Senior Embryologist

Job Category: Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health
Job Type: Full Time
Job Location: Toronto

About the organization

Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health is the premier health centre in Canada exclusively focused on reproductive medicine and women’s health. We are the leader in innovation, education and communication for high quality, humanized fertility and reproductive care. We are the international standard for successful reproductive health and fertility centres that are committed to making the right to family accessible to everyone. We are known for our culture of support, our effective process and our holistic approach to patient care. By doing what we love, sharing what we learn and celebrating success, we encourage each other to achieve and grow, and we are role models for our community.


About the position

As a Senior Embryologist, you will perform and be fully proficient in all clinical embryological procedures, including ICSI and micromanipulation techniques, associated with the diagnostic and therapeutic treatment services provided by Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health. To thrive in this role, the incumbent is required to build and maintain collaborative relationships within and outside the Embryology Department, as various functions rely on each other’s performance. The Sr. Embryologist will ensure that all documentation is accessible, traceable and accurate. Crucially, you will share the founder’s passion for being the international standard for successful reproductive health and fertility centres and for making the right to family accessible to everyone. Responsibilities include updating the registry database, conducting research, analyzing statistics and compiling reports for the Laboratory Director as needed. In this role, you will be supporting the efficient operation and administration of the organization while complying with our quality standards and policies.


This position reports to the Director of Clinical Operations.


Major Duties and Responsibilities

  • Independently performs all laboratory procedures associated with diagnostic and therapeutic treatment services provided, including semen analysis, sperm preparation (including donor, and surgically retrieved testicular and epididymal sperm), oocyte and embryo handling, gamete and embryo cryopreservation, conventional IVF, clinical ICSI, trophectoderm biopsy and other micromanipulation techniques
  • Uses standardized selection techniques to select embryos best suited for transfer and cryopreservation
  • Conveys, where necessary, relevant details of treatment (quality of oocytes, sperm and embryos) directly to patients and staff (physicians or IVF nurse) in clear, concise, and understanding manner and confirm with patient and/or medical staff that communication has been understood by other party
  • Participates in annual embryo storage audits and assists with system of contact for patients with embryos in storage
  • Maintains liquid nitrogen storage vessels to ensure stored material integrity, including handling of liquid nitrogen and manual handling of storage vessels in accordance with accepted safe practices
  • Performs all duties in accordance with CFAS regulation
  • Undertakes formal witnessing of procedures as required by Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to ensure correct identification of patients, gametes (oocytes and sperm) and fresh and frozen embryos
  • Ensures that informed consent is in place prior to any treatments being performed
  • Anticipates and handles day-to-day workload and ensures that preparations and procedures are performed effectively and to highest possible standard, paying meticulous attention to detail
  • Prepares for site visitation by Accreditation Canada, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or any other body involved in certification and licensing
  • Performs audits of all equipment to ensure that this is functioning correctly and within critical parameters
  • Assists with maintenance of laboratory equipment and cleaning of laboratory
  • Assists in Andrology laboratory, as required
  • Liaises with Centres outside of Anova Fertility regarding treatments, outcome of treatments and transfer of gametes or embryos between Centres
  • Critically analyzes and audits laboratory performance at supervisor’s direction
  • Performs accurate and complete data collection as required, using computerized database systems used by Anova, including sending data to BORN CARTR registry
  • Actively participates in development and maintenance of research within Anova Fertility as required and disseminates research findings and other relevant material at local, national and international level
  • Assists in training and supervision of trainees and less experienced staff, participating in demonstration of procedures during training sessions
  • Provides respectful mentoring and ongoing education to team members
  • Attends department or clinic-wide meetings
  • Performs administrative duties such as ordering of consummables, communicating with vendors regarding equipment or supply issues
  • Participates in presenting to groups of patients at Patient Information Evenings and presents at patient support groups as and if requested
  • Works flexibly and performs tasks as workload demands, including outside of regular work hours and participates in weekend and statutory holiday rotation schedule
  • Maintains clinical competence through integration of practice, education and research within specialty role
  • Supports company mission and values by providing quality service and interacting with all staff and patients in friendly and calm manner
  • Deals constructively with conflict and focuses on alignment of behaviours with mission
  • Fosters collaboration within department and between departments
  • Identifies, assesses and informs Director of issues that may affect patients, department or company
  • Consistently arrives to work, to scheduled appointments and meetings on time
  • Maintains strict confidentiality on matters pertaining to Clinic and stakeholders
  • Communicates effectively to establish credibility with team members and patients
  • Writes clearly and informatively, and edits work for spelling and grammar
  • Gives and welcomes feedback; listens to others respectfully
  • Complies with company policies, procedures and dress code
  • Actively promotes and gains cooperation and collaboration from others
  • Undertakes specific tasks and projects assigned by Director


Personal Responsibilities

  • Directs all interaction and initiatives towards operational efficiencies and satisfaction of patients who rely on Centre services and service level
  • Is respectful and courteous to each patient and team member
  • Continuously expands and updates professional knowledge
  • Contributes and commits to Personal Development Plan


Minimum Qualifications and Skills

Education and Knowledge

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Reproductive Biology or Genetics
  • Proficiency in clinical intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) mandatory
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office programs
  • English language skills required; multilingualism an asset
  • Strong knowledge of customer service principles and practices
  • Knowledge of administrative practices and procedures
  • Understanding of how various functions rely on each other’s performance



  • At least 5 years of hands-on experience in andrology in clinical laboratory
  • Experience performing semen analysis and IUI prep
  • Experience with quality assurance and good laboratory practices
  • Experience with electronic medical records systems
  • Track record of regular and punctual attendance and schedule adherence
  • Track record of completing tasks under pressure
  • Track record of working to highest possible standard with meticulous attention to detail



  • Ability to identify unusual specimens and situations that require supervisor attention
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships to achieve goals
  • Ability to discuss difficult or complex topics with patients and verify that information has been understood
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills
  • Effective analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Strong skills in computer application and proper use of internet as source of information and research tool
  • Solid presentation and written communication skills
  • Ability to connect with people from all backgrounds and varying degrees of experience
  • Ability to switch tasks, respond to shifting priorities and refocus after interruptions
  • Ability to manage conflicting demands (e.g. unexpected procedure time changes, availability of equipment)
  • Ability and willingness to be flexible and tolerant of change
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Solid mentoring skills and listening skills
  • Math and administrative skills
  • Ability and willingness to work weekend or statutory holidays, as required


Personal attributes

  • Passion for helping people and making difference in patients’ lives
  • Committed to keeping up-to-date on professional developments
  • Focus on quality service and process improvement
  • High degree of initiative and self-direction
  • Strong customer service orientation
  • Creative and innovative mindset
  • Collaborative, positive and optimistic
  • Conscientious, punctual and dependable
  • Friendly, calm, welcoming demeanour
  • Responsive to changing priorities
  • Intellectually curious


Working Conditions

  • 7 days per week operation, including statutory holidays, Clinic opens at 7:00 a.m.
  • Works pre-scheduled number of days between Mondays and Sundays, 4 to 8 hours per day, typically between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., with 1-hour lunch
  • Works in climate-controlled office environment, engaging in extensive manual, phone and computer work
  • Daily use of sharp equipment, such as needles
  • Use of office equipment, including computers, fax machines, copiers, phones, etc.
  • Use of Software including BabySentry, Accuro EMR, Office word and Excel, email, etc.
  • On occasion, may be asked to work more or fewer hours or different days based on business volume
  • Regular use of keyboard and phone
  • Frequent changes in priorities and interruptions
  • Noise level in work environment is usually low and tends to be higher at events
  • Daily use of chemicals


Impact of Errors

In general, incorrectly executing any of the duties and responsibilities could lead to extra work, lost time, lost opportunities or reputational damage. Accuracy, meeting deadlines and exceeding patients’ expectations are crucial for the Centre’s success.


Mental Effort (times are approximate)

  • Listening and mental attentiveness in daily communications with team members
  • Mental and visual concentration during lab work for up to 7.5 hours daily to ensure accuracy and efficiency
  • Switching tasks, attending meetings and handling interruptions that require refocusing
  • Reading and analyzing electronic and printed materials
  • Processing verbal information and taking notes


Physical Effort

  • Stands and walks in laboratory at, and between tables and equipment for up to 7.5 hours daily
  • Performs multiple, repeated and sustained hand-eye movements on computer keyboard and screen for up to 2 hours per day
  • Reaches with arms and hands to operate telephone system and computer equipment
  • Speaks and listens
  • Kneels and stoops and occasionally lifts and/or moves up to 25 pounds
  • Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, distance vision, colour vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus


Working Conditions

  • Works a minimum of 37.5 hours per week in 7-days-per-week operation, including statutory holidays (Clinic opens at 7:00 a.m.)
  • Works in climate-controlled laboratory environment, engaging in delicate manual work with equipment and computer work
  • Use of office equipment, including computers, fax machines, copiers, phones, etc.
  • Use of relevant software, including Word and Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.
  • On occasion, may be asked to work additional or fewer hours or different days based on business volume
  • Regular use of keyboard and phone
  • Frequent changes in priorities and interruptions
  • Noise level in work environment is usually low and tends to be higher at events

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