Ensembl Genebuild Developer

Job Location
Wellcome Genome Campus
CB10 1SD
United Kingdom
Grade 5

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 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 the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

Job Description

The Vertebrate Annotation team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) seeks a talented and motivated Developer to join Ensembl and contribute to gene annotation methods and data production. Ensembl (http://www.ensembl.org/) is one of the most successful large-scale bioinformatics projects. We process massive amounts of data from various genomic archives and create new tools and resources for genome analysis. Within the overall project, Ensembl Genebuild is specialised in gene annotation, specifically identifying the location, structure and tissue-specific expression of genes and their transcripts.

The primary role of this position is to participate in Ensembl Genebuild’s production and development projects. The developer will:
· Implement novel methods of processing biological data for gene annotation
· Produce high-quality, evidence-based gene sets for vertebrate species
· Maintain and improve existing gene annotation methods
· Keep up-to-date with the field of gene annotation
· Collaborate with international projects on and off campus
· Communicate the team’s work internally and to researchers in the field, including user support and training

The successful candidate will work closely with other members of Ensembl on data production and pipeline development around the Ensembl release cycles. Future projects for the team include: scaling up gene annotation pipelines, improving our annotation of noncoding genes, automating and enhancing Ensembl’s RNA-seq annotation pipeline, and developing methods of analysing new data including full-length transcriptomic reads.


The ideal candidate will hold an MSc, PhD or equivalent experience in Computer Science, Bioinformatics, Genetics or related fields. Candidates should have evidence of their ability to write, understand and maintain complex code. Candidates with an understanding of genome annotation, the biology of gene expression and the current methods for DNA sequencing and sequence alignment will have a significant advantage.

We are looking for highly motivated candidates with good communication and interpersonal skills. Although the job has a clear technical component, the key attributes sought are the ability to work in a team, and to communicate both biological and computational ideas to biologists and programmers (orally and in writing). Furthermore, candidates should demonstrate solid problem solving skills, excellent attention to detail, time management to deadlines, and a desire to work in an international environment.

The post holder must be proficient in object-oriented programming. Experience in developing computationally efficient solutions, working on a large but continually-evolving codebase, and familiarity with relational databases would be an advantage. Candidates should be comfortable developing software in a primarily Unix-based environment, and be familiar with development tools such as Git.

How to Apply

Please apply online through www.embl.org/jobs

About Our Organization

Ensembl Genebuild (led by Fergal Martin) is a component of the Vertebrate Annotation team (led by Bronwen Aken) which is itself part of Ensembl (led by Paul Flicek). The EBI is a part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and is Europe's leading provider of information services to biological researchers in academia and industry. EBI is located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK. 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. For further information please visit www.ebi.ac.uk

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