Research Software Engineer

Requisition # 2021-12703
Date Posted 1 month ago(5/7/2021 11:21 AM)
Applied and Computational Math
Information Technology
Job Type


The Research Software Engineer will join a team of academic researchers and software engineers who develop the ASPIRE software package for three-dimensional structure determination of biological molecules from cryo-electron microscopy, a technology that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Research Software Engineer will be involved in all software life cycle stages (development, optimization, testing, documentation, releasing) of the ASPIRE package and advancing its usability, efficiency, scalability, and functionality to address the evolving needs of structural biologists and method developers on campus and beyond.  


The ideal candidate will have a strong background in scientific programming, open-source software development, academic research, and an interest in computational imaging.



  • New code development and code review.
  • Provide technical expertise and guidance for improving ASPIRE's overall performance.
  • Develop a user friendly interface such as a Jupyter notebook interface.
  • Refine ASPIRE to easily interact with other existing packages.
  • Algorithmic improvements and adding functionality to existing code, including new visualization tools.
  • Speed optimization, such as using GPU and cluster computing.
  • Scale functions to handle increasingly large data sets.
  • Establish coding standards for future development and refactor existing code to be consistent with new standards.
  • Keep documentation up to date and complete.
  • Port existing code from Matlab to Python.
  • Provide support infrastructure and manage ASPIRE’s “Discussion Forum”.
  • Provide hands-on help to and receive feedback from users of ASPIRE on campus (e.g., the Yan Lab in Molecular Biology).
  • Design, implement, and run automated tests before releases.
  • Mentor undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdocs in the research group on modern software development practices and coding standards.
  • Hold open office hours and training sessions.



A bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, sciences, or related computational field required or a Masters/Ph.D. in computer science, applied science, or other related field with a strong computational focus preferred.

Proficiency in all software life cycle stages (development, testing, documentation, releasing)
Strong programming skills, particularly in the languages used in open-source and high-performance computing applications: Python, C/C++, FORTRAN, and Matlab.
Experience with GPU programming.
Parallel programming experience on computational clusters.
Demonstrated successes working in a collaborative environment as well as independently.
Ability to learn new systems beyond area of core knowledge.
Ability to communicate effectively with a diverse user base having varied levels.



Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

Standard Weekly Hours


Eligible for Overtime


Benefits Eligible


Essential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)


Physical Capacity Exam Required


Valid Driver’s License Required


Experience Level

Mid-Senior Level



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