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Senior Director of Research Computing position available at Harvard Medical School

Posted by Hannah Remmert on 04/16/2018 19:43 UTC

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Senior Director of Research Computing
Harvard Medical School

Duties & Responsibilities

Harvard Medical School (HMS) is a world-renowned Medical and Life-Sciences research and teaching institution. HMS IT enables faculty, researchers, and staff to collaborate with researchers and clinicians from the Longwood Medical Area (LMA) affiliated Hospitals, and prominent research institutions around the world to advance biomedical science. The HMS Director of Research Computing (RC) will partner with HMS faculty, administration, and departments to gain an understanding of the current and future needs of the HMS Research community, and lead the development of a Research Computing Strategic Plan for HMS.

The HMS Director of Research Computing is a member of the Senior IT Leadership team, reporting to the HMS Chief Information Officer, and will oversee and direct HMS Research Computing, including the Research Computing Consulting (RCC) group, Research Information Technology Solutions (RITS) team, and Research Data Management efforts. In partnership with the Director of Infrastructure, he/she will maintain and develop the High Performance Computing platform and storage strategies to meet the expanding needs of the HMS and Longwood Medical Area Affiliated researchers; working to balance available resources with system and financial constraints.

In addition, the Director of RC will explore options that include leveraging the HMS HPC cluster, various cloud HPC PaaS providers, and will partner with other Harvard University research computing groups to understand when and how to leverage resources across Harvard.

This position is an integral part of the HMS IT Senior Leadership Team, co-leader of the HMS Research Faculty Advisory Committee, a member of the Harvard University Research Computing Council, and a member of the Data Management working group.

An ideal candidate for this position has extensive scientificcomputing research experience, has a doctoral degree in a related field, possesses strong technical IT skills, and has at least seven years of experience managing both technical staff and research computing infrastructure.  The candidate will also have a proven track record of being highly collaborative, with evidence of well-established diplomatic skills, history of successful collaborations and ability to be an effective leader, which is inherent to the success of this position.

  • Oversee the RCC group that provides guidance on the use of software packages in specific research domains, and assists researchers with complex scientific algorithm and program development.
  • Coordinate Data Management initiatives including data management planning, best practices for using various tiers of storage appropriate to meet research and cost objectives, and preservation for future use in research and in compliance with funding agency requirements.
  • Oversee the RITS team’s work with Department Basic Science Administrators to identify and develop new solutions to streamline processes and support changing research and laboratory needs.
  • Provide guidance and support to HMS core facilities on instrumentation data capture and integration, and data reduction and visualization processes for long-term preservation of useful experimental data.

Duties & Responsibilities continued in the “Additional Information” section.

Basic Qualifications

  • Masters in Computer Science, Data Science or equivalent, and 7 years of experience working in a large-scale advanced research computing environment, with a minimum of 7 years managing a Research Computing team.
  • Direct experience with research data management, tiered storage lifecycle strategies, and usage/cost optimization.
  • Knowledge of batch processing, cluster management, and cloud orchestration techniques are essential. Competency in high and low-level programming languages (C/C++, FORTRAN, Python, R, ...) along with basic management of large software systems and relational database architectures.
  • Superior communication skills coupled with an ability to navigate a complex academic environment and work collaboratively with individuals at all levels.
  • Strongly collaborative, with the ability to establish and maintain strong relationships, to influence others, and move toward a common vision or goal.
  • Remain current with expanding technology, and recommend and implement solutions in accordance with best practices.
  • Manage multiple assigned tasks/projects with minimal direction
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to work with people of all levels of technical ability.
  • Excellent time management, organization, and planning skills.

Additional Qualifications

  • Knowledge of high-performance networking technologies like InfiniBand and OmniPath is key.
  • PhD in a field with a strong scientific computing component, preferably in the biological sciences
  • Project management experience.
  • Knowledge of file systems architecture, in particular high performance parallel file systems like Lustre/GPFS, and their effective use for storage and management of research data.
  • Knowledge of HPC/HTC and grid computing environments, advanced parallel processing techniques and clusters for both Linux and Windows. Demonstrated ability to learn new technologies.

Additional Information

Continuation of Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Provide guidance for capital investments in data centers, hardware, and software technologies.  
  • Provide technical advice to all academic departments regarding research computing and assist with development of strategies to balance the allocation of available resources within system and financial constraints.
  • Guide and oversee the development of policies and practices to allow for effective and efficient use of HMS Research computing resources, and the management and preservation of research data assets in compliance with HMS and funding agency policies
  • Leverage IT department resources to create a unified approach to supporting laboratory computing solutions for research users, including an inventory of research instrumentation and associated computers, and software and data lifecycle strategies for the acquired data.
  • Staff management responsibilities include building and developing a diverse and effective team; planning and delegating work effectively; communicating and monitoring performance expectations; motivating and developing direct reports; and ensuring compliance with HMS and Harvard policies and procedures.  
  • Other duties as assigned.