Research Scientist - National Center for Supercomputing Applications (141923)

Job description



National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Research Scientist

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation's scientific enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address and research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing one third of Fortune 50 companies for more than 30 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

NCSA is seeking a talented, highly-motivated individual to serve as Research Scientist. A successful candidate will provide leadership and scientific expertise in biology and genomics to develop, manage, and coordinate projects to solve grand challenges in biology and medicine. For more information and to apply for this position, please visit The search close date is 04/19/2021. Search Number: 141923. The U of I is an EEO Employer/Vet/Disabled.

NCSA is committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community. Candidates who have experience working with a diverse range of faculty, staff, and students, and who can contribute to the climate of inclusivity are encouraged to apply.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

Key Responsibilities:

Research responsibilities

  • Perform big data, high-throughput analyses for NCSA Industry partners, in the areas of genomics, bioinformatics, and related disciplines. Validate their correctness and provide scientific interpretation based on prior knowledge and information in the literature.
  • Engage in basic research with faculty, postdoctoral research associates, students, and Industry partners, at UIUC and internationally, to innovate bioinformatics methodologies that require major computational resources.
  • Execute original computational genomics research projects on large scale data sets including genome assemblies, variant calling, transcriptome assemblies, RNASeq analysis and others as needed.
  • Summarize and disseminate the results of research and analysis through conference presentations, original manuscripts in peer-review journals, and workshops attended by scientists in the areas of computational biology.
  • Contribute scientific expertise towards funding proposals for grants and contracts sponsored by federal and private funding agencies, as well as Industry Partners of NCSA.
  • Evaluate current and future trends in HPC by keeping abreast of research publications in bioinformatics, scientific workflows, algorithms and statistical analyses, and related areas as needed.
  • Perform functional testing of software developed by NCSA Genomics staff, verifying the scientific and biological correctness of the result.
  • Develop, plan, organize, manage and quality-control computational genomics projects.
  • Address risks, issues, and critical dependencies throughout all phases of the project’s life cycle to ensure effective completion and delivery of results.
  • Other closely related research duties as assigned.

Management Responsibilities

  • Coordinate and communicate across the NCSA Genomics staff, NCSA Industry program managers and technical managers, funders, internal and external stakeholders to drive project progress.
  • Identify and negotiate the stakeholder’s requirements and deliverables on their projects, ensuring that they constitute an appropriate match for the expertise at NCSA Genomics and fit within the strategic goals of NCSA as a whole.
  • Build and nurture relationships with key stakeholders at Partner companies and academic institutions via conference calls, in-person visits, presentations and event hosting.
  • Prepare technical project reports and oversee project financials.
  • Comply with nondisclosure agreements between NCSA and its industrial partners and vendors.

Software support duties

  • Critically assess correctness and applicability of scientific software for research questions requested by NCSA Industry partners, for a variety of biomedical analyses.
  • Test software packages and tools installed on the Industry supercomputer for partner companies, using realistic data and use cases of relevance to Partners. Advise technical staff on any install and maintenance issues for scientific software packages, that are known in the bioinformatics community.

Teaching, training and outreach

  • Prepare and deliver training materials on the uses of HPC technologies in the biomedical domain to NCSA partners, UIUC students and faculty, in the form of reading materials, slide decks and in-person presentations and training sessions.
  • Train students and staff in elements of biology, genomics and bioinformatics as required by projects.
  • Engage in outreach activities toward college students, high school students and the general public outside NCSA to promote greater understanding of biological computing, advocate for careers in HPC and computational biology, and expand equality of gender and race in those fields.
  • Organize workshops, hackathons and conferences to educate stakeholders and peers on issues of HPC in computational genomics.
  • Supervise research activities of students and junior programmers.

Professional development

  • Maintain and improve competence in computational biology, especially genomics, by attending colloquia, seminars, workshops and conferences on campus and elsewhere, as appropriate.
  • Represent NCSA in symposia and conferences by presenting slides and posters.
  • Maintain knowledge of new software tools and methods in bioinformatics.

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD degree in Biophysics, Genomics, Bioinformatics, Biology, Crop Science or related field.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in biological research and computing.
  • Deep understanding of primary bioinformatics analyses, e.g. genomic variant calling, genome assembly, RNASeq.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in project management, strong leadership qualities.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience leading and managing projects independently.
  • Experience in manuscript and grant preparation.
  • Personal, novel contribution to biological research in genomics, bioinformatics or related field.
  • Experience with several ‘omics fields: genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, etc.
  • Familiarity with programming languages, operating on Linux command line.
  • Familiarity with HPC, experience working on a computer cluster.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of research field, ability to bridge several disciplines, ability to work with fellow scientist and administrators, experience supervising research activities of junior staff and/or students.
  • Very high comfort level with issues around interpersonal relationships, outstanding soft skills.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills, professional demeanor.
  • Ability to function in a fast-paced, demanding environment.

This is a regular academic professional position at NCSA and is an annually renewable, 12/12, 100%-time appointment with regular University benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience and start date will be as soon as possible after the close date of the search. Applicants must possess required education and experience by start date of position. Interviews may occur before the closing date; however, all applications received by the closing date will receive full consideration. For further information regarding our application procedures, please visit or email [email protected].

To apply, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter and CV/resume by the close date 04/19/2021. Contact information for three references must be included on the application. For full consideration, candidates must complete the Hiretouch application process by the above date.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

College Name or Administrative Unit:Office of Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation Category:6-Research Title:Research Scientist - National Center for Supercomputing Applications (141923) Open Date:04/02/2021 Close Date:04/19/2021 Organization Name:Supercomputing Applications




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Job No:
Posted: 4/4/2021
Application Due: 4/19/2021
Work Type: Full Time