Organisation STFC
Organisation Detail Science and Technology Facilities Council
Reference Number IRC253756
Location Didcot See on Map
Salary £38318 - £44576
Date Posted 07 May 2020
Grade UKRI-Band E
Contract Type Open Ended
Hours Full Time
Closing Date 05 June 2020
Interview Date

Brief Description

Salary: £38,318 to £44,576 per annum (Depending on skills and experience and inclusive of annual allowance)
Grade: E
Contract Type: Open Ended
Hours: Full Time/Part Time (minimum 25 hours per week)
Closing Date: 5th June 2020

The closing date for applications is 5th June 2020, however applications will be reviewed and interviews held on an on-going basis until all vacancies have been filled.

About STFC

At the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), one of Europe’s largest multidisciplinary research organisations, the expertise of our computing staff is key to making our research happen. Consequently we are committed to developing our staff, and training will be provided in relevant areas. We work with the very latest technologies to drive advances in both hardware and software that have genuine real world applications. Whether it is the search for the Higgs Boson and dark matter, analysing climate data or genomics, our systems tackle the biggest and most challenging problems in scientific computing.

About the role

The Scientific Computing Department (SCD) currently has multiple opportunities for Senior Linux Systems Administrators to join the team responsible for the extensive computing infrastructure that supports the large science projects in which SCD participates.

SCD defines, develops and manages the underpinning scientific computing infrastructure used to provide an extensive range of national and international science projects including the GridPP Tier1 service for Particle Physics, the JASMIN super data cluster for environmental science, STFC’s central HPC cluster, a large in-house OpenStack cloud as well as computing support for STFC facilities such as the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility, the Central Laser Facility plus the Diamond Light Source.

The extensive infrastructure we support includes both High Throughput Computing (HTC) and High Performance Computing (HPC), extensive cloud and virtualisation services, large capacity data storage resources and a range of general purpose scientific computing services.

Please see the following for more information –

Key parts of the role will be to

Be a senior member of the team responsible for planning, coordinating and operating the scientific computing resources managed by SCD
Take ownership and responsibility for specific sections of the infrastructure ensuring they run smoothly and meet their operational commitments
Investigate, recommend and deploy new technologies, services and applications as required to enhance the service levels provided
Act as a technical expert from SCD projects during interaction with the science communities to help understand, define and develop future requirements
As the current infrastructure includes advanced applications and middleware deployed across 40000+ CPU cores, 75PB+ online data storage, complex virtualisation and cloud installations all underpinned by high performance networking there are opportunities to further develop skills in a wide range of technologies.

Technical Skills Required

  • Experience in the use and system management of UNIX/Linux
  • Managing a service platform to a high level of availability
  • Ideally additional experience in multiple of
  • Managing large scale computing clusters
  • Multi-Petabyte storage solutions using object-stores or traditional POSIX filesystems
  • Virtualisation and/or Cloud computing systems
  • Distributed or Grid computing, particularly using the UMD/OSG middleware stack
  • System integration, particularly in large scale environments (>100s of systems)
  • Ethernet and TCP/IP networking.

Personal Skills and Attributes

  • Good communication skills both verbal and written
  • The ability to diagnose system faults and analyse problems
  • The ability to work as a team member delivering commitments on time
  • The ability to work independently and manage projects
  • The ability to interact with scientists as well as external collaborators with diverse levels of technical ability.

Any other Relevant Information

  • Able to undertake occasional UK and overseas travel (usually 1-3 days, but up to 1 week)
  • Able to take a routine share in an on-call work system providing out of hours cover (allowance and overtime payments provided).

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 (S) and Interview (I) Criteria or both (S&I)


  • A degree in an IT or other scientific/technical discipline or equivalent experience (S)
  • Experience in System Administration procedures and practice (S&I)
  • Expertise in Unix or Linux Operating Systems (S&I)
  • Good written communication as demonstrated by the quality of the CV and application covering letter (S)
  • Ability to diagnose system faults and analyse problems (I)
  • Ability to work in an IT environment delivering a high level of service availability (I)
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work in a team (I)
  • Ability work independently and manage projects. (I)


  • Specialist knowledge in one or more of the constituent elements of an IT infrastructure such as applications deployment and configuration, differing types of computational hardware, virtualisation/clouds, large scale storage systems or networking. (S&I)

Special Requirements:

  • Able to undertake occasional UK and Overseas travel (usually 1-3 days, but up to 1 week) (I)
  • Able to take a routine share in an on-call work system providing out of hours cover (allowance and overtime payments provided). (I)

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 aims to provide a pay and reward package that motivates staff to the best of their ability. The reward and benefit package includes a flexible working scheme, an excellent Defined Benefit 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.

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:

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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