Ensembl Core Software Project Leader

European Bioinformatics Institute/European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI)
Job Location
Wellcome Trust Genome Campus
CB10 1SD
United Kingdom

EMBL-EBI staff enjoy many benefits including sports facilities, a free shuttle bus to Cambridge and other nearby centres, and an attractive working environment set in 55 acres of parkland. Our salary scales are very competitive.

Job Description

The Ensembl project seeks a talented and motivated Project Leader to manage the development of its Core Software at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) which is located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.

 The primary role of the position is managing the development and maintenance of the Ensembl Core database schema and the Ensembl Core Perl API which serve as the basis for the Ensembl website and annotation pipelines and is also widely used by external users.

 The post-holder will have the following responsibilities:

  • Management of several software developers
  • Setting the direction and priorities of the Core API and databases.
  • Representing the team at internal and external meetings
  • Training staff and responding to functionality requests and bug reports.
  • Be involved in the hiring of new staff member
  • Participate in the overall leadership of the Ensembl project.


Additional core project leader tasks will include:

  • Playing a key part in the Ensembl release cycle.
  • Working with other components of Ensembl, including Ensembl Genomes, as well as with external users to make our software as usable and efficient as possible.
  • Collaborating with international projects on and off campus.
  • User support and training.


The EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory(EMBL) and is Europe's leading provider of information services to biological researchers in academia and industry.


The ideal candidate should hold a Masters degree of higher in Computer Science or Physical Science, or a Ph.D. in Biological Science.


Previous experience of working in a large software development project, in close collaboration with fellow team members, with specific personal responsibilities, to deadlines, would be a distinct benefit. The applicant will also find it useful to have experience of working with large codebases and with systems which process and store large quantities of date. Previous experience with bioinformatics projects will be an advantage but is not a requirement.


The post-holder must have strong programming skills in Perl. Experience in development of SQL databases, in particular MySQL would be highly advantageous as would knowledge of NoSQL solutions. Experience in other programming/scripting languages, particularly Java, would be an advantage as would some knowledge of molecular biology and/or bioinformatics. The candidate should be comfortable developing software in a primarily Unix-based environment, and be familiar with the use of development tools such as Git and GitHub for collaborative development. Familiarity with virtualisation and cloud computing, particularly Amazon Web Services, is desirable.


We are looking for highly motivated candidates with good communication and interpersonal skills. Furthermore, candidates should demonstrate solid problem solving skills, excellent attention to detail, and a desire to work in an international environment. Good written and oral English skills are required.

How to Apply

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.

We welcome applications irrespective of gender and appointment will be based on merit alone. Applications are welcome from all nationalities. Visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

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

Applications will close at midnight German time on the date listed above.

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