Database Administrator/Senior Database Administrator

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope

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 science enterprise. At NCSA, University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing one third of the Fortune 50 for more than 30 years by bringing industry, researchers and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.

NCSA is currently seeking one or more Database Administrators/Senior Database Administrators to work as part of the research development team providing database services for large-scale, national projects, including the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and Dark Energy Survey, optical astronomical surveys. These multi-year projects require database technology to hold and serve up to petabytes of data to the astronomical community and also have numerous internal databases which are used to monitor, record and assess the quality of the data processing effort for the surveys. Current architectural efforts are focused on applying both commercial and open source database tools at scale. The position has considerable focus on LSST, which is planning on having a multi-petabyte, spatially-shared, advanced relational database to serve the U.S. astronomical community. Work includes ensuring reliable database operations; researching and migrating the database to more capable hardware, participating in and developing new answers to data challenges and operations; evolving the existing schema; providing efficient queries and ingest; and serving as liaison with collaborating institutions.

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.

Key responsibilities

Database Administrator
  • Design, implement and deploy services and system architectures for very large databases used in research science.
  • Contribute to open-source database development projects.
  • Analyze and explain the database in the context of an overall system.
  • Sustain daily operations of the system, including capacity planning, backups and recovery, and performance and tuning.
  • Make technical decisions for database architecture, implementation and operations for the database system in the context of scientific projects.
Senior Database Administrator

These include the responsibilities of the Database Administrator in addition to the following:

  • Work, often in an advisory capacity, with project teams, application managers and developers to establish and maintain enterprise database management systems environments required for the development, testing, training, evaluation, verification, implementation and operation of distributed applications, including online transactional systems, operational data stores and data warehousing environments.

Required education and experience

  • BA/BS degree in computer science, engineering or related science field required. Alternate degree fields will be considered if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to current NCSA business needs).
  • At least 1 year of experience with large databases, technical databases or data warehouses (including implementation of large database tables and hardware). 3 years' experience required for the senior level.
  • Programming skills and experience appropriate for automating databases.
  • Excellent interpersonal (including oral and written communications) skills.

Preferred experience

  • Background/interest in science and engineering research and education.
  • Experience with internal data storage concepts of at least one relational database highly desirable.
  • Excellent interpersonal (including oral and written communications) skills (senior level).

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 and hires may occur before the closing date; however, all applications received by the closing date will receive full consideration.

To apply, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter and CV/resume by the close date, October 31, 2017. Contact information for three references must be included on the application (letters maybe also be uploaded or sent to the contact below). 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.

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. Visit

For further information regarding our application procedures, you may visit or email