Research Scientist(s)

Research and Education

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) advances discovery and innovation through extreme-scale computing, science-enabling software, and the skills of our expert staff. The center is part of the flagship University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—a world leader in research, teaching, and public engagement—and is located in a micro-urban community that combines cultural vibrancy with affordability and quality of life.

For more than 30 years, NCSA has partnered with visionaries to discover solutions to grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. Our advanced digital resources and world-class staff push research beyond the unimaginable. Can you imagine? We can.

NCSA is currently seeking one or more Research Scientists in computational and data-intensive computing who will accelerate the development of an active program in high-performance computational, data storage, and other facilities, as well as intellectual resources, which enable computational science of unprecedented scale. The position will focus on research and development of models and tools, as well as provide publishing opportunities. The position will also work on various aspects of data-intensive science, including working with various programs and projects within NCSA and associated with faculty and other scientific departments.

Key responsibilities

  • Research and Development
    • Research and develop software for open source and/or community tools, such as yt, widgyts, tools in the yt-project ecosystem, and the nuclear engineering and data visualization communities.
    • Conduct research in nuclear engineering, data visualization, applied mathematics and/or related areas of engineering, physics, and computational science. Ensure that research outputs include publishable and/or openly accessible deliverables (such as software).
    • Develop models, tools, and policy for open access publications and data.
    • Lead and assist in directing the development of the yt project, including new features and code development, code review, onboarding new team members, holding maintainer and triage meetings, participating as a member of the yt steering committee, as well as other community development work.
    • Conduct outreach to groups outside of astronomy for the utilization of yt, including software groups at the national labs, open source nuclear engineering tools, and visualization tools.
  • Project Advancement and Outreach
    • Coordinate, collaborate, and develop new projects with faculty, postdocs, and students on campus, especially in the nuclear engineering, computer science, and iSchool departments.
    • Engage with and supervise graduate students and postdocs in these departments. This will include task assignment and scheduling, performance monitoring/feedback, and mentorship.
    • Build collaborations between the Data Exploration Lab and non-astronomy domains (specifically those in the earth sciences, nuclear engineering, materials sciences and quantum Monte Carlo) to build data analysis and visualization tools, and conducting scientific research.
  • Development and Local Engagement
    • Work with Principal Investigators in developing grant applications and participating as senior investigator on appropriate proposals.
    • Disseminate research and technology through conference presentations, publications, and workshops.
    • Participate in appropriate NCSA activities and meetings.

Required education and experience

  • Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, physics, or related field required. Alternative degree fields will be considered if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to current NCSA projects and technologies).
  • At least two years of parallel programming experience including development, porting, and evaluating the scalability of one or more parallel applications/libraries written in Python, Fortran, C, and/or C++.
  • Experience with the yt project.
  • Experience with data sharing tools and platforms.

Preferred experience

  • Advanced knowledge of engineering or physics disciplines, as well as simulation and analysis codes and tools in these disciplines.
  • Strong understanding of the landscape of data sharing, data tools, and computational systems for deployment and maintenance of those tools.
  • Strong diagnostic and problem-solving skills/abilities.
  • Ability to understand complex computational science applications.
  • Ability to architect software applications and software systems.
  • Ability to learn quickly and work with a wide variety of applications, system hardware, and system software.
  • Ability to interact with both technical and non-technical personnel, and clearly communicate results and their importance in presentations and papers.

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. For further information regarding our application procedures email

To apply, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter and CV/resume as a single document by the close date, October 29, 2020. Contact information for three references must be included in 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.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit

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