Senior Research Software Engineer (Research Fellow)

Updated: 3 months ago
Location: Cardiff, WALES


Please note that this job is open to Cardiff University staff only

Senior Research Software Engineer (Research Fellow) – Gravitational Physics and Astronomy

We seek to recruit an enthusiastic, highly motivated scientist with proven intellectual and technical abilities who will work as a Research Software Engineer (Research Fellow) with the Gravity Exploration Institute at Cardiff University (  This post offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to our understanding of the Universe through the observation of gravitational waves, through collaboration with researchers at Cardiff, throughout the UK and internationally in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.  The primary role will be to develop and optimize software and tools to ensure efficient use of computational resources available on the Hawk cluster at Cardiff. Additionally, the RSE will contribute to the development of tools to facilitate interaction and collaboration, including identity management and access control.  The applicant will be expected to collaborate closely with RSEs from Supercomputing Wales, within the IRIS community ( ) in the UK and globally within the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.

Applicants must hold a PhD in a relevant area of computational physical science, or have equivalent relevant industrial experience, and must have demonstrable software engineering skills that support high-throughput and high-performance research activities.
This is a full-time, fixed-term post at the Grade 7 level, starting on August 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter, and continuing until 30 September 2021.

Salary: £42,792 - £49,553 per annum (Grade 7).  The appointment will be made, dependent on relevant qualifications and experience.

Informal enquiries about the post can be made by email to Prof. Stephen Fairhurst ( ), Prof. Patrick Sutton ( ) or Dr Sarah Ragan (
Informal enquiries about working at Cardiff University can be made to Sadia Qamar (

Closing date: Friday, 31 July 2020

Cardiff University and the School of Physics and Astronomy are committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity. Our inclusive environment welcomes applications from talented people from diverse backgrounds. We strongly welcome female applicants and those from any ethnic minority group, as they are underrepresented in our School. The School of Physics & Astronomy has a Juno Practitioner accreditation that recognises good employment practice and a commitment to develop the careers of women working in science. The University is committed to ensuring that we sustain a positive working environment for all staff to flourish and achieve. As part of this commitment, the University has developed a flexible and responsive framework of procedures to support staff in managing their work and personal commitments wherever possible. Applications are welcome from individuals who wish to work part-time or full.
Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Education

1.   Postgraduate degree at PhD level in a related subject area or relevant industrial experience
Knowledge, Skills and Experience

2.   Recognised as an authority in the field of software engineering techniques to support HTC/HPC-enabled research activities in gravitational physics.
3.   Knowledge of and experience with collaboration tools such as AAAI (Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting Infrastructure).
4.   An established expertise and proven portfolio of research and/or relevant industrial experience in computing in support of one or more of the following research fields:
High throughput/high performance computing Grid or cloud computing Analysis of large/complex data sets

5.   Proven substantial record of publications in high-impact national journals.
6.   Proven ability to attain competitive research funding along with a strong portfolio of research grants

Communication and Team Working

7.   Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication
8.   Proven ability to lead and develop a research team
9.   Proven ability to develop networks in order to contribute to long term developments
10. Proven ability to lead and develop project teams, with the ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working within work
Desirable Criteria

  • Relevant professional qualification(s).
  • Evidence of collaborations with industry.
  • Proven ability to work without close supervision
  •  Proven ability to adapt to the changing requirements of the Higher Education community.
  • Evidence of ability to participate in and develop both internal and external networks and utilise them to enhance the teaching and research activities of the School.
  • A willingness to take responsibility for academically related administration.

  • Additional Information

    Main Function

    Combine expertise in programming with a detailed understanding of research in gravitational physics to provide extensive computational support to researchers in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration.  The primary role will be to develop and optimize software and tools to ensure efficient use of computational resources available on the Hawk cluster at Cardiff.  To develop tools to facilitate interaction and collaboration, including identity management and access control. To contribute to the research record of the School through commitment to carrying out research leading to the publishing of work in high-quality journals, produce high quality reports for research collaborators and contribute to the identification of new projects and funding applications in gravitational physics. To pursue excellence in research and to inspire others to do the same

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