Software Developer/Bioinformatician

Job Location
Hinxton, near Cambridge
United Kingdom
Job Description

We are looking to recruit a bioinformatician and a software engineer to join the Ensembl Genomes Team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.

The successful applicants will work on a new project to develop software to meet the challenges of crop informatics. Large scale sequencing of crop genomes has the potential to transform plant breeding. The Ensembl Plants resource ( currently provides access to data from many species, but the rate of data generation is rapidly increasing. To deal with this challenge, we aim to build new software components for data storage, analysis and visualisation. A key part of our vision is the implementation of new systems for capturing and sharing meta data about experimental materials, and utilising this to automatically analyse relevant data ready for display. The complete software package will be distributed as a virtual machine for use in cloud environments.

We are seeking to employ two individuals to work on this project: an experienced software developer and a bioinformatician. The two staff members will work alongside other members of the Ensembl Genomes team and in collaboration with staff working on primary data archives and with our collaborators at The Genome Analysis Centre, Norwich.

The main tasks for the post holders will be:

  • Implementing pipelines for data identification, automated analysis and data, and
  • designing, implementing and populating a virtual environment for cloud computational genomics.

Both team members will report to the Ensembl Plants Project Leader.

The EBI, part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMB), 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 academia and industry.

At EMBL-EBI 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 enjoy many benefits including excellent sports facilities, a free shuttle bus to Cambridge and other nearby centres, an active sport and social club and an attractive working environment set in 55 acres of parkland.


Applicants should have a degree in a biological or computer science, and proven professional programming experience.

For the Software Developer role we are looking for at least 3 years experience of professional software development, expert knowledge of Perl and at least one other programming language, expert knowledge of relational databases and experience of handling big data. Knowledge of NoSQL data storage, workflow/grid/cloud technologies, and handling molecular biology data are all desirable.

For the Bioinformatician role we are looking for someone who has a minimum of one years professional experience and who should also be an expert in Perl. Strong candidates will distinguish themselves by greater experience of software engineering practices, of analysis of big data, or service provision, and/or data-driven biological investigation.

Maintaining communication with several collaborating teams is an important aspect of both roles. Therefore, excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential. A flexible mind set, capacity for independent work, and a high level of intellectual curiosity are additionally required.

How to Apply

Please apply online through

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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