Ensembl Genebuild Project Leader

Job Location
Wellcome Genome Campus
Hixton, near Cambridge
CB10 1SD
United Kingdom

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 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.

Job Description

 The Vertebrate Annotation team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) seeks a talented and motivated Project Leader to lead Ensembl in the field of gene annotation. 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 manage Ensembl Genebuild’s production and development projects. The project leader will:
• Guide team members in their production and development projects
• Understand the technical issues involved in developing and maintaining biological databases and pipelines, and contribute to the development of novel solutions
• Actively 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
• Keep up-to-date with the field of gene annotation
• Ensure that data produced by the team remain high quality and are updated regularly

The project leader will be part of the scientific and operational management of Ensembl, and will work closely with other members of Ensembl to prioritise data production and pipeline development around Ensembl release cycles. Future projects include: working with Ensembl Comparative Genomics staff to scale 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.

Ensembl Genebuild is a component of the Vertebrate Annotation team (led by Bronwen Aken) which is itself part of Ensembl (led by Paul Flicek).


The postholder should ideally hold an MSc, PhD or equivalent experience in Bioinformatics, Biology, IT, Computer Science or related fields.

The candidate must have an understanding of the biology of gene expression and annotation, as well as current technologies and ongoing research in the field of genome sequencing and genome alignment tools. They must also have experience with international scientific collaborations. They should also have experience of coding, as well as personnel and project management.

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) to help define the direction of the project. Ensembl comprises 40+ staff members, and the project leader will have to be organized in order to meet our regular deadlines, reports and procedures.

The candidate should be able to understand the process of software development within Unix-like environments, be able to estimate development times and develop computational efficient programs. Literacy in Perl and MySQL are required as is experience of Git or an equivalent source control system. C experience will be considered a plus.

How to Apply

Please apply online through www.embl.org/jobs

About Our Organization

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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