System Developer, Korbel School for International Studies

Apply now Job no: 493205
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Business Operations / Services, Information Technology, Academic Administration

The Josef Korbel of International Studies at the University of Denver is an interdisciplinary professional school of international studies that prepares students for careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Our program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and networks to design policies, implement programs, and realize outcomes that enhance human capabilities around the world.

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures seeks to improve the ways in which we analyze and plan for the future. The Pardee Centers research focuses on long-term strategic policy analysis (years or even decades out) and policy trade-offs by using data, academic research, and analytical tools to enhance our understanding of what drives global change. International Futures (IFs) is a large-scale, long-term, integrated global modeling system that represents demographic, economic, health, energy, agriculture, education, infrastructure, socio-political, environmental, and international politics subsystems for 186 countries interacting in the global system. The Pardee Center primarily carries out sponsored research projects with various government institutions, international organizations, NGOs, and to a lesser extent, private sector clients. The Pardee Center is based at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. The Pardee Center is committed to building a culturally diverse faculty and staff committed to working in a pluralistic environment.

Position Summary

Pardee Center seeks to hire an individual who will play an important role in the ongoing development of the International Futures (IFs) model system in support of a wide range of applications and users of IFs inside and outside of the Center. IFs is an integrated assessment that is programmed in the.NET framework (migrating from Visual Basic 6 mostly to VB.NET) with extensive connections to data files using SQL and MS Access. Its structure draws upon a wide range of modeling approaches including those typically used in its issue areas (e.g. general equilibrium in economics, partial equilibrium in agriculture and energy, and cohort-component analysis in demographics). Its development draws on hybrid logics as varied as econometrics/statistical analysis and systems dynamics.

The person we seek will have technical skills to implement models, often created by others on the IFs modeling team, within the IFs code or database framework (, SQL, and MS Access). Experience in .NET development is essential, ideally in both standalone and web applications. That individual must be willing and able to work productively within and across multiple substantive issue areas, understand dynamic model behavior, and implement an extension of the system. The position will involve extensive interaction with other research team members developing and applying the model. Writing will include contributions to documentation and project-specific deliverables, with opportunities to participate also in papers for professional conferences and publications. Collaboration with modeling and project teams is an essential element of this role.

This position has the possibility of working remotely.

Essential Functions

  • The primary function of this position is in the ongoing development and maintenance of IFs, including the implementation of new models or improvements to existing ones, evaluation of technical model performance, and updating the technical documentation of IFs.
  • Model implementation: collaborating with model developers to develop new models and then lead the implementation of them in IFs (using
  • Model evaluation and maintenance: ensure operational validity of the model by performing regular vetting, validation, and verification tests to ensure model performance.
  • Communication: participate in brainstorming sessions for troubleshooting issues or developing new models or features.
  • Model documentation: produce technical documentation of new code or features to update the International Futures documentation (on wiki).
  • Model consolidation and development: participate in the model consolidation process, where the modeling team is coordinating updates prior to new model releases.
  • In all activities, the System Developer is expected to model in his or her own behavior the desired qualities of all Center employees, including a spirit of courtesy and teamwork, commitment to meeting demanding deadlines, stewardship of Center financial and physical resources, and integrity in all dealings with clients, donors, and sponsors.
  • Other Functions
    • Writing will include contributions to documentation and project-specific deliverables, with opportunities to participate also in papers for professional conferences and publications.
  • Supervisory Duties
    • May supervise Research Assistants and/or full-time research staff.
    • May be asked to supervise third parties that develop software or tools for the Center.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Must have a demonstrated commitment to fostering an environment in which faculty, staff, students, and community partners from diverse backgrounds and cultural identities feel welcome and valued. 
  • Interested in quantitative modeling, and willingness to learn the general structure of the IFs model, as well as the specifics of selected modules.
  • Coding experience for model development in one or more computer languages (.NETs Visual Basic especially useful) with an ability to implement models often developed and conceptualized by others on the modeling team.
  • Knowledge in one or more of the issue domains of the IFs system and willingness to work across all domains.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand the structure and functioning of a complex interdisciplinary modeling framework like the International Futures model.
  • Ability to lead software development using a project management framework, including Agile, Scrum, or Github workflows.
  • Strong communication skills are critical, with an ability to function effectively as a member of a research team whose members will have varying levels of technical expertise and understanding.
  • Ability to analyze unanticipated consequences of specific model changes and to evaluate model performance.
  • General knowledge of statistics and quantitative modeling techniques.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or related field.
  • Experience working collaboratively on software development or computer science-related projects.
  • Experience functioning within a team, working on multiple projects simultaneously, and meeting deadlines.
  • Experience in programming with .NET (VB especially useful).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or related field.
  • 3-5 years of experience working with software development, systems administration, or related technical research.
  • Experience with or exposure to integrated modeling systems used to address issues of global change.
  • Experience in programming with the following: Python, Java, SQL, d3.js, or other relevant coding languages.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) on Wednesday, October 8th, 2020.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Range
Salary will be determined by the qualifications of the selected candidate balanced with departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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