Cloud Bioinformatics Application Architect

Job Location
The Wellcome Trust Genome Campus
CB10 1SD
United Kingdom
Grade 6 - after tax monthly salary starting at £2,670 plus mobility and other allowances

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

Job Description

We are seeking to recruit an experienced individual in bioinformatic pipeline design and implementation to join the Technical Services Team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.

We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic about translating these pipelines into Cloud Applications. The Cloud Applications Architect will support internal and external Bioinformatic teams in their use of EMBL-EBI’s private and public ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ Cloud (the EMBL-EBI Embassy Cloud). EMBL-EBI Embassy Cloud has been developed to provide rapid access to the molecular ‘big data’ stored at EMBL-EBI by allowing researchers to bring their analysis and data to our cloud infrastructure and data.

Reporting to the Technical Services Cluster head, Steven Newhouse, you will be expected to work with teams within and external to the cluster and you will be responsible for: 

  • Assisting EMBL-EBI teams in porting their workloads to clouds by offering technical guidance & practical assistance in virtualising their workloads;
  • Developing a deep understanding of their current service needs and future requirements of the Embassy Cloud through external projects and collaborations such as PanCancer, COMPARE, PhenoMeNal & BD2K;
  • Identifying and developing services and activities that would accelerate uptake and simplify the use of EMBL-EBI’s cloud resources (e.g. developing virtual research environments, producing and maintaining a catalogue of virtual machine templates, etc.);
  • Representing the various user needs within the Technical Services Cluster during technical and strategic discussion around the evolution of the Embassy Cloud service;
  • Liaising with other cloud providers in the commercial and public e-Infrastructure sectors to see how their services can be used alongside EMBL-EBI’s.


EMBL-EBI operates a mixed VMware and OpenStack based virtualised cloud environment which is available for both internal and collaborative use. The EMBL-EBI Cloud Infrastructure is scaling up to an OpenStack Cloud with over 1000 cores and 1.5PB of storage in addition to an existing VMware based cloud infrastructure of 1200 cores and 0.5PB storage and a data centre infrastructure with over 2000 VMs across three data centres. The Cloud infrastructure is able to access EMBL-EBI’s existing public data resources of over 8PB.

You would contribute to the exploitation of this infrastructure investment by supporting users and their application workloads, by assisting the users in porting their applications to the Embassy Cloud and understanding and communicating their needs to other teams within the Technical Services Cluster.


You will have a degree (or equivalent experience) in a Computational, Physical or Biological Sciences and at least 3 years of documented experience in use of cloud services and associated systems administration experience, ideally in a bioinformatics oriented academic or research environment. Proficiency in systems administration skills such as cloud/virtualisation technologies is expected and experience in databases, software installation and configuration is highly desired.
In addition you will:  

  • Have experience as a user in OpenStack, VMware or equivalent cloud management frameworks;
  • Demonstrate experience of having managed Linux and equivalent systems so that they work with application communities in their use of our cloud systems;
  • Demonstrate experience of developing Bioinformatics pipelines;
  • As the role will involve liaising with different groups and users, it is essential that you have excellent communication, both written and verbal, and interpersonal skills, and be able to operate effectively in English within international teams;
  • Demonstrate evidence of establishing productive working relationships within distributed collaborations and an ability to work across multiple projects. You must be able to quickly establish effective working relationships to gather requirements and manage the delivery of results;
  • Be self-motivated and capable of working both independently and with the Applications team (that provides EMBL-EBI’s cloud services) and with other teams both within and external to the Technical Services Cluster at EMBL-EBI; 

  • Demonstrate solid problem solving skills and have experience of working to deadlines;

  • Be able to travel within Europe (and occasionally outside of Europe) to meetings, conferences and workshops as required to represent EMBL-EBI and their work.
How to Apply

Please apply online at our jobs page

About Our Organization

EMBL-EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and a world-leading bioinformatics centre providing biological data to the scientific community with expertise in data storage, analysis and representation.

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