Systems Administrator (Operations)

Updated: 11 months ago
Location: Manchester, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 02 Jul 2018

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:

This role

This role will be based within Research IT, which is a 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. 

The post is for a fixed term, starting as soon as possible and ending on 31 March 2020.

Some of the key responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties of the role 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.

Specific role requirements

In addition to the Person Specification criteria the successful applicant must have the following:

Essential Qualifications and Experience

  • Experience of working within an academic research environment.
  • Previous relevant work experience and a degree/professional qualification or substantial experience in a similar role.

Essential Skills and Competencies

A 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.

Essential Person skills

  • excellent interpersonal skills.
  • must be able to take the initiative, be proactive, take appropriate action and anticipate problems and opportunities;
  • must be able to work as an effective part of a team;
  • must be able to 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;
  • must be able to ensure that full account is taken of users’ real and stated needs in delivery of IT services.

Desirable Knowledge and Skills

  • Experience of using a shared computational platform such as Condor or SGE.
  • Installation and maintenance of OS-X and/or MS Windows Server.
  • Understand the principles of anonymization of sensitive data.
  • SQL and other databases (e.g., MySQL, PostgreSQL). 

As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons. As the School is committed to Athena SWAN principles, we would particularly welcome applications from women, who are currently under-represented at this grade. All appointments will be made on merit.

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

Enquiries about the 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

View or Apply

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