Job Location
EMBL-EBI Wellcome Genome Campus
CB10 1SD
United Kingdom

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

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.

Job Description

The Samples, Phenotypes and Ontologies team are looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated bioinformatician/biocurator to join the BioSamples database team in a short term post to analyse and perform targeted data curation at EMBL-EBI.

The Biosamples database ( at EMBL-EBI is a resource that integrates biological samples from a wide variety of sources to provide a single location to apply standards and ontologies to sample data. It has grown from 14,000 samples in 2010 to over 5 million samples in 2017. Almost every biological experiment starts with samples, and as the home for this information, the BioSamples database is a central component for the EBI. It plays a key role in biological knowledge to the raw data, stored in the many archive databases at EBI and outside. BioSamples is an increasingly important component in a building bioinformatics platforms to enable stem cell research, improving our understanding of the genetic basis of disease, and facilitating genomics research in crop science.

In this role, you’ll be working to perform targeted data mining and data cleaning over a subset of samples focused on one particular area of biology, depending on your expertise and interests. This role would suit someone with a biological background, an interest in the use of big data in biological research and a keen sense of attention to detail. You’ll be performing curation and metadata management of BioSamples, with an opportunity to shape the way all future submissions that include sample metadata are handled by the EBI. You should be familiar with working with standard formats for expressing biological data, but there’ll also be a variety of data analysis techniques involved (in the past, we’ve done analysis using tools like Neo4J).

You’ll be embedded into the Biosamples team, a multidisciplinary team of bioinformaticians and programmers with experience in ontologies, databases, backend java technologies and user interfaces, and with scientific backgrounds ranging from biochemistry to systems biology. This means you should be comfortable interacting with scientists and developers to help specify, build and test new tools and techniques that would be helpful to your tasks.


You should ideally have an undergraduate degree in a Biomedical Science, with a masters degree in bioinformatics or a computer science. You’ll need to be self-motivated and capable of working both independently and with a closely interacting team of scientists in an international academic environment. You should be able to demonstrate previous experience of software development or scripting in at least one programming language, and if you have worked on collaborative coding projects or in an agile software development environment you’ll be a good fit for our team.

This position offers exciting opportunities, both to work as part of a team on a large, established bioinformatics database and to take the initiative in the development of new data processing tools. It would be perfect for a recent bioinformatics graduate looking for a first position in a world-leading bioinformatics institute.

How to Apply

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

About Our Organization

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 22 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.

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