Assistant Director/Senior Assistant Director

Integrated Cyberinfrastructure Directorate

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.

In this role you will oversee and continually advance NCSA's computing operations and cyberinfrastructure services to ensure the reliable and optimized delivery of state-of-the-art and innovative services to researchers, scientists, Industry Partners, and other NCSA collaborators. Advance NCSA's computing operations, data storage, networking, security, and database services, as well as a host of other cyberinfrastructure related services to ensure the reliable, and optimized delivery of those services.

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

Assistant Director

The Assistant Director reports directly to the Integrated Cyberinfrastructure (ICI) Associate Director (AD) and serves along with the ICI AD in leading ICI. The Assistant Director has the primary responsibility to oversee and advance NCSA's computing operations, data storage, networking, security, and database services, as well as a host of other cyberinfrastructure (CI) related services to ensure the reliable, and optimized delivery of those services.

  • Strategic Direction and Leadership (50%)
    • Oversee and advance operational services within the ICI Directorate in support of high-performance computing and multidisciplinary research.
    • Forecast future needs and direct cyberinfrastructure services to meet the growth and demands of future research projects at NCSA.
    • Together with the ICI Associate Director, establish and direct ICI operational goals and strategy.
    • Chair the Infrastructure Information Board (IIB), which discusses, plans and coordinates major CI activities at NCSA. Decide which changes to implement and follow these through to fruition.
    • Review and recommend changes to NCSA's internal operating policies and procedures; ensure and lead implementation of said changes.
    • Optimize activities and environments around software within the ICI Directorate, minimizing strain on team individuals and duplication of effort while simultaneously encouraging team accountability and fostering transparency.
    • Participate in Directorate budgeting activities and make recommendations to the AD on expenditures and spend plans.
    • Identify and prioritize new and innovative initiatives in ICI that keep NCSA on the forefront of advanced computing.
    • Supervise Academic Professional employees, Civil Service employees and student employees, including assigning project tasks, monitoring work and evaluating performance. The Assistant Director should also work to empower their employees, define the broader context of their work, and explain how the team’s work contributes to the success of NCSA as a whole.
  • Research (40%)
    • Direct and oversee operational services within the ICI Directorate in support of multidisciplinary research. Work directly with researchers to determine their unique requirements for ICI services, providing complete research solutions.
    • Working closely with NCSA's strategic research communities, identify the CI needs of researchers and scientists, and determine how to best meet these requirements through the production of NCSA CI.
    • Write proposals to federal, international, and industrial funding agencies for research grants and contracts.
    • Evaluate current trends and anticipate future directions in advanced computing by keeping abreast of research publications and engaging directly with the relevant communities.
  • Outreach (10%)
    • Disseminate collaborative technologies through conference presentations, archival publications, and workshops.
    • Form alliances with academia, international, and industrial partners to foster technology transfer and to provide computational research programming consultation.
    • Build collaborations with academic researchers and ties with NCSA industrial and international partners.
    • Represent NCSA at key national and international meetings.
Senior Assistant Director

The Senior Assistant Director reports directly to the Integrated Cyberinfrastructure (ICI) Associate Director (AD) and serves along with the ICI AD in leading ICI. The Senior Assistant Director has the primary responsibility to oversee and advance NCSA's computing operations, data storage, networking, security, and database services, as well as a host of other cyberinfrastructure (CI) related services to ensure the reliable, and optimized delivery of those services. The Senior Assistant Director will organize and lead major initiatives and act as the ICI lead when the ICI AD is unavailable.

  • Strategic Direction and Leadership (50%)
    • Oversee and advance operational services within the ICI Directorate in support of high-performance computing and multidisciplinary research.
    • Forecast future needs and direct cyberinfrastructure services to meet the growth and demands of future research projects at NCSA.
    • Together with the ICI Associate Director, establish and direct ICI operational goals and strategy.
    • Chair the Infrastructure Information Board (IIB), which discusses, plans and coordinates major CI activities at NCSA. Decide which changes to implement and follow these through to fruition.
    • Review and recommend changes to NCSA's internal operating policies and procedures; ensure and lead implementation of said changes.
    • Optimize activities and environments around software within the ICI Directorate, minimizing strain on team individuals and duplication of effort while simultaneously encouraging team accountability and fostering transparency.
    • Participate in Directorate budgeting activities and make recommendations to the AD on expenditures and spend plans.
    • Identify and prioritize new and innovative initiatives in ICI that keep NCSA on the forefront of advanced computing.
    • Supervise Academic Professional employees, Civil Service employees and student employees, including assigning project tasks, monitoring work and evaluating performance. The Senior Assistant Director should also work to empower their employees, define the broader context of their work, and explain how the team’s work contributes to the success of NCSA as a whole.
    • Provide leadership and coordination of all ICI initiatives.
    • Serve as Lead of the ICI Directorate when the ICI Associate Director is unavailable.
  • Research (40%)
    • Direct and oversee operational services within the ICI Directorate in support of multidisciplinary research. Work directly with researchers to determine their unique requirements for ICI services, providing complete research solutions.
    • Working closely with NCSA's strategic research communities, identify the CI needs of researchers and scientists, and determine how to best meet these requirements through the production of NCSA CI.
    • Write proposals to federal, international, and industrial funding agencies for research grants and contracts.
    • Evaluate current trends and anticipate future directions in advanced computing by keeping abreast of research publications and engaging directly with the relevant communities.
  • Outreach (10%)
    • Disseminate collaborative technologies through conference presentations, archival publications, and workshops.
    • Form alliances with academia, international, and industrial partners to foster technology transfer and to provide computational research programming consultation.
    • Build collaborations with academic researchers and ties with NCSA industrial and international partners.
    • Represent NCSA at key national and international meetings.

Required education and experience

Assistant Director
  • Bachelor's degree required in computer science or electrical engineering. Alternative degree fields will be considered/accepted if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to current NCSA activities).
  • Five years' required experience in operations of computing and data environments.
  • Experience managing technical staff.
  • Experience participating in cyberinfrastructure (CI) development and deployment.
  • One year of experience researching, presenting, and/or publishing technical projects or papers in a professional or academic setting.
Senior Assistant Director
  • Bachelor's degree required in computer science or electrical engineering. Alternative degree fields will be considered/accepted if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to current NCSA activities).
  • Ten years' experience in operations of computing and data environments.
  • Five years' experience managing technical staff.
  • Experience leading and participating in cyberinfrastructure (CI) development and deployment.
  • One year of experience researching, presenting, and/or publishing technical projects or papers in a professional or academic setting.

Preferred experience

Assistant Director
  • Experience working with a variety of external funding agencies.
  • Experience working with stakeholders to elicit requirements for current and future needs.
  • Demonstrable writing skills in the form of reports, proposals or white papers.
Senior Assistant Director
  • Experience working with a variety of external funding agencies.
  • Experience working with stakeholders to elicit requirements for current and future needs.
  • Demonstrable writing skills in the form of reports, proposals or white papers.

Key skills/knowledge

Assistant Director
  • Demonstrable organizational skills.
  • Ability to gap-fill and problem-solve.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communications skills.
  • Ability to interact with a diverse population including University faculty, administrators, and representatives of industrial partners.
  • Ability to communicate and coordinate cyberinfrastructure activities in the context of larger national CI/scientific efforts.
  • Ability to work with peers to accomplish center-wide goals beyond the ICI Directorate.
Senior Assistant Director
  • Demonstrable organizational skills.
  • Ability to gap-fill and problem-solve.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and verbal communications skills.
  • Ability to interact with a diverse population including University faculty, administrators, and representatives of industrial partners.
  • Ability to communicate and coordinate cyberinfrastructure activities in the context of larger national CI/scientific efforts.
  • Ability to work with peers to accomplish center-wide goals beyond the ICI Directorate.

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 email ncsa-hr@illinois.edu.

To apply, please create your candidate profile at jobs.illinois.edu and upload your cover letter and CV/resume by the close date, April 26, 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. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. 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.

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 http://go.illinois.edu/EEO.

For further information regarding our application procedures, you may visit www.ncsa.illinois.edu or email NCSA-HR@illinois.edu.