Assistant Systems Administrator

The Organization

As an independent research organization, the Morgridge Institute for Research explores uncharted scientific territory to discover tomorrow’s cures. In affiliation with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we support researchers who take a fearless approach to advancing human health in emerging fields such as regenerative biology, metabolism, virology and biomedical imaging. Through public programming, we work to inspire scientific curiosity in everyday life.


The Research Computing group at the Morgridge Institute for Research partners with a broad range of scientists to provide computing services for the Institute, the UW-Madison campus as part of the Center for High Throughput Computing, and the nation; we are looking for an assistant systems administrator to help us in our mission of using computing to further science. The assistant systems administrator has the opportunity to work on national-scale projects such as the OSG and learn new and exciting technologies such as Kubernetes and the HTCondor Software Suite.

The administrator will be responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of distributed scientific services, the management of hardware (such as worker nodes, networking, and filesystems), and help operate the onsite Kubernetes cluster. The is an excellent position for entry-level candidates with a passion for science and who would like to begin their career as a Linux systems administrator and learn a diverse set of technologies. Work is normally performed during typical office hours and in an office environment. There is no regular after-hours ‘pager duty’ but after-hours work may be necessary in exceptional circumstances.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Provision, configure and troubleshoot physical and virtual servers and storage systems
  • Install and configure operating systems and software
  • Help operate the local Kubernetes cluster
  • Ensure systems are kept up to date with the latest software releases and patches
  • Monitor servers using industry standard practices and tools like check_mk and Prometheus and integrate with other monitoring systems as needed
  • Automate repetitive administrative tasks through tools such as Ansible or Puppet.
  • Monitor infrastructure efforts periodically and provides assessment reports to management on status and recommendations for improvements
  • Provide documentation of all infrastructure areas maintained
  • Maintain records, logs, and reports of assistance
  • Test new software/hardware applications and recommend purchases where required
  • Assist with purchasing of new hardware for the Research Computing group.
  • Miscellaneous duties as required


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each primary duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the primary functions.

Education and Experience:

  • An associate degree in information technology, computer engineering or computer science or equivalent work experience; bachelor’s degree is preferred.
  • At least one year of systems administration or related experience; experience can be in a hobbyist or educational setting. Preference is a year of professional experience in administration.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

  • Knowledge of technology environments including basic networking concepts (L2/L3, DHCP, DNS), Linux systems administration and managing storage solutions such as basic RAID
  • Basic knowledge of software development environments like Git or GitHub
  • Basic proficiency in shell and Python scripting languages
  • Ability to organize, prioritize and meet deadlines
  • Ability to plan and implement IT related projects
  • Ability to effectively communicate with all levels of the organization, ideally proven within a research-style setting
  • Knowledge of configuration management systems like Puppet and Chef is preferred.
  • Knowledge of high-performance or high-throughput computing systems like HTCondor or SLURM preferred
  • Knowledge of Kubernetes service orchestration preferred
  • Knowledge of distributed filesystems such as Ceph preferred

In order to insure the safety of our workplace, proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required unless an exemption is granted for medical, disability or religious reasons.

To apply:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume via the link below.

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