Director, Research Cyberinfrastructure - InformationTechnologies

Job Level
Senior position
Job Category
  • Curriculum / Program
  • Technology
Job Status
Areas of Responsibility
  • Research
  • Information Technology

The Director, Research Cyberinfrastructure will collaborate with faculty, research centers, the University Library, and IT leadership to plan and provide the infrastructure, applications and services required to support the University’s diverse and growing research portfolio. The incumbent will assist with the development of research computing strategies, deploy technologies to enable data intensive research programs, and improve coordination between university-wide and departmental IT teams. The Director will oversee a research support team that includes high performance computing systems administrators, an advanced networking specialist, a Geographic Information System specialist, and scientific software support specialists. 


The position reports to the Vice President for Information Technology and works closely with the Vice President for Research and the college research deans.  


Research at the University of Delaware

Research quality and growth is a significant strategic priority for the University.  The University is increasing the size of its faculty.  Significantly, hires are being made in cluster areas that recognize the interdisciplinary nature of research and the curriculum.  Emerging areas of focus include data science, pharmaceutical science, environmental and water science policy, neurobiology, and microbiology.  The University has launched a new Data Science Institute to catalyze data intensive research and promote collaboration among faculty interested in data science research themes (


IT Support For Research

Research IT support is provided by the University’s IT organization (UDIT) in partnership with research centers, college and departmental IT. Within UDIT, the Research Cyberinfrastructure unit supports a broad range of disciplines including physical sciences, engineering, earth, ocean and environmental sciences, life sciences, information and mathematical sciences, business, social and policy sciences, and the arts and humanities.  The University maintains three high performance computing clusters built through a co-investment model and provides support for scientific software, research data storage and GIS. 


The Leadership Opportunity

Several strategic initiatives frame the need and agenda for this position. The Data Science Institute and a Research Cyberinfrastructure task force are surfacing requirements for new infrastructure and support capabilities to facilitate the transfer, secure storage, and analysis of very large data sets.  A working group of faculty, library and IT staff are developing proposals to improve research information management capabilities. The University is in the process of developing its first comprehensive University IT strategy with enabling research and scholarship as a core theme.



  • Develop research specific strategies and implementation roadmaps. Lead initiatives to expand HPC and storage capacity, better position the institution to leverage cloud computing for research and improve research software management. Work in conjunction with network leaders within UDIT to forward advanced networking capabilities and associated research services.

  • Plan, with UD’s research centers and colleges, a collaborative model for research support services that is comprehensive, more easily discovered and more widely accessible. 

  • Develop funding and staffing plans to extend UDIT service offerings in areas or need including training, scientific software support, consultation, application optimization, and data visualization tools and techniques.

  • Collaborate with senior academic leaders, researchers and senior IT leaders to establish goals, objectives, and approaches that address computational-intensive and data-intensive activities, e-collaboration, consulting, training, and software development needs. Interacts directly with a Governance Board made up of research faculty that coordinates use of the central HPC services and helps plan expansions to research IT services.

  • Champion breakthrough ideas that give University researchers a competitive edge.

  • Lead customer outreach including advocacy and marketing of the research cyberinfrastructure services. 

  • Develop and maintain a wide range of effective and influential relationships with research and IT leaders at peer research-intensive institutions, national and regional computing facilities, and with Federal funding agencies (NSF, NIH, DoD, DOE).

  • Build collaborations with researchers and involves IT research computing support staff on faculty-led grant proposals to secure funding.

  • Direct the administration and operation of the Research Cyberinfrastructure unit. Provide clear objectives and empower and lead team to achieve these objectives as a collaborative unit. Evaluate performance and provide guidance and feedback to team. Reassess or redefine priorities as appropriate in order to meet UDIT division and University goals. Assess need for technical and professional growth and recommends development opportunities.

  • Serve on internal and external advisory and review committees and task forces. Represent the University on a local, regional and national level and provides leadership in national collaborative efforts with other institutions and agencies.

  • Perform miscellaneous job-related duties as required.



  • Master’s degree and 10 years related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience. Ph.D. preferred. Degree in a computer science, computer engineering, science or technology or compute-intensive research field preferred.

  • In depth understanding of research cyberinfrastructure landscape and demonstrated experience with processes for procurement, deployment and operation.

  • Experience leading or working in high performance computing – including software development, system administration, software applications, storage systems and networking.

  • Must be an articulate, consensus building and persuasive leader who can serve as an effective member of UDIT’s leadership team.

  • Knowledge or experience in one or more of the following (and readiness and ability to develop skills in other areas): 1. Parallel programming; 2. Grid computing, programming frameworks; 3. Numerical methods and algorithms; 4. Software debugging, profiling and optimization in an HPC environment; 5. Scientific data visualization; 6. Experience with a variety of HPC applications.

  • Experience supporting computational science and engineering or as a user of with experience with computational science and engineering applications.

  • Excellent customer service skills and ability to work directly with constituents or vendors to understand needs, resolve problems, and address systemic issues in service delivery processes.

  • Highly developed written, oral, listening, and presenting skills and ability to lead complex discussions and achieve outcomes through patient, transparent, consultation.


Preferred qualifications:

  • Functional understanding of advanced computational environments needed for data-intensive research in physical and life sciences, engineering, information sciences, social sciences and humanities.Strong program planning skills in order to develop services and solutions to meet needs in research computing.

  • Expertise in specifying, designing, and implementing computing infrastructure, clustered and parallel file systems, large scale storage, backup and archiving and high bandwidth networking, software defined networks and Science DMZ.


Successful experience developing budgets, tracking expenditures, and negotiating with vendors and contractors.