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Head of Research Software Engineering

Premium Job From University of Glasgow
Recruiter: University of Glasgow
Listed on: 29th October
Location: Glasgow
Salary/Rate: £65,574
Type: Permanent
Start Date: ASAP

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An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Head of Research Software Engineering.

This grade 10 role is a strategic position to found and lead a Research Software Engineering (RSE) group for the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) at the University of Glasgow. MVLS, with over 2,500 staff, is the university's largest college, and its RSE group will be the university's first.  Research Software Engineering will support cutting-edge research, and its impact, by developing professionally usable software tools and applying these to address computational and data challenges across the spectrum of MVLS research, impact and consultancy goals. The Head of Research Software Engineering (HoRSE) will be responsible for partnering with senior leaders within the College and the wider University to define the strategic vision for RSE and develop appropriate delivery structures and key delivery requirements.

The HoRSE will be responsible for forming, developing and leading a new coordinated team of highly skilled Research Software Engineers, and for establishing the appropriate joint working with colleagues and services from across the other Colleges and within University Services. The post holder will also be accountable for developing, and securing senior support for, implementation plans and associated strategic and operational deliverables.

Salary will be competitive within the Grade 10 range and subject to negotiation. dependent on experience, starting at £65,574 per annum.  This is a full time, open ended role.

Job Purpose
This grade 10 role is a strategic position to found and lead a Research Software Engineering (RSE) group for the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) at the University of Glasgow. MVLS, with over 2,500 staff, is the university's largest college, and its RSE group will be the university's first. Research Software Engineering will support cutting-edge research, and its impact, by developing professionally usable software tools and applying these to address computational and data challenges across the spectrum of MVLS research, impact and consultancy goals. The Head of Research Software Engineering (HoRSE) will be responsible for partnering with senior leaders within the College and the wider University to define the strategic vision for RSE and develop appropriate delivery structures and key delivery requirements.
 
The HoRSE will be responsible for forming, developing and leading a new coordinated team of highly skilled Research Software Engineers, and for establishing the appropriate joint working with colleagues and services from across the other Colleges and within University Services. The post holder will also be accountable for developing, and securing senior support for, implementation plans and associated strategic and operational deliverables.
 
The post will be line managed by the Dean of Research Technology and be a member of relevant College committees.
 
Main Duties and Responsibilities
1. Strategic planning and delivery management
1. In partnership with the Dean of Research Technology, define the shape and direction of RSE as a collaborative service that can support and influence cutting edge and collaborative research across the College, and compliment wider University capabilities;
2. Take responsibility for development and delivery of RSE as a collaborative service. Monitor and report on team technical and financial performance by leading the deployment of pooled staff;
3. Allocate/influence and monitor staff workloads, in partnership with direct line managers in the case of distributed team members, to ensure the effective delivery of programmes of collaborative technical development resulting in the delivery of world class research;
4. Forecast team demand and balance this with forecast income to ensure short and long term sustainability of the RSE group. This will involve extensive consultation with Heads of School and School Research Directors, and close joint working with the College Head of Research Operations;
5. Deliver on strategic goals to balance cost recovery and free at point of use support to ensure a broad range of researchers benefit from improving the professionalism of their approach to research software;
6. Lead the RSE team's engagement and advocacy strategy with the academic community and with research funders to identify and deliver upon opportunities for the provision of RSE support. This post will lead strategic and specialist support for the academic community in preparing grant applications which involve RSE collaboration.
 
2. General leadership
1. Lead the College and University's strategic direction in Research Software Engineering;
2. Contribute towards the University's broader strategic goals relating to research excellence and delivery of an ICT strategy for research computing. Manage the relationship between College RSE team and wider University information technology and research and innovation services teams through collaboration with the respective senior leaders;
3. Develop a world leading professional profile through activities including: membership of professional organisations; team organisation of conferences and events; delivery of and contributions to collaborative training events; membership and leadership of national and international RSE events; code reviewing; involvement in national and international computational initiatives;
4. Oversee the design, delivery, assessment and evaluation of high quality innovative programmes of technical training and development which will include identifying learning objectives, developing curricula, selecting appropriate teaching methods, resources and planning, attracting participants and publicising events and gathering feedback.
 
3. Technical Leadership
1. Lead the development of professionally usable software tools and apply these to address computational and data challenges across the spectrum of the University's research to further its research, impact and consultancy goals;
2. Responsible for the strategic development and overall management of the RSE group/functions, marketing services within the University resulting in a pipeline of projects requiring RSE skills, thereby maximising cost recovery and ensuring that the research benefits of the group are accrued across the University;
3. Act as an advocate and promote best practice in software development across the research community, to increase quality of all research outputs and ensure consistent and well-connected development of new tools;
4. Advise on research project development and contribute to the writing of applications for research funding;
5. Contribute to the life of the University and support its community by delivering teaching and training to colleagues and students, including those within the team.
 
4. Staff management and development
1. Manage, motivate and develop staff, through effective line and matrix management, ensuring an appropriate level of skills and knowledge;
2. Create a culture of excellence in technical contributions towards high impact research programs by mentoring and developing talent to create a pipeline of highly skilled and ambitious staff;
3. Provide technical expertise and leadership for the activities of the RSE group, taking overall responsibility for the organisation and deployment of resources within the pool of staff;
4. Forecast demand for the team, recovering staff costs against forecast income and delivering flexible capacity to resource projects for the short and long term;
5. Oversee the development and implementation of processes for allocation of RSE resource to research projects and maintain accurate records for reporting;
6. Manage recruitment to that demand, balancing required skills and the availability of talent;
7. Deliver a program of activities that advocate and promote best practice within the researcher developer (i.e. researchers who develop software) community;
8. Take responsibility for community building within the University's researcher developer and RSE community to increase the quality of research outputs and influence the research strategies pursed by our research community.
 
5. Other duties as assigned
 
Knowledge/Qualifications - Essential
A1: A PhD degree or equivalent professional experience in a field with significant use of computer programming and software engineering;
A2: In depth knowledge of Research Software Engineering techniques and good practise to enable the development of new knowledge, innovation and understanding in the field;
A3: Thorough understanding of institutional management systems and the wider higher education environment, including equal opportunities issues.
 
Skills - Essential
C1: Excellent knowledge of good software engineering and data management practices and ability to enable their wider uptake
C2: Ability to provide influential and reliable strategic technical advice to senior management;
C3: Ability to manage a team of highly specialised software engineers and prioritise complex workloads;
C4: Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including experience in the visual representation of quantitative data, the authoring of research papers or technical reports, and giving talks;
C5: Fluent in at least one programming language (e.g. C, C++, Python, R, Java, Julia);
C6: Capable of working in multiple programming languages and frameworks and constantly striving to deliver technical excellence;
C7: Ability to lead the design, development and maintenance of highly complex, scalable code;
C8: Ability to represent the University to external academic and commercial clients.
 
Experience - Essential
E1: Substantial track record of creating and delivering innovative RSE capabilities of international significance;
E2: Substantial track record of influencing strategic decision making and investment in organisations, including attracting relevant external funding;
E3: Proven experience of stakeholder management at a high level, including management of a personal network within the research computing community;
E4: Experience of engagement with national bodies, well networked and confident in representing Glasgow at a senior level with external bodies;
E5: Experience of managing, prioritising and resourcing a project portfolio;
E6: Proven experience of handling difficult issues in staff management and development;
E7: Experience writing successful research proposals or business cases;
E8: Demonstrable contribution to the development of alternative research roles and careers;
E9: Broad knowledge of numerical modelling, data management and analysis, high performance computing, and optimisation, code benchmarking and performance evaluation and extensive knowledge and experience in at least one of these;
E10: Experience of gathering customer requirements at both the strategic and operational levels, and creating and delivering associated RSE strategies and solutions;
E11: Previous experience of leading and managing a team of Research Software Engineers, including mentoring and evaluating the work of others;
E12: Experience of working in productive partnership with IT service and computing infrastructure providers, project managers and other relevant teams using appropriate methodologies such as ITIL, PRINCE2.