Senior Software Developer
Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Staff Member
Contract Duration:3 years
Grading:6 (monthly salary starting at £2,855 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here
Closing Date:1st April 2018
Reference Number:EBI_01161

Job Description

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic Senior Software Developer to work in the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge (UK).

The successful applicant will work with a focused team of developers, bioinformaticians, and user support personnel providing services for the archival and distribution of controlled-access human genetic and phenotypic data to users worldwide. The EGA is an international collaboration, and you will have the opportunity to gain expertise both in software engineering and biological scientific data modelling. We are active participants in the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) to design, develop, and implement open standards to enable responsible human genomic data sharing.

The main responsibilities on the backend will be the design and implementation of Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) pipelines and APIs for the management, transfer and analysis of genetic data. Most of the software components are implemented as microservices in Java using Spring Boot. The team software development life cycle is managed using agile methodologies and will require the structured use of Git, JIRA and Confluence in a collaborative programming environment. Familiarity with Continuous Integration is desirable.

You will engage in both internal and external (national and international) collaborations and will have the opportunity to gain expertise both in terms of technical software engineering and biological scientific data modelling.

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 23 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will hold a bachelor or higher degree in computer science or similar. Experience in the genomics and bioinformatics domain is desirable and an interest to learn the biological domain area while on the job is required.

You must have the following experience:

  • Java programming (minimum of 3 years)
  • Spring framework, particularly for interaction with databases, REST web services and batch processing. Knowledge of Spring Boot would be beneficial.
  • Relational databases, preferably PostgreSQL
  • Docker containers
  • Familiarity with working in unix environments
  • Working in a professional or academic context in multi-person team production projects

The following would be desirable:

  • Development of distributed applications, e.g. using Spring Cloud
  • Familiarity with continuous Integration
  • NoSQL databases
  • Scripting languages frequently used in bioinformatics such as Python, Perl or R

The ability to work within a team is critical to this position. Excellent communication skills and an ability to work to tight deadlines are essential. A willingness to review code and participate in refactoring, design, and testing is more important than specific bioinformatics domain experience.

The Senior Software Developer will be required to communicate technical documents, lead the daily Scrum stand-up and code reviews, as well as provide user oriented communication with external and internal users of the systems.


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 have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

Application Instructions

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.

Additional Information

Applications are welcome from all nationalities - visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.