Specify Technical Support Manager - 24452BR

Specify Technical Support Manager

Biodiversity Institute
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Work Location Assignment: 
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

Jump in with the University of Kansas (KU) Specify Collections Consortium (SCC) software team (www.specifysoftware.org) and play a key role with technical support as part of an engaged and friendly workgroup of professional software engineers, students, and museum scientists. We are a software engineering and support group with a mission to provide database application software for the world’s biological (natural history) museums that discover and document Earth’s plant and animal species.

Technical support projects will be varied and designed to first take advantage of your existing skills and experience. You will learn modern, practical, data science methods in this position by supporting software capabilities that have a real-world, biodiversity impact. Challenges will include onboarding natural history museums around the globe into Specify software and helping existing users surmount data or software issues. Tasks will include configuring and customizing Specify and provide usage guidance and training for software users. If you are a smart, creative, and detail-oriented individual with a drive to problem-solve, you will find this a fulfilling and enjoyable position.

The University of Kansas offers a generous benefits package including robust health plan options, retirement plan contribution matching, and 20 days of annual vacation plus paid holidays. KU is located in the bucolic college town of Lawrence, Kansas with outstanding schools and cultural activities.

The Technical Support Manager reports to the SCC Membership and Fulfillment Officer and will interact daily with SCC staff members. The person will communicate extensively with collection scientists from SCC member institutions to provide front-line technical support and problem solving. The successful candidate will supervise engineering student employees who will provide backup technical support. The Technical Support Manager will represent the Consortium in virtual member meetings and in webinars. Depending on public health conditions, the position may require occasional travel to member sites or conferences.

The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal and project management skills and a working knowledge of computing and databases. Prior experience with Specify software or museum data is not required.

Job Description

40% Provide Specify software technical support by receiving incoming email and community forum communications, responding to inquiries and requests, tracking user issues to resolution, and coordinating member problem solving with Specify technical staff. Prioritize support tasks of varying complexity and size, to allow for the staging and completion of support activities from providing immediate answers to tasks that require multi-week engagement.

15% Debug and customize design of Specify data entry forms and interface schema. Support deployment and management of the software. Design Specify labels and reports for printed output. These activities include communicating with consortium members, tracking progress, and delivering final products.

10% Assist in non-technical aspects of data conversions, and importing data from other systems into Specify via a spreadsheet application.

10% Document in writing or with video recordings, descriptions of methods, techniques, and tips for managing collections data in Specify.

10% Participate in the requirements analysis and user-centric testing of new Specify software releases.

5% Supervise student hourly employees, including coordinating their recruitment, training, work priorities, task tracking, and work and performance evaluation.

5% Engage and participate in staff meetings to discuss issues arising related to Specify users and their support. Work with the Membership and Fulfillment Officer to set priorities and goals.

5% Perform other activities as needed in accordance with the scope of the position.

Position Requirements

Work Location: (Hybrid) Dyche Hall, Lawrence Campus, and remote

Required Qualifications

  1. Bachelor’s degree OR Associate’s degree plus 1-year related experience.
  2. Proficient at task prioritizing and time management, ability to track and accomplish tasks to meet deadlines, as evidenced by previous work experience.
  3. Strong working knowledge of computers and databases, with demonstrated experience in their use and application.
  4. Proficient writing and editing skills as evidenced by application materials and past writing projects.
  5. Demonstrable highly collaborative work habits, team collaboration, and excellent verbal and written communication skills as evidenced by interview and referees.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Experience in a technical customer service role as demonstrated in application materials.
  2. Knowledge of database management, specifically with MySQL or MariaDB in a museum or science setting.
  3. Bachelor's degree in a STEM, museum collections, or business-related field.
  4. Familiarity with Specify Software.
  5. Proven problem-solving skills and enthusiasm to learn new methods, as demonstrated during an interview and in application materials.

Additional Candidate Instructions

Only complete application packages submitted online will be considered. A complete application includes online application form, resume, cover letter, names and contact information for three professional references.

Application review will begin March 2, 2023 and will continue until a qualified pool of applicants have been identified.

Contact Information to Applicants

Theresa Miller, tlammer@ku.edu

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Posting Information
Posting ID:
Biodiversity Institute
Primary Campus:
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Work Location Assignment:
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins: