safety Sciences Department and the Cooperator Biology Department. All courses will be offered synchronously online for students not attending the University. For those on campus, students are permitted to take a traditional face-to-face section, when offered. This certificate program will be available to University undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals outside of University. Optional field trips to high-level containment facility may be provided based on enrollment numbers and student interest. Students should expect to be able to complete the certificate program within one (1) year with the option of completing at their own pace.