Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC250363
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £30782 - £33459
Date Posted 25 July 2019
Grade UKRI-Band D
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 25 August 2019
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £30,782 - £33,459 per annum (pro-rata if part time hours)
Grade: UKRI-D
Contract Type: Open Ended
Hours: Full Time/Part Time minimum of 25 hours per week
Closing Date: 25th August 2019


The STFC Cloud is a computing facility within the Scientific Computing Department (SCD) which provides elastic computer resources to scientists within STFC and its collaborators across a variety of different subject areas. Users of the STFC Cloud include the STFC facilities (the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, the Central Laser Facility and the Diamond Light Source) and international collaborations including the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), amongst many others. It is based on OpenStack and uses the latest technologies to meet the needs of scientists.

The Cloud team has a vacancy for a highly motivated IT professional to support the operation and development of this extensive and growing computing infrastructure.

SCD provides world class leading edge compute and data storage infrastructure to support the work of world class science both within STFC, the UK and internationally.

The department creates and manages the underpinning scientific computing infrastructure used to provide an extensive range of services.

The post is based at the STFC Rutherford laboratory in Oxfordshire.

List of Duties/Work Programme/Responsibilities:

  • experience in the management of Linux (RHEL/SL/CENTOS) machines, ideally in a production environment
  • providing operational support for the STFC Cloud
  • onboard new user communities to the Cloud
  • deploy and test new upgrades of the OpenStack platform
  • carry out performance tuning and optimisation
  • diagnose and manage the most complex and challenging of software problems, where necessary interacting with upstream developers and users to understand problems and obtain resolution
  • carry out routine patching and general system maintenance
  • automate use of system tools and routine operations
  • experience of performance and exception monitoring tools, particularly Nagios, InfluxDB, Logstash and Elastic Search
  • experience working in a 24/7production environment.

Relevant training in the operation of a production OpenStack Cloud will be provided.

Technical Skills Required

  • expertise in Linux/Unix systems administration
  • expertise in the use of configuration management tools, particularly
  • expertise in software integration and testing
  • ability to diagnose system and service faults and analyse problems
  • expertise in system administration procedures and practice
  • expertise in cloud or virtualisation technologies such as OpenStack.

Personal Skills and Attributes

  • ability to work in a large-scale production IT environment
  • excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team
  • ability to work independently and manage small projects.

Any other Relevant Information

  • UK and overseas travel when required
  • taking a routine share in an on-call work system providing out of hours cover
  • occasional work within a noisy datacentre environment (ear defenders are mandatory)
  • there are rapid-flashing LEDs present in the machine room.

Organization Description

UK Research and Innovation is a new entity that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation. More information can be found at

The Science and Technology Facilities Council is a world-leading multi-disciplinary science organisation, and our goal is to deliver economic, societal, scientific and international benefits to the UK and its people – and more broadly to the world.

Shortlisting and Interview Criteria


  • experience managing Linux systems
  • experience managing large scale cloud or virtualisation production platforms
  • knowledge of system integration
  • ability to diagnose system faults and analyse problems and data
  • excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team.


  • experience of system integration, particularly in large scale environments (>100s of systems)
  • experience delivering high availability services to external customers
  • experience of performance and exception monitoring tools, particularly Nagios, InfluxDB, Logstash and Elastic Search
  • experience of virtualisation, particularly Hyper-V and/or the provision of cloud computing services
  • experience using configuration management and provisioning systems such as Puppet, Chef and particularly Quattor
  • experience working in a public or private cloud environment
  • experience working with OpenStack
  • experience working in a scientific computing environment
  • managing data workflows
  • experience working in a 24/7 production environment
  • experience working in scientific computing fields or with ‘Grid’ infrastructure
  • degree in a scientific or computing discipline
  • ability for occasional UK and Overseas travel.

As this job does not fulfil the Home Office Code of Practice criterion for obtaining sponsored migrant worker status we will be unable to apply for sponsorship for anyone not eligible to work in the UK. At interview, all shortlisted candidates are required to bring with them identification documents and original documents that prove they hold or can obtain the right to work in the UK. You can check your eligibility here:

UKRI supports research in areas that include animal health, agriculture and food security, and bioscience for health which includes research on animals, genetic modification and stem cell research. Whilst you may not have direct involvement in this type of research, you should consider whether this conflicts with your personal values or beliefs.

To enable us to hire the very best people we will conduct a full and comprehensive pre-employment check as an essential part of the recruitment process on all individuals that are offered a position with UKRI. This will include a security check and an extreme organisations affiliation check.

Employee Benefits

UK Research and Innovation recognises and values employees as individuals and aim to provide a pay and rewards package that motivates staff to perform to the best of their ability. The reward package includes a flexible working scheme, a Career Average Revalued Earnings pension scheme, 30 days annual leave allowance and a number of other benefits.

Developing Talent

We are committed to developing employees in their roles throughout their career. Learning and development plans enable employees to continue their professional development through training and development opportunities such as e-learning, classroom training and on-the-job experiences. We encourage our employees to share their learning across teams and organisations.

Equal Opportunities

We strive to make decisions based on individual merit and ability. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and promote equality of opportunity in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. As holders of Disability Confident Employer status, we guarantee to interview all applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum criteria for the vacancy.

Online applications only. Please submit a covering letter and CV ensuring that the IRC reference is included in the filename description of each document uploaded. Please note that failure to address the above criteria or submitted without a covering letter may result in your application not being considered.

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