Job Details

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Harvard University
  • Position Number: 4266267
  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Position Type: Business - Information Systems and Technology

Harvard University

Senior Research Software Engineer
Harvard University Information Technology

Position Description

This is a fully benefited, full-time Harvard University position that has been funded for one year. There is the possibility of renewal, contingent on funding, university priorities and satisfactory job performance.

Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) is a community of Information Technology professionals committed to delivering service and technological solutions in support of teaching, learning, research and administration. We are recruiting an IT workforce that has both breadth in their ability to collaborate and innovate across disciplines - and depth in specific areas of expertise. HUIT offers opportunities for IT professionals to learn and work in a unique technology landscape and service-focused environment. If you are a technically proficient, nimble, user-focused, and accountable IT professional who also connects with the importance of collaborating well in a team environment, we are looking for you!

HUIT is hiring a Senior Research Software Engineer (RSE) funded by Prof. Ölveczky at the Center for Brain Science to support the development of a new method for tracking naturalistic behavior in mammalian and avian model organisms. This project requires full-stack development including both front-end interface and back-end data design. This position will work within a team of RSEs in University Computing reporting to Associate Director of RSE and with researchers in the Ölveczky Lab with Prof. Ölveczky providing strategic oversight of the position.

The Ölveczky Laboratory has developed the method (DANNCE) that enables high-resolution 3D tracking of kinematics across an animal's entire behavioral repertoire, using input only from consumer video cameras. The initial version of this method has been adopted by dozens of research groups around the world and is currently used to shed light on Parkinson's disease, dystonia, retinal degeneration, autism spectrum disorder, stroke, learning, memory, and motor control. The core of the DANNCE method is a new deep learning algorithm that uses projective geometry to build a representation of 3D space from 2D images and then infers the 3D positions of body landmarks over time. Through regular engagements with researchers, this senior RSE will work to enhance the software's usability, scalability, maintainability, and reliability, with the goal of having a plug-and-play open-source package facilitating broad adoption of the technology. Harvard University is looking for candidates with diverse backgrounds and new perspectives to work in HUIT.

Typical Core Duties:

  • Advise researchers in the design, planning, and implementation of software or data analysis that enriches research productivity and reliability

  • Build deep understanding of specific research activities through regular engagements

  • Develop a scope of work and timely project plan with regular milestones

  • Build and maintain software code and custom data processing pipelines for complex environments

  • Apply firm understanding of numerical methods or data analysis to develop custom solutions to meet researchers' needs

  • Work in a team of developers and researchers in collaboration with systems professionals

  • Provide regular communications to stakeholders with project updates

  • Build internal code design and development guides for future contributors

  • Build advanced curriculum and teach workshops for researchers on sustainable software and data management practices that preserve the reproducibility of their research domain

  • Abide by and follow the Harvard University IT technical standards, policies and Code of Conduct

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum of seven years' post-secondary education or relevant work experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The following Additional Qualifications are strongly preferred. If you meet some, but not all, you are still encouraged to apply; we value employees with a willingness to learn.

  • Demonstrated experience with cross-platform GUI toolkits.

  • Proven work experience in designing, developing, debugging, deploying, and optimizing web applications.

  • Hands-on experience with database language and tools (SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL).

  • Practical experience with containerization and related technologies.

  • Experience with Linux and bash scripting.

  • Demonstrated experience with neuroscience data structures is a PLUS.

  • Comfortable working with version control systems such as git.

  • Strong project management and organizational skills.

  • Experience working in a cross-functional team in an agile environment.

  • An interest in neuroscience or behavioral research is desired.

Certificates and Licenses

  • Completion of Harvard IT Academy specified foundational courses (or external equivalent) preferred

Working Conditions
HUIT actively supports hybrid work where business and team needs allow. This position has been designated as a hybrid position, with regular on campus presence required. All remote work must be performed in a state in which Harvard is registered to do business (CA, CT, GA, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VA, VT, and WA).

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.
Additional Information
Please provide a cover letter with your application.

Please note:

  • Harvard University requires pre-employment reference and background screening.

  • We are unable to provide work authorization and/or visa sponsorship.

  • This position has a 180-day orientation and review period.

More about HUIT:
Harvard University Information Technology (HUIT) is responsible for the strategy, planning, and delivery of information technology across the University. Our mission is to assure Harvard's leadership in IT. We strive to make it easier for faculty, students, and staff to teach, research, learn and work through the effective use of information technology. HUIT's core values are User Focused, Collaborative, Innovative and Open.

IT Academy (designed for IT Staff):
HUIT's IT Academy aims to enable each IT staff person to grow professionally and become a trusted partner to her or his team. The IT Academy is built on the belief that every IT staff member across the University (including technology employees at each school and campus) can grow in her or his area of expertise as well as building strong people and project management skills. Learn more here:

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.

  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.

  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.

  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.

  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.

  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.

  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.

  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.

  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

Job Function
Information Technology

USA - MA - Cambridge

University Research Computing

Time Status

00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Work Format
Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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