Bioethics Blogs

Opportunities for Advancement: Promoting Employee Engagement in Animal Care and Use Programs

By Angela Craig, DVM, lab animal veterinarian and institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) member at the University of Minnesota

Each of us has a unique path that brought us to our career in laboratory animal care and use. I started my career in laboratory animal medicine twenty years ago as a member of the husbandry staff. I enjoyed the close connection I made with the animals under my care, and I understood that they depended on me for their basic needs. I further realized how the scientific discoveries unfolding were dependent on physically and psychologically healthy animals. When you feel deeply invested in the work you do, it is natural to think about the ways you can improve your knowledge, skills, and experience for the benefit of the animals and the research program. You think about how the work you enjoy might develop into a lifelong career. For me, the connection I felt to the animals in my care led me to become a laboratory animal veterinarian.

Opportunity for advancement is frequently cited as a key factor affecting employee job satisfaction. Advancement may include the development of new skills, greater responsibility, and/or promotion. Within an animal care and use program, there are many options for growth, but staff members are not always aware of how to get on the right track. They also may not realize the various directions they can go with their interests. In addition to careers oriented toward husbandry and veterinary care, there are also the paths of laboratory animal resource management, and animal program administration and compliance.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.