Who are we looking for?
We're currently looking for a Grade 7 Research Software Engineer to join our team - closing date 6th Dec
Overseas applicants are welcome and visa expenses may be covered depending on the grade of the post.
What is the work like?
That is the fun bit! RSEs are involved in a huge range of projects from writing software modelling the human brain to modelling the physics of cell reproduction. You can find out more about our past projects from our Research IT news section.
As an RSE in our group you will be working with academics and their research groups, helping them deliver their research. Projects vary in scale and complexity, some are measured in days, others in years. Some projects focus on data science, some create applications to be used as part of research activity, trials or studies; others require the design, definition and implement the research ideas. You could be working as part of a group of RSEs, scientists and engineers, or you might be the sole technical person on the project and have the freedom to advise and steer as you see fit.
If you are new to research software engineering, you will be more interested to know how you will be assigned projects. We have an RSE leadership team consisting of “RSE leads”, who accept all requests for an RSE from the academic community and manage out portfolio of projects. The appropriate RSE lead will talk to the researchers to find out what they intend to do, define the likely aims and scope, and assess how long that work might take. Once we know that a project is funded and going ahead, we think about who of our team will be available and has the right skills set. That might not lead to a perfect match, but learning new skills is part of the game!
Next, if you have no clashing assignment, your line manager will be talking to you about the project, see if you like it or if you have concerns. What a project delivers can be largely up to the researchers, and it is important that RSEs integrate into the research group as seamlessly as possible although your RSE lead will project manage it and support its delivery; as RSEs you will make sure that we follow best practise and highlight issues early.
Technology-wise, we work with anything and everything. The technology we choose for a project needs to make sense for what it needs to do and take into account what the research group is already using.
You will also be expected to contribute to training in one of several capacities. Depending on your preference you could become a trainer, help during training sessions as a course assistant or develop teaching material and examples. We teach essential technical skills (programming in various languages, version control etc.) to postgraduate students and staff. Training is a rewarding activity and makes a real difference to our research community, especially as it is taught by our expert RSEs using these tools every day.
Our RSEs are really important to us and we would like you to work for us for the long term. Our contracts are permanent, and we are invested in our RSEs, making sure you continue to get variety and a consistent workload. Academic work can be very demanding at times but team member welfare is a high priority and your line manager will make sure that your workload is always manageable. We have regular social events and opportunities for you to meet the other members of the team and share your experiences.
What are the benefits working for the University?
It is no secret; the University does not pay industry-grade salaries. If you are after the big money you need to look elsewhere! But the overall package the University is offering is very competitive and it will help you with getting your work/life balance right.
- Research IT is basically a tech-for-good team: we use technology to take on and solve social and environmental problems, making life a little better for everyone and solving the many challenges Earth faces. It certainly helps us sleep at night and spring out of bed in the morning!
- You can join the University pension scheme; compared to many private employers the University contribution to your pension pot is an order of magnitude greater (currently 21.6% of your salary compared with an average of 4.5% in the private sector) and still has a defined benefit component.
- We work on 35 hours a week full time equivalent.
- For the jobs we are advertising here you get 29 days holiday plus the extra 4 closure days around Christmas.
- The university is family friendly including workplace nurseries.
- We are committed to hybrid working with varying proportions between working from home and working from the office, all depending on the job you do and your preferences. Well, sitting in front of a computer you can do from anywhere (as long it is within the UK).
- We are open to fitting work around your personal circumstances. That includes reduced hours or part time work, working flexibly including compressed hours (the hours you can work undisturbed, or are more productive)
- … and a number of pleasant surprises you discover when you start with us (or check the Uni web site)
If you are joining us from abroad, the University will provide support with your visa and your relocation costs. Also our posts generally do not require an ATAS certificate.
What is the RSE Team like?
We have grown a lot over the years. Currently we are more than 35 RSEs, one of the largest RSE teams in the country. We work alongside a large Infrastructure group of more than 20. We are a friendly bunch – united in the desire to help researchers solve the problem and get the best possible results.
Our RSEs are diverse in lots of ways from ethnicity to our work history; we are not all the stereotypical white male! One third of us are women, we employ people from far abroad as well as close to home, and we are a mixture of young and old(ish). Some of us became RSEs after doing research for many years, some come from a traditional computer science education, some worked in industry or public services before joining us. Many of us have been RSEs without knowing it.
How can I apply?
Head to our adverts and hit the button! But this is not the whole story.
The University is a big institution with a central system which handles applications. So, once you press that button you will be asked to fill in a rather long form. Some of the information you are asked to provide will be already in your CV. Please persevere! The good news is that the system can keep your information for the next time you apply for a job at this University so at least you will not have to do it all again.
All information is important of course, but the most important one is the field which requests you to put in any information in support of your application. At this point we recommend using a text editor outside of the form and the actual Job Advert you are applying for. The Job Advert will have a list of requirements a successful applicant will need. Work that list into your application. Your application will be judged on how well you can convince us you meet those requirements.
Also read the Job Description (Further Particulars) and do not be afraid of the quantity of stuff you are meant to know or do. The Job Description contains a long list of tasks an employee might be required to do; nobody does everything. It is simply the legally-binding part of the job that has to be there.
And a last comment: there is always a contact person listed on those job adverts. If you have questions, please contact them – we are a friendly bunch!