Science Computing Specialist

Science Computing Specialist
NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
Victoria – British Columbia
RCO, English
This is a 3 years term position.
Assignments and secondments may be considered according to NRC’s policies.
Your Challenge

Help bring research to life and drive your career forward with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canada’s premiere research and technology organization.
We are looking for a Science Computing Specialist to support NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics (HAA) in Victoria, BC. The Science Computing Specialist would be someone who shares our core values of impact, accountability, leadership, integrity and collaboration.
The Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) is an inter-disciplinary team of approximately twenty scientists, software engineers, and operations staff. The CADC has developed a set of sophisticated tools and services to support and enhance the research efforts of Canadian (and international) astronomers. The CADC continues to expand its role by partnering with the Canadian Advanced Network For Astronomical Research (CANFAR) and Compute Canada (CC) to integrate its services with cloud-computing and storage technologies.
Working under the direction of the Group Leader, Optical Astronomy (CADC), you will provide scientific and computing support for researchers using the CANFAR platform, analysing their workflow and providing suggestions for how to best utilize CANFAR and CADC services, analysing problems with CANFAR/CC services and working with the various teams to define and, where necessary, implement solutions.
You will also support the migration of CADC and CANFAR services to CC infrastructure, acting as a technical liaison between CADC/CANFAR operations staff and software developers and CC support staff: this will require you to develop a detailed understanding of CADC/CANFAR services and advocate for CC technical solutions that fit their needs.
This work involves expert-level understanding of astronomical research processes, data, and software, knowledge of the OpenStack platform and related processing and cloud-computing technologies, and the ability to gather and write clear planning and requirements documents. Given the close work with large scientific collaborations, there will be opportunity to contribute scientifically within these teams.

Screening Criteria
Applicants must demonstrate within the content of their application that they meet the following screening criteria in order to be given further consideration as candidates.
Ph.D. in astronomy or astrophysics.

Experience working in a multi-disciplinary team that provides support to astronomical researchers, particularly in research computing.
Experience providing user and system support in a technical or research computing environment.
Experience with a variety of virtualization and Infrastructure-as-a-Service technologies (IaaS).
Significant experience configuring and administering systems running the Linux operating system
Experience developing software using Python, shell scripting, C/C++ and/or Java, and databases.
Experience with a wide range of packages and languages used in astronomy.
A record of publication of original research in peer-reviewed publications is required to demonstrate experience.
Experience in database application programming would be considered an asset.
Experience with systems orchestration and configuration management would be considered an asset.
Experience in science and software requirements development or in developing software in a team environment with external stakeholders would be considered an asset.

Candidates possessing a combination of a graduate degree in a related field and relevant experience in astronomy/astrophysics may be considered.

Language Requirements
Assessment Criteria
Candidates will be assessed on the basis of the following criteria:
Technical Competencies
Advanced knowledge of current observational techniques and associated data reduction techniques.
Expert knowledge of the astronomy/astrophysics research processes.
Solid knowledge of OpenStack components and client tools.
Knowledge of virtualization and IaaS technologies besides OpenStack.
Solid knowledge of software development in Python and shell scripting languages, C/C++ and/or Java, and databases.
Advanced knowledge of astronomical software tools and packages.
Solid knowledge of HTCondor.
Solid working knowledge of statistical analysis.
Demonstrated ability to arrive at innovative solutions to astronomical processing problems.
Demonstrated ability to efficiently produce clear, well-structured, and well-written technical documentation.
Ability to relate astronomical data analysis methodologies to non-astronomers.
Knowledge of the basic goals and protocols of the Virtual Observatory would be considered an asset.

Behavioural Competencies
Creative Thinking (level 3)
Teamwork (level 2)
Communication (level 2)
Results Orientation (level 2)
For this position, NRC will evaluate candidates using the following competency profile(s):

View all competency profiles.

Salary Range
This position is classified as a Research Council Officer (RCO), a group that is unique to the NRC. The RCO group uses a person-based classification system instead of the more common duties-based classification system. Candidates are remunerated based on their expertise, skill, outcomes and impacts of their previous work experience. The salary scale for this group is vast, from $49,670 to $140,418 per annum, which permits for employees of all levels from new graduates to world renowned experts to be fairly compensated for their contributions.
Condition of Employment
Reliability Status
Relocation assistance will be determined in accordance with NRC’s directives.
An eligibility list may be established for similar positions.
Some travelling may be required.
This position is being advertised internally and externally simultaneously, however first consideration will be given to internal NRC applicants.
In order to ensure a prompt and efficient processing of applications, candidates are encouraged to provide, along with their résumé, a detailed covering letter explaining how they meet each of the requirements of this position (education, experience, language requirements) by providing concrete examples. In addition, the candidate is encouraged to describe in detail when, where and how he/she gained the experience.
Job description available upon request.
We thank all those who apply, however only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.
Preference will be given to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada. Please include citizenship information in your application.
The incumbent must adhere to safe workplace practices at all times.
Closing Date
Posted until filled.
Application Process:
Please read the following instructions carefully to ensure efficient processing of your application:
Résumés must be submitted by e-mail using the “Send Resume” button. Please do not modify the subject line of the email and ensure that you answer all of the pre-populated application questions found in the email. You will receive an email confirming receipt of your application.
The NRC is an employer who values diversity in its workforce.
Accommodation is available to all candidates retained for further assessment.
Telephone: 613-991-2024