Help Desk Assistant - 24555BR

Help Desk Assistant

Biodiversity Institute
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Employee Class: 

Position Overview

Jump in with the Biodiversity Institute Specify Software team ( to take on various software support activities as part of an engaged, supportive, and friendly workgroup of professional software engineers, students, and museum scientists. Support activities are varied and will be designed to take advantage of your existing skills and experience and build career-valuable expertise. You will learn modern, practical, data science and software support methods working with museum scientists from around the world. Responsibilities include solving software issues, testing software, and other computer-related tasks. No prior experience with Specify Software or research software is necessary, as we provide comprehensive training on our mission to provide global software for documenting the world's plant and animal species. We have a large, comfortable office space in Dyche Hall next to the Kansas Union.

Our student team members have consistently raved about their experience working with us, and we believe that if you are a smart, creative, and detail-oriented individual with a drive to succeed, you will find this to be a fulfilling and enjoyable opportunity. Join a supportive and engaging team of professional software engineers, students, and museum scientists from around the world as you develop a deeper understanding of the field and expand your skill set.

Job Description

  • Develop a familiarity with Specify software and how natural history museums manage data to attain an understanding of basic principles and methods of modern science data management
  • Provide assistance and troubleshoot basic software issues to users of museum software (will train fully on use of Specify software, no experience with Specify needed).
  • Examine software issues reported by researchers and attempt to clarify or resolve them (no programming experience required).
  • Create and track user-reported issues using a variety of channels such as email and GitHub.
  • Create documentation on different aspects on the use and implementation of the software.
  • Assist with special projects, administrative reports, and other duties as assigned.
  • Participate in weekly staff meetings, describing activities and surfacing issues as they arise for discussion.
  • Interact with Specify software users to help resolve their issues.

Required Qualifications

  1. Undergraduate student in good standing at the University of Kansas. (No graduate students, please.)
  2. Good verbal and written communication skills as evident in application materials and an informal interview.
  3. Good working knowledge using Windows, macOS, or Linux operating systems.
  4. Need to be available to work a minimum of 14 hours per week during the Fall and Spring semesters, and have the ability to commit to a weekly schedule (around coursework obligations) which can be flexible and be changed as needed, during the hours of 8 AM-5 PM, Monday through Friday. Must be available starting Spring 2023 and ideally during the summer half or full-time, and then into Fall 2023. Planned vacations and breaks from campus are fine.

The following is used on all student postings:
**During the semester term of the appointment, the student hourly must be enrolled in no fewer than 6 credit hours. For summer periods the student hourly must: 1) have been enrolled in no less than 6 hours in the past spring semester or 2) be pre-enrolled in upcoming fall semester in no less than 6 hours or 3) be enrolled in summer session or 4) be admitted to study in the upcoming fall semester. Student Hourlies may be undergraduate or graduate students.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Familiarity with Excel, MySQL, MariaDB, Postgres, or similar spreadsheet and database software.
  2. Prior work experience, ideally some kind of detail-oriented work.
  3. Ability to interact openly and communicate clearly with teammates, and the ability to prioritize, schedule, and complete project tasks.
  4. Customer service experience.
  5. Strong problem-solving skills and the ability to learn quickly.

Additional Candidate Instructions

A complete application consists of the online application, cover letter, and resume. Only complete applications will be considered.
Applications will be accepted until a successful candidate is selected

Contact Information to Applicants

Theresa Miller (

Advertised Salary Range


Work Schedule

flexible work hours, 14-20 during the school year, up to 40 during breaks

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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Biodiversity Institute
Primary Campus:
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Employee Class: