Ontology Developer (Gene Ontology)

European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)
Job Location: 
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK
Job Description: 

We are looking for an Ontology Developer to join the Gene Ontology (GO) office at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.

This Ontology Developer position involves the following responsibilities, which are carried out in collaboration with other gene ontology developers and annotators:

- high-level modelling of the ontologies; specification of high level terms and generic templates for terms; developing tests and evaluating using OWL reasoners; working with the software teams to implement these; working with GO annotators to prioritise areas of the ontology for development.

- knowledge elicitation from biological experts; explaining ontologies and GO; organising and participating in development meetings for specific topics.

- coordinating with ontology developers from other groups to align with and import from other ontologies.

- handling day to day requests for new terms that don't fit any existing template via a tracking system; responding to users that write in to the helpdesk; designing quality control checks and fixing errors that they flag; validating new terms that come in through our automated systems.

The post-holder will report to the GO Coordinator. The position involves at least two international trips a year, to attend GO Consortium and other related meetings.

EMBL-EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and is located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK. We are a world-leading bioinformatics centre providing biological data to the scientific community with expertise in data storage, analysis and representation.

The GO project (http://www.geneontology.org/) is a collaborative effort to construct and use ontologies to facilitate the biologically meaningful annotation of genes and their products in a wide variety of organisms.

At EMBL-EBI we provide a dynamic, international working environment and have close ties with both the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. EMBL-EBI staff enjoy many benefits including excellent sports facilities, a free shuttle bus to Cambridge and other nearby centres, an active sports and social club and an attractive working environment set in 55 acres of parkland.


Applicants should have a strong biological background (to Masters or PhD level) and experience of working with ontologies controlled languages or other semantic standards. The ideal candidate will be comfortable working with the formal aspects of ontology development, and previous experience working with OWL and/or OBO languages would be an advantage.

Computational skills, for example working within a Unix/Linux environment, Perl scripting, writing SQL queries and HTML would be an advantage.

The post-holder must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills, (s)he should also work well both independently and within a team environment. The ideal candidate will be able to use their own initiative to create and drive projects to a conclusion.

Contact Information: 

Please apply online through www.embl.org/jobs

About Our Organization: 

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation.

Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.

Note that special visa requirements apply to employees of non EU countries working at EMBL-EBI in the UK. The period of work does not qualify them for the Highly Skilled Migrants Programme.