User Services Administrator

University of Washington - Genome Sciences
Job Location
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Job Description

The Department of Genome Sciences has an outstanding opportunity for a User Services Administrator – with the Stamatoyannopoulos Laboratory (Stam Lab). This position is responsible for the management and operation of a user services and help desk unit within the Stam Lab. Independently and under the general direction of the IT Manager, the User Services Administrator establishes and is responsible for providing high quality desktop computing support for two research facilities with approximately 150 workstations. The User Services Administrator will support a variety of critical IT services for all members of the lab, the High Throughput Genetics Unit (HTGC) cost center, and other collaborating researchers worldwide. He/she will provide frontline support and is the primary contact for a wide range of clients with highly technical needs in a fast paced and exceptionally varied environment. The User Services Administrator will also be given large projects to lead and complete. 

The User Services Administrator will provide leadership for all activities related to IT user services and support with the Stam Lab. As a research lab that utilizes technology in all that we do, the person in this role will help increase the efficiency of computational and wet lab researchers in their research initiatives and help everyone with the lab to better utilize the technology resources that are available to us.

The main responsibilities for this position are as follows:

Management and Oversight   

  • Provide leadership, management and direction for all desktop support activities for the research lab and cost center. Monitor workloads and manage projects to ensure timely and accurate completion of help requests and project. When necessary, escalate technical issues to the IT Manager.
    • Supervise a team of student helpdesk workers
    • Supervise vendor installation of lab hardware and software
    • Conduct scripting tasks using bash, tcsh, windows batch, and powershell. 
    • Manage desktop operating systems and software (Microsoft GPO, CFEngine3, shell scripts, Adobe, and other laboratory research utilities).
    • Oversee the diagnosis, repair, and configuration of hardware and laboratory equipment (i.e., monitor performance, function, and maintenance)
    • Monitor and ensure system security
    • Maintain a computing inventory


  • Develop and implement plans for growth, improvement, and maintenance of the User Services unit. 
    • Provide input to the IT Manager on planning issues related to the User Services function.
    • Spearhead quality assessment and improvement activities for the User Services unit.
    • Solicit input and feedback from users on service levels
    • Facilitate project work by developing timelines, work methods, and outcomes.


  • Evaluate, develop, and implement computing plans, procedures, policies and services for research staff.
    • Establish and document User Services policies using standards established by the lab wiki. Construct and maintain documentation in a manner that allows other system administrators to quickly understand the critical components of complex systems design and maintenance.
    • Develop policies related to User Services, and provide critical feedback for policies and procedures related to other IT units. 
    • Ensure compliance with School of Medicine policy and departmental standards.
    • Create and coordinate computer and network training sessions for researchers


User Support

  • In conjunction with other IT staff, provide end-user technical support to researchers using a wide variety of applications and operating systems. 
  • Confer with researchers to determine requirements for lab and research project infrastructure needs
  • Work directly with lab and cost center members to determine functional requirements
  • Assist lab members with computing issues.
  • Serve as liaison between IT and research staff.
  • Design, specify, and implement systems to meet user needs
    • Create and maintain user accounts
    • Set-up phones and fax machines
    • Answer end user questions
    • Support printing and scanning

Meetings, Professional Development, and other Duties

  • Activley participate in IT team meetings
  • Transfer equipment to and from UW surplus
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to expand knowledge base for the position
  • Perform other duties and projects as requested


The Stam Lab is undergoing a period of expansion, and is currently located in two laboratory facilities (scientific research lab and cost center). As such, this position regularly exercises independence, judgment, decision-making authority, discretion, and diplomacy. This position requires the ability to work in a dynamic and occasionally stressful environment and will require managing multiple activities and simultaneous requests for assistance from demanding users. A flexible work schedule is required.

The ideal candidate will have strong communication skills with the ability to present proposed technical solutions in a concise and compelling manner. He/she must have exceptional organizational skills, commitment, and the ability to work alone with minimal supervision in a complex teams as needed.  


Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Informatics,  or related field
  • 2+ years’ experience as a help desk professional, systems administrator, or systems engineer in a professional setting or equivalent combination of education and experience. 
  • Experience with Windows and  Mac workstations
  • Experience installing, managing, and securing Mac OSX and Windows 7 workstations (anti-virus, firewalls, logging, patching, etc.)
  • Experience installing, managing, and securing Windows 2008 server products (kerberos, Active Directory, group policy, print servers, shared application setups)
    • Demonstrated ability to see complex IT projects through to successful completion.
    • Familiarity with unix shells and command prompts, and how to use them to perform simple tasks
    • Able to write technical documentation for users and system administrators
    • Must be flexible and cross-cover other areas outside area of expertise in times of urgency, vacations, sick leave, etc
      • Able and willing to learn and expand skills on the job
      • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to manage relationships, interact with researchers, explain complex technical issues
      • Excellent work ethic and strong organizational skills
      • Ability to independently set priorities and effectively handle constant interruptions
      • Ability, when necessary, to work under pressure and remain focused



Desired Qualifications

  • Experience working in an education, research, and/or biotech setting a strong plus
  • Familiar with UW and School of Medicine computing and security policies, procedures, and resources
  • Familiarity with ticketing systems and wikis
  • Familiarity with unix scripting (tcsh, bash)
About Our Organization

The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be one of the nation’s premier educational and research institutions. Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of achieving excellence in education, research, and community service. Our staff not only enjoys outstanding benefits and professional growth opportunities, but also an environment noted for diversity, community involvement, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty.

The Department of Genome Sciences (GS) is part of the University of Washington School of Medicine (UW SoM) and is comprised of 27 labs addressing leading edge questions in biology and medicine by developing and applying genetic, genomic and computational approaches taking advantage of genomic information now available for a host of species.  GS is making major contributions in the application of genome science to understand the fundamentals of biology and to improve human health and well-being.

Genome Sciences is a collaborative department supported by very different academic disciplines.  We work with a multitude of Program Investigators (PIs) in departments both on the UW campus as well as worldwide. The department has gone through significant expansion since its beginning in 2001 with annual grant awards of $44.5 in FY14.  The department has 47 training, teaching, and research faculty.

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