Bioinformatician – Ensembl Plants

We’re looking for a bioinformatician to work on integrating, analysing and testing data for the Ensembl Plants database. We’re looking for experience delivering a service in bioinformatics, with knowledge of relational databases and programming. Closes 8th July 2018.

Location: EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 3 years
Grading: 5 (monthly salary starting at £2,552 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here
Closing Date: 8 July 2018
Reference Number: EBI_01232

Job Description

We are seeking a bioinformatician to work on the Ensembl Plants Database at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus. The appointee will be join a small team responsible for community engagement, data integration and service development, part of a larger organisational unit providing genome-centric services across the whole taxonomy from plants to bacteria.

Ensembl Plants is a leading bioinformatics resource and provides plant researchers with access to genome sequence, gene annotation, and analysis tools for over 50 different species. We are participants in the United Kingdom’s Designing Future Wheat program, which brings together eight organisations aiming to assist in the development of improved wheat varieties; European and trans-Atlantic collaborations (in the ELIXIR and Gramene projects); and are working with the community to develop new data standards and tools to assist in the collection and dissemination of data. We are looking to hire a bioinformatician to join the team working on this project.

Regular duties will include integration, analysis and testing of data. Data types to be handled include variation, alignment, regulatory and phylogenetic data. Moreover, as new technologies are developed and applied, the post holder will need to update computational databases, pipelines, and visualisations to accommodate new data types and scales. This will usually be a cooperative activity with the wider group of people working to develop other genome-centric services using the Ensembl infrastructure. Routinely, the job will require interaction with colleagues, collaborators and the wider community of data generators and consumers. We are looking to appoint someone with proven bioinformatics skills, and a strong commitment to providing services to support the scientific community.

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 24 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

Qualifications and Experience

Applicants should have at least two years’ experience working in bioinformatics. Experience in service provision, software development, and of working with on plants, are all desirable but not essential. The successful candidate will be familiar with many of the types of data we handle in Ensembl Plants (including but not limited to short read sequencing data, variant call data, and multiple sequencing alignments) and aware of the common approaches and pitfalls when dealing with them, and will have a working knowledge of common bioinformatics tools and databases. They will possess good communication and interpersonal skills.

Computational expertise is also necessary: the applicant is expected to be familiar with Linux, relational database management systems, and at least one programming language. Experience of code repositories, compute farms and queuing systems, containers, and other tools for software development and deployment will be considered favourably


EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

Application Instructions

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.

Additional Information

Applications are welcome from all nationalities – visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.

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