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Research Data Developer

Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
Closing date
Jun 29, 2021

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Administrative Jobs
Academic Affairs, Research Staff & Technicians, Institutional & Business Affairs, Institutional Research & Planning
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Job Details

Research Data Developer


Job ID: 2021-12636
Type: Full-Time
# of Openings: 1
Category: Institutional Research and Planning

Princeton University


The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a world-class fusion energy research laboratory managed by Princeton University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. PPPL is dedicated to developing the scientific and technological knowledge base for fusion energy. The Laboratory advances the fields of fusion energy and plasma physics research to develop the scientific understanding and key innovations needed to realize fusion as an energy source for the world.

The Research Data Developer will play a key role in the implementation and/or integration of platforms and systems required to support PPPL’s Publications and Data Management Program. Reporting through PPPL’s Publications and Data Management Program in the Research Support Office of the Deputy Director for Research, the Research Data Developer will provide technical expertise to PPPL and Princeton University project teams, build and manage PPPL research repositories, and lead implementation efforts for new data management and sharing programs.

The successful candidate will work closely with PPPL’s Publications Office and Princeton University’s Library programs (e.g., Office of Research Data and Open Scholarship, Digital Repository and Discovery Services) to build applications to support digital content management workflows, with a focus on supporting the availability and retrievability of Scientific and Technical Information products. Successful candidates must have experience with data repository management and maintenance, data discovery and indexing applications, and building infrastructure to support research data curation.

The Research Data Developer will participate in the broader library open source software development community, with work on projects requiring knowledge of DSpace, ORCID, and GitHub. These projects involve collaborating on multi-institution development teams, traveling to project meetings, and participating in technical and planning discussions.

The Research Data Developer will develop and maintain the infrastructure for interfacing between different repository applications. This includes designing the overall system of applications and infrastructure needed, creating and maintaining these systems, and automating these processes for long-term sustainability. As this developer will be working on public-facing systems, s/he should possess excellent communication skills for discussion of features and implementation details with product stakeholders.


  • Build, test, debug, and document software designed to support research data management, including discovery, curation workflows, and digital preservation; assist with deployments
  • Integrate with data sources such as ORCID, Globus (data transfer needs, larger than G), cloud storage, and existing data repositories.
  • Plan and estimate work on software projects and evaluate third-party software.
  • Analyze, transform, migrate, and process data and metadata.
  • Build tools and workflows to validate research data submissions. Automate and streamline manual or inefficient tasks.
  • With PPPL IT and Library IT staff.
  • Represent PPPL’s interests by participating in open source software development communities by contributing code, participating in joint planning and architecting, writing documentation, and performing code review.
  • With/under the direction of Princeton University and PPPL IT staff, plan and architect new applications and deployment strategies. Research, prototype, and automate deployment of related systems and services, such as data storage, backups, search indexes, media servers, and parallel processing queues.


Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.
  • Minimum of three years of experience, with similar responsibilities, working in an environment that includes complex software systems, object-oriented programming, web-based applications and services, and distributed architecture.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Essential minimum required knowledge, skills, competencies, and abilities

    • Familiarity with best practices for data modeling and data management

    • Experience with research data management and/or institutional repositories

    • Experience building complex web forms that drive workflows and meet contemporary usability guidelines using modern HTML, CSS, or Javascript frameworks for researcher usability (front-end interfaces)

    • Demonstrated experience with test-driven development

    • Ability to work in a Linux-based environment

    • Willingness to learn new technologies and data/metadata formats

    • Strong oral and written communication skills

  • Preferred knowledge, skills, abilities, experience, and other education

    • Demonstrated experience with an object oriented language, preferably Ruby or Java

    • Advanced degree in Computer Science, Library Science, Geographic Information Systems, or another research field.

    • Experience with relevant metadata formats; ideally with archival and/or geospatial metadata formats

    • Familiarity with databases such as SQL, PHP, or DotNet

    • Experience with Python or R (data analysis language)

    • Experience with data harvesting APIs such as OAI-PMH (repositories of all kinds to talk to each other) or ResourceSync

    • Experience contributing to open source software projects

    • Proficiency with common tools for source code version control, collaboration, and deployment; such as Git, GitHub, Capistrano or Ansible

    • Experience with DevOps and deployment automation

    • Experience with PeopleSoft

Working Conditions:

  • Must be able to work remotely.
  • Ability and willingness to work extended hours to deliver critical project milestones.
  • Desk and computer work are required.
  • Work will be at PPPL.
  • Remote work may be required on a periodic or as needed basis.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. All PPPL employees are required to disclose any participation in a foreign government talent recruitment program and may be required to withdraw from such programs to remain employed under the DOE Contract.



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