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System Administrator for Scientific Computing

Your function within the department

We are looking for two enthusiastic, efficient and responsible co-workers to join the Research High Performance Computing (RHPC) facility that is being established at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). The RHPC aims to support research scientists in the general area of bioinformatics, by providing high-end computational solutions, expert advice, and a stable but constantly evolving environment for computational experiments. The RHPC will include two system engineers / administrators within a small team that will operate independently to support the research departments at the NKI for scientific computing applications.

Your profile

You will be stationed at the Division of Biochemistry (B8), a lively research department that houses three research groups: structural biology (Titia Sixma), experimental biomedical genetics (Thijn Brummelkamp), and macromolecular structure and dynamics (Anastassis Perrakis). You will be closely associated with the structural bioinformatics software development team of Robbie Joosten and Anastassis Perrakis, who run a research program in computational structural biology / structural bioinformatics (see for example PDB_REDO and CCD) and participate in multiple European projects: West-Life (a Horizon2020 Virtual Research Environment project that will provide application level services specific to uses cases in structural biology); iNEXT (a Horizon2020 consortium to offer European researchers access to a wide range of advanced structural biology technologies); and Instruct (a pan-European research infrastructure in structural biology, making high-end technologies and methods available to users).
The foreseen independent yet overlapping profiles are: 

  1. Configure hardware solutions for scientific computing, install and maintain operating systems (Linux), manage user accounts and user access rights, monitor hardware usage and behaviour, interact in person (in English and if possible in Dutch) with high-end users (research scientists in bioinformatics) and advocate best practice, maintain storage (Isilon) and backup (tape backup with multiple clients) solutions.
  2. Configure and maintain hardware solutions for scientific computing, with emphasis on novel developments, including GPU computing, remote computing and storage solutions (Grid, Cloud), support high-end workstations (Linux and OSX) of high-end users (research scientists in bioinformatics and structural biology), advocate best practice and implement and maintain software solutions that enable team work within the institute and the scientific community at large (e.g. web servers, wiki, github)
Both candidates are expected to pro-actively investigate novel developments in the field of HPC, in close collaboration with each other and the research experts. The exact division of responsibilities can be reassigned depending on candidate profiles, so please do not hesitate to apply if you have part or all of the experience we request in the two profiles. Also feel free to indicate that you are interested in both positions, but clarify what are your core skills and interests. Candidates wanting to work part-time will be considered.

Your career opportunities and terms of employment

An initial contract of 18 months will be offered with the possibility to extend it to an open-end position, subject to the evaluation of both this new RHPC facility and your performance. We offer an attractive  salary, depending on your experience and independancy.
For additional information you can contact R. Joosten ( and/or Anastassis Perrakis (

Acquisition for this vacancy is not appreciated.