Research Technician III – Junior Systems Administrator (Linux) Jobs at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

On Sunday, May 19th, 2013

A member Center of the CGIAR Consortium

Research Technician III – Junior Systems Administrator (Linux)

REF: JSA/RMG/05/13

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works to enhance the roles livestock play in pathways out of poverty in developing countries. ILRI has two main campuses in East Africa and other hubs in East, West and southern Africa and South, Southeast and East Asia.
CGIAR is a global agricultural research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 research centres that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.
The Position
This position exists to provide administration of the Linux systems installed at the ILRI Kenya campus and oversight for Linux systems installed at other ILRI locations. The person will also be expected to carry out some programming, scripting and web site development to assist researchers in analysing their data. The majority of the work will be in support of the Bioscience groups at ILRI
Key responsibilities

  • The position is responsible for ensuring the smooth and effective operation of the Linux servers; currently these consist of:
  • A high-performance computing (HPC) server with 64 processing cores, used to store and analyse bioinformatics data;
  • A high-performance computing cluster with 12 compute nodes and 26 processing cores, used to store and analyse socio-economic and spatial (including imaging) data;
  • 30+ terabytes of clustered file storage (GlusterFS);
  • A dozen or so web servers, both physical and virtual (KVM);
  • Management of user accounts, system security, software updates, and scientific applications used on the servers;
  • Installation, configuration, and administration of HPC network services such as SSH, Samba, Apache, rsync, NFS, and database applications such as PostgreSQL and MySQL;
  • Carry out scripting (shell, Perl, PHP, Python, R) to support researchers’ data analysis (including capacity strengthening);
  • Backup and restore of research data and system configurations (HPC & other Research Computing systems), and provide input into the Institute Business Continuity plans;
  • Liaise with ILRI ICT regarding data storage provision and systems;
  • Provide support for the Linux workstations on the network, and the links from Windows desktops to the Linux servers.


  • BA/BSc in Computer Science or Computer Information Systems;
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience in a software development or systems administration environment;
  • Up-to-date certification in Linux Systems administration, proven experience in programming and web-site development;
  • Short-course training in Bioinformatics packages, Cisco networking, Customer service an advantage;
  • Skills in Linux installation, configuration and administration;
  • An understanding and working knowledge of advanced computer systems such as high-performance clusters;
  • A knowledge of bioinformatics computational packages will be an advantage;
  • Strong customer service orientation with good communication and interpersonal skills that establishes a good working relationship with customers, with the attitude of wanting to assist people and pass-on knowledge and experience while grasping difficulties perceived by users;
  • Excellent technical knowledge of computer applications and systems;
  • Good logical diagnostic skills and ability to exercise good judgement in the resolution of problems;
  • Ability to multi-task in dealing with several different issues at a time;
  • Ability to work under high pressure, meet deadlines, monitor and follow-up on pending matters under minimum supervision;
  • Ability to communicate fluently in writing and verbally in English.

Terms of Appointment
This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position based at ILRI’s Nairobi campus.  The position is on a 2 year contract with the possibility of renewal, contingent upon individual performance and continued funding.
Job level and salary
This position is job Grade 2C with a starting gross salary of KES 116,417 per month. This is exclusive of other benefits provided by ILRI.
Location: The position will be based at the ILRI, Nairobi.
How to Apply
Applicants should send a cover letter and CV combined as one document addressed to the Human Resources Director, explaining their interest in the position, what they can bring to the job and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience by 17th May 2013. Log on to: The position title and reference number REF: JSA/RMG/05/13 should be clearly marked on the cover letter. Only online applications will be considered, and only short listed candidates will be contacted.
To find more about ILRI, visit our Website at
To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at
ILRI is an equal opportunity employer.
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