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    Opportunity: Assistant Research Programmer @ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign National Center for Supercomputing Applications -- Urbana-Champaign, IL (US)
    Submitted by Devin Scheidemantel; posted on Thursday, December 09, 2021


    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 currently seeking Assistant Research Programmer / Research Programmer / Senior Research Programmer / Lead Research Programmer to provide advanced application support for Illinois campus, NCSA and national resource researchers, and to help them effectively use the unique attributes of the respective resources to accomplish research goals. This position will participate in the advanced research support programs of national, industrial, state and campus projects requiring advanced research support for the larger user community.

    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

    This position provides advanced applications support for campus and national users of campus and national computing platforms, to allow these users to productively achieve their research goals through effective use of the computing platforms. Advanced applications support within the scope of this position spans advanced user support activities across a range of existing and developing areas. The areas include: application optimization, parallelization, scaling and algorithm development; application of artificial intelligence techniques in scientific computing; accelerator use in applications; grid-based applications; scientific visualization; independent software vendor applications support. This position will participate in the advanced research support programs requiring advanced research support for the larger user community. Creativity, independence, a strong work ethic, as well as coordination with project principal investigator(s) will be critical. This position will represent the group at meetings, give presentations at conferences or other venues, and contribute to publications and grant proposals.

    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.


    Major Duties and Responsibilities of Assistant Research Programmer:

    The Assistant Research Programmer, both independently and in collaboration with team members, will perform the following:

    Research Application Duties: (65%)
    • Provide general and in-depth support/guidance in multiple areas of specialization, which include the following: accelerator programming, algorithm and library analysis, evaluation, selection, and implementation; architectures; system hardware and software; system and application performance simulation and modeling; and application performance evaluation.
    • Work collaboratively with research groups to assist in enhancing performance of their codes, with a special focus on advanced cluster architectures, cloud resources and large shared memory systems, allocated through projects and programs such as NCSA strategic efforts, sponsored research projects, campus research IT projects, and industrial projects.
    • Enable users to adopt new paradigms and algorithms, such as the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning with their scientific applications, use of accelerators such as general purpose graphical processing units (GPUs).
    • Use available software tools to analyze performance of workflows and codes, as well as assist in identifying and installing appropriate software libraries, and collaborating with users to use them effectively.
    • Apply, when available, domain knowledge to improve academic research applications to help researchers define and solve leading edge problems, provide consulting expertise to researchers across a variety of science and engineering domains to leverage synergies across projects, and contribute to community codes to support a broad range of communities.
    Research Communication: (25%)
    • Interact with staff and users in a wide range of educational, scientific, and engineering disciplines using all manner of communication modes: in person, email, ticket system, chat/IM, and phone.
    • Meeting regularly with researchers to learn about and understand current and future research computation activities and needs.
    • Providing researchers with information on recommended use of computation services and resources available to them at the local, campus, regional, and national levels.
    • Contribute to user training as appropriate (i.e., author and maintain documentation and training materials, provide classroom- and/or web-based training, present seminars/tutorials at workshops, etc.).
    • Represent the group at meetings and give presentations at conferences or other venues.
    • Contribute to publications, technical reports, and documentation.
    • Serve on relevant conference publication review committees.
    • Communicate findings from research development activities above with project colleagues, including primary investigators, to be used as needed in advanced user support collaborations.
    Proposal Development (10%)
    • Contribute to benchmarking efforts, as required.
    • Participate in requirements gathering from key proposal stakeholders.
    • Contribute to proposal document writing.
    Key Relationships of Assistant Research Programmer:
    Project team members (internal and external), principal investigator (PI), User Services division leaders, and the Program Office Director.

    This position reports to the Senior Technical Program Manager who reports to the User Services Associate Director. This position also collaborates and engages with undergraduate and graduate students.


    Required Education and Experience of Assistant Research Programmer:
    • BA/BS degree (advanced degree preferred) in engineering, mathematics, science, computer science, or related field. Alternative degree fields will be considered if accompanied by equivalent experience.
    • At least one year of experience in programming, development, optimization, porting, and/or scaling libraries or application codes.
    • 6 months of experience researching, presenting, and/or publishing technical projects or papers in a professional or academic setting.


    Preferred Education and Experience of Assistant Research Programmer:
    • Advanced degree in engineering, mathematics, science, computer science, or related field.
    Preferred Experience of Assistant Research Programmer:
    • At least one year of programming experience on high performance computers including development, optimization, porting, and/or scaling one or more parallel libraries or application codes written in Fortran, C, and/or C++, Python, and utilizing programming models such as MPI and OpenMP.
    • At least one year of experience developing codes to take advantage of specialized hardware (GPUs, SSE, etc.) using programming models such as OpenACC, OpenCL and CUDA.
    • At least one year of experience with data analytics paradigms including hadoop, spark, R, etc.
    • At least one year of experience with machine learning and deep learning methods, such as tensorflow and pytorch.
    • At least one year facilitating research computing in a research environment.


    This is a regular academic professional position at NCSA and is an annually renewable, 12/12, 100%-time appointment with regular University benefits.


    Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. Possibility to work at a Chicago office is possible in some cases.


    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.


    For further information regarding our application procedures, you may visit or email wds[at]

    To apply, please create your candidate profile at and upload your cover letter and CV/resume by the close date 1/18/2022. 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.

    As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.




    University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. Convictions are not a bar to employment.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.

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