University Of Richmond Careers

University of Richmond

Computational Support Specialist

Job Description 


The Computational Support Specialist supports faculty in their use of Linux-based cluster and workstation computing for research and pedagogy through the Academic Research Computing (ARC) group at the University of Richmond. Responsible for setup and configuration of Linux environments, along with a focus on problem solving and ongoing consultation with our faculty. Provides support for the faculty across schools and departments, including 67 faculty members whose research spans humanities, social science, economics and science in our shared HPC environment.

Works collaboratively with a range of University constituents, including senior administrators, faculty leadership, and technical staff. Must be a technically-adept leader who will bring people together across disciplines using shared technological tools, and develop new programs that advance important campus-wide initiatives. Provides technical analysis, consulting, and day-to-day support for computational hardware and software in multi-technology academic research environments.


Computational Support

  • Installs, configures, updates and supports end-user software including application software on computing-intensive hardware according to security best practices and University standards.
  • Performs general software troubleshooting. Identifies and assesses system-related problems. Initiates corrective actions as appropriate and reports data security issues to Information Services.
  • The ability to select between off-the-shelf computational solutions, modifications to existing products, and solutions that you create yourself.
  • Installs and maintains software including batch job performance analysis/troubleshooting, user training and coaching, and shell scripting.
  • Troubleshoots system/component level issues as well as system/component level performance tuning.
  • Designs, implements, and maintains backups and ensures recoverability; test and repair full system recovery methods.
  • Evaluates and recommends system hardware and software.
  • Answers user questions regarding hardware, software, and system applications. Responds to special requests and accepts trouble reports. Investigates and resolves user problems. Maintains communications with system users and other faculty and staff members to reach satisfactory resolution of problems.


  • Maintains data and user security by administering users and groups.
  • Creates and maintains technical documentation for recommended solutions.
  • Remains current with technology through self-study and/or attendance at seminars or workshops.
  • Foster and support faculty engagement with computational tools.
  • Perform other duties and assist with projects as assigned.
  • Project planning and communication of these plans to faculty, often in writing.
  • In coordination with faculty advisory committee, implement and maintain usage allocation methodologies and policies (currently SLURM).
  • Manage user-reservations of computational hardware.
  • Serve as a staff-member of the Data Analytics faculty-advisory committee.


  • Familiarity with shell scripting necessary for providing programming environments, etc. A familiarity with Python and/or R is particularly valuable.
  • Verifies program operation by confirming tests.
  • Installs and uses code libraries and drivers, e.g., for GPU-based computation.


  • Interest in solving operational and performance problems in the Linux environment, and ability to do so.
  • At least one year of experience with LINUX -based cluster or workstation computing.
  • Familiarity with the LINUX command line environment, using its many utilities and combining them into useful shell scripts.
  • Ability to build and install LINUX software packages.
  • Python and R are the most important languages in research computing. You need to be able to use at least one of them well. We support Jupyter and RStudio.
  • Experience using git.
  • Self-motivated, with a keen sense of responsibility and passion for problem solving.
  • Ability to perform under minimal supervision. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected; independent problem-solving ability is critical. Relies on experience and judgment to independently analyze and solve complex problems quickly and meticulously.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide guidance and instruction to faculty and staff, interact with users of varying levels of expertise, communicate technical information to non-technical users, and deal with their frustrations.
  • Ability to concentrate despite interruptions. Work under pressure on multiple projects simultaneously to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to learn new hardware and software independently.
  • Passion for engaging our international and culturally diverse faculty via written and oral communication.
  • Thorough understanding of LINUX administration practices, including devices and drivers, filesystem concepts, security configuration and patching, performance analysis and system tuning.
  • Understanding of networking and distributed computing environment concepts, routing, and networked file systems.


  • Bachelor’s degree in one of the fields involved in UR’s research is required.
  • A terminal degree is preferred; an equivalent combination of experience and education (graduate degree) will be considered.
  • 4+ years’ experience in LINUX system administration working in progressively complex environments.
    • UNIX/Linux System Administration certification preferred.
  • 4+ years’ experience writing shell scripts in Unix/Linux server environments


  • Full-time, exempt position
  • Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; 7.75 hrs./day; 38.75 hrs./week


Pay Grade 9 (Hiring Range $73,08.00 to $100,402.00 annually)


At the University of Richmond, we’re creative, inclusive, and determined. We’re Spiders, and our mission is to create positive change in the UR community and beyond. Located minutes from downtown Richmond, Virginia, the University of Richmond ( blends the intimacy of a small college with exceptional academic, research, and cultural opportunities usually found only at large institutions. There’s only one place like Richmond.

UR is committed to developing a diverse faculty, staff and student body, and to modeling an inclusive campus community which values the expression of differences in ways that promote excellence in teaching, learning, personal development and institutional success. In keeping with this commitment, our academic community welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds and candidates who support diversity.

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