Open Science Developer

Job Location
The Wellcome Genome Campus
CB10 1SD
United Kingdom
Grade 5 - after tax monthly salary starting at £2,387 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.

Job Description

We are looking to recruit an Open Science Developer to work on the THOR project. You will join the Literature Services team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK. 

The THOR project that you will be working on is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Program. It started in June 2015 and will last 30 months. It is a cooperation of EMBL-EBI, CERN, the British Library, ORCID, DataCite, Dryad, PANGAEA, the Australian National Data Service, PLoS and Elsevier. THOR builds on the DataCite and ORCID initiatives to uniquely identify data through ‘persistent identifiers’ (PIDs) and enable those data to be claimed and cited in ORCID records.

Project wise, you’ll be working in a team based on the Agile Scrum and Kanban methodologies. Your main role will be in the development and facilitation of ORCID integrations with EMBL-EBI data resources, and exploring how the identifier systems currently used within those resources can be aligned. This will mean working on a variety of projects, mostly on the platform of Java EE. Our main infrastructure is composed of a number of tiers, such as frontend, middleware, web services, database, and Lucene/Solr index. 
 EMBL-EBI develops public data resources that support biological research, including the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA), UniProt and the Protein Data Bank, Europe (PDBe). The Literature Services team runs Europe PMC, an open access repository of about 3 million full text biomedical research articles and 30 million abstracts, including PubMed. We integrate the literature with the related data resources at EMBl-EBI, and have developed tools to enable authors to claim articles to their ORCID and display ORCIDs on articles in Europe PMC.


To work on web applications, you will be familiar with the HTTP protocol, Java Servlet technology, as well as Tomcat web container and Apache HTTP server. You’ll need to understand how to communicate with both SOAP and RESTful web services and middleware. On starting the job, you will learn the ins and outs of Apache Wicket and Spring frameworks. You should be familiar with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Last but not the least, if you don't have a working knowledge of some of these and related components such as Terracotta, you will need to learn them as requirements arise.

In terms of ORCID development, you’ll need to understand or be willing to learn the OAuth 2 protocol, how to use the Spring Security OAuth2 library to deal with the "3-legged dance", and use ORCID APIs.

To contribute to work on the web services or middleware tier, Hibernate would be required, as well as familiarity with Oracle database and, ideally Lucene/Solr indexing.

If you can see yourself contributing immediately to some of the above tiers within the THOR project, and are willing and interested to learn new skills to accomplish the rest, then this position will provide you with the opportunity to learn and grow as a developer. The team is a welcoming environment in which to work: all of us enjoy a collegial and supportive atmosphere to deliver top quality software for our users. The environment would suit someone who is highly self motivated, and would like to work on a cutting-edge project in a diverse, international environment.

About Our Organization

The EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and it is a world-leading bioinformatics centre providing biological data to the scientific community with expertise in data storage, analysis and representation. EMBL-EBI provides freely available data from life science experiments, performs basic research in computational biology and offers an extensive user training programme, supporting researchers in academic and industry. We are part of EMBL, Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences.

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