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System Administrator: Operations
Oxford Road, Manchester

Job reference: PSS-13204

Location: Oxford Road, Manchester

Closing date (DD/MM/YYYY): 16/01/2019

Salary: £32,236 - £39,609 Per Annum (according to relevant experience)

Employment type: Fixed Term

Faculty/Organisation: Professional Services

Division: ITS Research IT

Hours per week: Full time

Contract Duration: 12 months from commencement of contract

School / Directorate: Directorate of IT Services

About IT Services

IT Services at the University of Manchester is a vibrant and fast moving department, we focus on delivering excellent customer service and quality services for our staff, students and researchers. 

Find out more about our organisation and values:

About This Role

This role will be based within Research IT, part of IT Services at The University of Manchester.  Research IT is a dynamic and growing group with a remit to develop and support platforms (i.e., services and infrastructure) which are essential to an ever-increasing number of researchers: from modelling atmospheric dynamics to nuclear power stations; from finding biomarkers to better target drugs to patients, to simulations of the stock markets; and recently 3D visualisation of archaeological digs! 

The successful applicant will work, as part of a team, with other Research IT system administrators, alongside research application specialists and research software engineers, to support University academics, researchers and PGRs.  Work will be highly varied and may include:  development and support of The University Research Computing Ecosystem ( which includes HPC/HTC clusters, dedicated data storage and VM infrastructure;  augmentation of The Ecosystem with regional (e.g. N8-HPC) and cloud-based platforms;  development and support of IT infrastructure local to individual research groups;  technical consultancy (e.g., helping academics with grant applications);  and also helping researchers “out and about” on campus as part of research-related field support. 

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities or Duties

The range of duties will include:

  • Support users and applications within The University Research Computing Ecosystem, including:computational platforms, research virtual machines and research data storage; on-site, regional and (soon) cloud-based platforms.

  • To contribute to the operational planning of support of The Ecosystem.

  • To provide face-to-face user support in the field, including support of research workstations and point infrastructure supporting laboratory-based instruments.

  • To assist with education of users through documentation and training.

  • To manage requests and incidents reported through the ticketing system, and solve technical problems associated with these.

Essential role requirements

  • Experience of working within an academic research environment.

  • Previous relevant work experience and a degree/professional qualification or substantial experience in a similar role.

Skills and Competencies

Good understanding of:

  • The Linux operating system and its installation, administration and support;

  • Installation and maintenance of the Linux operating system on “bare metal”;

  • Virtual machines and cloud infrastructure, and its deployment and use in practical situations;

  • Storage “shares” configuration and maintenance, including storage protocols, access control and security thereof;

  • Computer network protocols and security, including the principles of network VLANS and subnets, network firewalling and routing.


  • Excellent interpersonal skills.

Be able to:

  • Take the initiative, be proactive, take appropriate action and anticipate problems and opportunities;

  • Work as an effective part of a team;

  • Establish productive relationships with people from a variety of backgrounds and with a variety of skills, including other IT Services staff, academics, researchers and PGRs;

  • Ensure that full account is taken of users’ real and stated needs in delivery of IT services.

Person Specifications — Desirable Knowledge and Skills:

Qualifications and Experience

  • Experience of using a shared computational platform such as Condor or SGE.

Skills and Competencies

  • Installation and maintenance of OS-X and/or MS Windows Server.

  • Linux containerization, e.g., Singularity or Docker.

  • Understand the principles of anonymization of sensitive data.

  • SQL and other databases (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL).

When addressing the person specification criteria in your application for the role, please ensure you make reference to the specific role requirements above.

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status.  All appointments are made on merit.

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies

Enquiries about vacancy shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Simon Hood


General enquiries:


Tel:      0161 275 4499

Technical support:


Tel:      0161 850 2004

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date

Further Particulars



The closing date for this job has now passed.