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Director of Research Computing

Apply now Job no: 511649
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: IT Administration
Union: Non-Unit Exempt
Categories: Computer & Information Technology, Technical, Research


Director of Research Computing


About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Reporting to the Chief Information Officer (CIO), the Director of Research Computing leads the design, planning, and implementation of research computing services.   Primary responsibilities include leading and leveraging large-scale data and computational systems; supporting custom software, hardware, and workflows; and facilitating engagements between campus researchers and IT staff to provide sustainable support structures and business models for research IT needs. The Director of Research Computing fully understands research process, goals, and needs, and communicates across disciplines and technical fields to develop creative technical solutions that meet research goals and objectives.


Essential Functions

  • Under the general guidance of the CIO, provide strategic research computing services to campus research groups with a focus on collaboration, technology support, and future initiatives.
  • Formulate and administer support strategies to best match researchers’ needs with available resources; promote service awareness; and establish metrics to evaluate service success.
  • Lead and develop cyberinfrastructure roadmaps to support data management, storage, visualization, networking, security, and other technology services and research tools.
  • Collaborate between central IT and the campus research computing community to plan and utilize funding and technology architectures for computing, storage, and networking.
  • Conduct need analyses and collaborate with vendors on design, development, and implementation of research computing applications and hardware for multiple technical platforms.
  • Cultivate and manage internal and external relationships to align best IT services and practices with researchers’ needs, including collaboration on technology and governance with peer institutions at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, as well as participate in regional and national cyberinfrastructure initiatives.
  • Participate in discussions on staff planning and resource allocation with other IT directors; participate in sensitive employee-related matters, including grievance hearings and Labor Relations discussions with decision-making authority.


Other Functions

  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with 7 or more years of progressive experience in research computing and supporting business models.
  • Experience in a complex technology environment, including specific technologies common in research, such as HPC systems.
  • Prior experience with implementation of complex enterprise applications and technologies.
  • Thorough understanding of the research process typically found at a comprehensive research university.
  • Proven leadership of highly skilled technical staff.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Ability to perform in a high-paced environment while demonstrating good judgment and creative thinking.
  • Excellent public relations and analytical skills.
  • Experience with scientific data management, organization, storage, and security.
  • Outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written. Able to communicate technical issues, solutions and business models to technical and non-technical end-users.
  • Demonstrated core competencies required for this position (leading self, leading others, leading leaders, leading function).



Preferred Qualifications:

  • Masters or PhD in Computer Science, Engineering or related field with demonstrated experience in using high performance computing technologies.
  • Experience managing technical and/or research teams.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

  • Typical Office Activities.


Work Schedule

  • 40 hours/week.
  • Some nights and weekend hours required.


Salary Information

Salary is commensurate with experience.


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit your application online and include a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three (3) professional references. The position will remain open until filled.   


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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