Project Leader, RNA Resoucres

Job Location
Wellcome Genome Campus
Hinxton, near Cambridge
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 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 3 years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

Job Description

We are seeking to recruit a Project Leader for RNA Resources. You will join the Protein Families team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.

The new non-coding RNA databases, RNAcentral and Rfam, have recently been unified under an umbrella project for RNA resources. You will be responsible for the day-to-day management of both databases, supervising the small team of software developers, bioinformaticians and curators. You will plan and execute the database releases, co-ordinating with source databases and other internal and external collaborators to ensure timely delivery.

You are expected to drive the development of RNAcentral and Rfam, both from a technical and scientific perspective. This will require keeping abreast with scientific advancements, fostering and maintaining scientific collaborations and being responsible for leading the evaluation of emerging web and database technologies.

This project is placed within Rob Finn’s Protein Families team, with the successful candidate reporting to Rob Finn. Alex Bateman (Cluster Head) will also be involved from a scientific standpoint to help develop the RNA resources project.



  • PhD level or equivalent qualification/experience in computational, biological or related scientific discipline
  • 5 or more years’ experience of working with a significant biological database, ideally within the field of RNA biology
  • Used to agile software development practices and the demands of producing production quality software
  • Experience of working in the field of non-coding RNA and a track record of publications in a quality peer-review journal
  • Expert knowledge of Java and/or Perl
  • Experience (intermediate) scheduling compute jobs using LSF or SGE
  • Expert use of revision control e.g. Git, subversion
  • Continuous integration e.g. Jenkins, Travis CI (intermediate)
  • Experience of Oracle and MySQL (Expert)
  • Experience of design and implementation of relational database schemas (Intermediate)

Above all, you must be enthusiastic over RNA biology, self-motivated and willing to challenge yourself and your team. You are expected to have strong leadership skills, but also have the ability to work collaboratively as a team. You should have good communication skills, both verbal and written, be able to multitask and have a proven ability to meet deadlines. You should be innovative and have attention to detail.


  • Experience of the design and implementation of web interfaces
  • Previous supervisory or managerial experience
  • Previous experience working as part of a broad collaborative project
  • Knowledge of C or C++
  • Knowledge of web stack technologies i.e. JavaScript, CSS, HTML5 (Intermediate/Basic)
How to Apply

Please apply online through

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.

NIH's Michael Lauer looks at the number of grants, their amount, and funding success rates at the agency for last year.

At Nature, Johns Hopkins' Gundula Bosch describes her graduate program that aims to get doctoral students thinking about the big picture.

Patricia Fara writes about childcare funding, and women in science and science history at NPR.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences researchers have visualized the career paths of former postdocs.