BIFoR Data Manager and Analyst - 80500

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,395 to £39,609. With potential progression once in post to £42,036 a year.
Apr 23, 2019
May 21, 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Established in November 2013, Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) is fast becoming an internationally leading Institute that addresses the profound challenges facing today's woodland environments. The institute aims to provide fundamental science, social science and cultural research of direct relevance to forested landscapes anywhere in the world. The Institute was initially funded by a £15 million donation and consists of laboratory and analytical facilities on the main Birmingham University campus and a major new Field Facility based Staffordshire. The experimental facility is focused on the effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide on the structure and function of mature and semi-natural oak woodland including impacts on growth and disease. Ultimately this research will inform our understanding and lead to improvements the management of woodlands.
This fixed-term, full-time (100%) BIFoR Data Manager and Analyst post is funded for 5 years. The post holder will join the BIFoR professional services team, managing the existing and on-going data stream coming from the BIFoR Free Air Carbon Enrichment (FACE) experiment and other forest research activities. The post holder will be responsible for the organisation, cataloguing and daily management of the research data store.

Drawing on a strong IT background, the BIFoR Data Manager and Analyst will help to shape and support the underlying data storage and archiving services; safeguarding BIFoR's key research data assets and organising data to provide this to legitimate users. The post holder will work closely with the research team to collate and analyse data to deliver high-end research, and will be expected to give training and guidance to group members in the correct data management methods. The post holder will also work closely with Central IT services at the University to integrate themselves into the large-scale architectures currently employed to manage project data. The post holder will be as a focus of expertise and support for research data with a solid understanding of the technical solutions to maximise the use of the data and deliver an efficient service to researchers in this highly competitive environment. The post holder will ensure that the University is compliant with the requirements of regulators. Good communication skills and initiative are essential in order for the post holder to be fully effective in this post. In particular, the ability to work in a timely and efficient manner, and to liaise closely with both senior and junior colleagues will be critical to the success of this post. The post holder will work under the direction of the BIFoR Operations Manager and an academic lead.

The BIFoR Data Manager and Analyst will be principally responsible for:
• Provide a central focus of IT research data expertise within the University to advise on and resolve related issues, including, where requested, to external institutions working collaboratively with BIFoR. Identify where existing services within the University would benefit research activity. This will be particularly relevant as it relates to data, data management, data archiving and open data, but also includes support to scientists for use of high performance computing and visualisation services.
• Establishing working partnerships with research groups and researchers across BIFoR and other associated institutes and colleges to provide advice and guidance on all matters related to scientific data storage, management and provision of ready to use data.
• As a specialist in the area of research data, inform and work with the relevant system administrators to ensure the inter-operation of research storage services and relevant underpinning infrastructure services e.g. authentication, authorization and activity tracking mechanisms. Ultimately, ensuring the services actually work for researchers.
• Maintain a thorough understanding of the requirements of regulators, research councils, and other funders in the area of research data management (RDM) and advise researchers and the Professional Service Team accordingly. Contribute to the development and implementation of best practice to ensure the security of BIFoR's central Research Data repositories, in line with agreed policies and procedures.
• Provide technically focused user feedback to support and maintain existing data collection (in areas such as resilience, backup, scheduling, automated provisioning, archive and restore) to achieve high levels of discoverability, availability, reliability and performance.
• Ensure the smooth day-to day running of the study protocol and the data collection. Perform regular, systematic checks to validate and verify information on the data base(s) in order to produce a clean, accurate and complete data set for analyses. Identify and resolve any missing, incomplete or contradictory data.

Person Specification

• Formal education to degree level or equivalent in an Information Technology related field.
• Demonstrable understanding and experience of core computing knowledge and skills: hardware and software architectures for management of large databases.
• Relevant experience in computer coding in a variety of environments.
• Proven ability to support IT users with complex needs and highly variable IT skills, ideally in a research environment.
• Extensive familiarity with the concepts and practicalities of data management and archiving, ideally in a research context.
• Experience in information retrieval and data analytics (e.g. data classification, text mining, search algorithms, etc.)
• Good customer relationship management skills, coupled with diplomacy and ability to deal with senior professional and academic staff.
• Good communication skills written and oral, including the ability to communicate technical issues to non-technical users.
• A self-motivated learner with a keen interest in keeping up to date with the latest technology, trends & innovation.
• Proven ability to work as part of a team to deliver services.

• A postgraduate qualification (e.g. a Master's degree) or industry recognised qualifications would be an advantage.
• Clear evidence of competence to develop back-end software, web applications and websites.
• Experience of advanced storage and archiving systems and associated backup.
• Demonstrated ability in designing, developing and delivering websites and/or web applications
• Experience of solving problems with big data.
• Ability to contribute to collaborative research projects
• An understanding of research in the HE (Higher Education) sector.
• An understanding of ITIL Service Delivery best practices, processes and procedures