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University of Wisconsin - Madison

Position Vacancy Listing

PVL # 85049



Working Title:
Director of GLBRC Informatics and Information Technology
Official Title:
Degree and area of specialization:
The candidate must have either a Masters or PhD in computational biology, bioinformatics, biostatistics, or computer science with a strong background in biology or, alternatively, a PhD in Biochemistry, Genetics, or a related field with extensive experience in computational biology.
Minimum number of years and type of relevant work experience:
The candidate must have 10+ years of experience in an academic, scientific, or biotechnology environment. The ideal candidate is a highly motivated team leader with strong understanding of biology and software engineering. Broad knowledge of current bioinformatics methodologies and ability to adapt to the needs of this rapidly evolving field is expected. Proven success as a manager must include experience in organizational capability, leveraging change as an opportunity, and providing support to foster positive working relationships at all levels. A successful candidate will provide evidence of outstanding performance in previous roles, demonstrated ability in delivering technology solutions in a dynamic environment, and customer service skills that include managing expectations and relationships. Outstanding problem-solving ability; experience leading software development teams using relational databases and modern programming languages, (e.g., Ruby, Python); knowledge of laboratory information management systems (LIMS) or other large-scale data management systems; and familiarity with processing and analysis of large-scale ¿-omics¿ data using compute clusters / high-performance computing are required.

Candidates should have solid experience building effective tools for scientists, especially in the areas of data management, analysis, and visualization.

Experience in integrative analysis and interpretation of large-scale data in the context of biological pathways and networks, sound knowledge of systems-level biological data and expertise in analysis and interpretation of genomics and other ¿-omics¿ research data, proven expertise in accurately estimating and adhering to budgets and schedules, excellent written and oral presentation skills, and a demonstrated ability to develop collaborative relationships with national programs and institutions are desirable.
Principal duties:
The successful candidate will be responsible for evaluating, developing, and overseeing the Informatics and Information Technology (IIT) components of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, partnering with national laboratories and several academic institutions. The GLBRC is one of three Department of Energy centers tasked to conduct fundamental, genomics-based research on microbial and plant systems to generate technology for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to biofuels and chemicals.

The GLBRC IIT Director will lead day-to-day activities that focus on the highest-quality customer service and provide access to modern information technology. The IIT Director will assemble, organize, and direct informatics support of research and operational missions, as well as promote communication and collaboration among faculty and staff. The IIT Director will develop and direct the strategic and tactical planning to address center-wide issues.

Under the general direction of the GLBRC Associate Director, the IIT Director is responsible for leading a team of professional staff in the development, implementation, and support of the Center's data management and analysis infrastructure. In addition, the IIT Director is responsible for maintaining working relations with computational biology staff who are embedded in various research programs within the Center. The individual requires extensive experience, resourcefulness, and creativity to anticipate and develop the Center's unique scientific computational resources.

This position provides oversight of the IIT infrastructure in collaboration with faculty, researchers, and operations staff. The successful candidate must have the ability to lead a team using modern software development procedures, such as agile development and test-driven software development. Significant responsibilities include providing vision, leadership, scientific expertise, and problem-solving skills in the development of a reliable LIMS system and bioinformatics support. These systems and procedures must handle the variety of data types generated and data analyses needed by GLBRC researchers, as well as the database infrastructure that ensures data integrity, compliance, and the development of well-designed interfaces that meet the needs of researchers in GLBRC. Informatics systems at GLBRC have stakeholders at other academic institutions, national laboratories, and Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) nationally, as well as partners at JGI (Joint Genome Institute) and DOE (Department of Energy).

The IIT Director will work with Center management to develop the GLBRC's informatics strategy in consideration of the mission, goals, and objectives for the Center; to develop annual IIT budgets based on periodic needs assessment and feedback from the GLBRC Management Team; to monitor IIT expenditures to ensure compliance with available budget; and to manage and oversee long-range and short-term IIT needs and purchase necessary equipment to ensure a progressive IIT unit.

Oversight of Information Technology will require the IIT Director to have the ability to either critique existing or develop updated back-up and disaster recovery policies to ensure security of all information systems, data, and equipment; center-wide policies and documentation regarding operations, computer use, data center facilities, and security; and priorities for the development of new services and facilities.

The IIT Director will ensure a positive and supportive work environment for professional staff in the IIT unit; develop individual performance standards for employees and direct progress through regular performance feedback and evaluations; forecast future staff and equipment needs and secure resources to assure that needs are met; assess both technical and financial aspects of decisions to ensure feasibility and cost effectiveness; hire exceptional IIT staff; and orient and train new IIT staff.

The IIT Director is an active member of the GLBRC Management Team and will be expected to travel to meetings and conferences as a representative of the team.

Joining the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center is a unique opportunity to play a key role in a premier research center tasked with a mission of great societal importance - sustainable bioenergy. For additional information regarding the GLBRC, visit our website:

A criminal background check will be conducted prior to hiring.

Full Time Salary Rate:Minimum $112,000 ANNUAL (12 months)
Depending on Qualifications
Appointment percent:100%
Anticipated begin date:APRIL 01, 2016
Number of Positions:1

Application must be received by: MARCH 01, 2016
In order to apply, applications must be submitted online at
Questions about the position can be directed to:
Pam Arnold
Phone: 608-890-2286
1552 University Ave   
Fax: N/A
3162 Wisconsin Energy Institute   
Madison, WI 53726-4084   
Relay Access (WTRS): 7-1-1 (out-of-state: TTY: 800.947.3529, STS: 800.833.7637) and above Phone number (See RELAY_SERVICE for further information. )

If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability you can find information about how to make a request at the following website:

NOTE: Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, the names of applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality. In the case where there are fewer than five finalists, the names of the five most qualified candidates must be released upon request.  

UW-Madison is required by law to request data from applicants for employment in order to monitor its recruitment and selection practices. In order for us to meet this federal reporting requirement, please go to to fill out the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form and the Applicant Self-Identification Form for Protected Veterans. Please reference the Position Vacancy Number when uploading your completed forms. Completing these forms is voluntary and your responses will be kept confidential and is not considered as part of the hiring criteria.

UW-Madison is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
We promote excellence through diversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.
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