Location: EMBL-EBI, Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 2 years
Grading: 5-6 (monthly salary starting at £2,631.99 or £2,944.48 after tax)
Closing Date: 26 April 2019
Reference Number: EBI01385
Would you like to contribute to building a high-quality, comprehensive reference map of all human cells by working with scientists at the forefront of single-cell technologies to make data and protocols openly and freely available?x If so, this exciting role working on the Human Cell Atlas project as part of the Wellcome Trust Strategic Science Award could be the next step in your career! (

We are looking for a highly motivated bioinformatician to join our team; providing front-line support and building tools for the Data Coordination Platform (DCP) for the Human Cell Atlas initiative (HCA You will work at EMBL-EBI located on the Wellcome Genome Campus, near Cambridge, in the UK.

We are part of a team who are building the software platform which allows scientists to share, organise and analyse cellular resolution data that the Human Cell Atlas community can use to build reference maps of human cells. In this role, you will support data contributors submitting data to this platform and work with our collaborators from the Broad Institute and the University of California, Santa Cruz and the funders the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to ensure we meet the needs of the community.

Your role

You will be working in the HCA DCP ingest team supporting submission of data to the DCP. Your role will include the following tasks:
  • Building an understanding of the single cell expression domain and the key needs of our users.
  • Working closely with geneticists and biological scientists to understand their needs and support their data submission.
  • Collaborating with biologists and other external collaborators to define and extend the minimum standards for the various HCA data types.
  • Supporting the data flow into the HCA and EMBL-EBI archives from project contributors.
  • Running training courses on how to submit data to the HCA project.
  • Working with the HCA DCP software developers to report bugs and translate user requirements.
  • Working within an agile framework for task management.

You have

You need this experience for this role:
  • An MSc, PhD, or equivalent experience in Bioinformatics, Genetics, Computer Science, or related fields.
  • Evidence of your ability to operate, understand and maintain complex data flows and pipelines.
  • A high proficiency in working collaboratively and interacting with users to understand their needs.
  • Experience managing high throughput “omics” data.
  • Experience sharing such data with other scientists, ideally through online repositories.
  • Experience with JSON schema would be considered an advantage.
  • Be able to work to tight deadlines
  • Be able to read and interpret scientific literature and technical documents
Are you a bioinformatician with an interest in systematic approaches to pursue biological challenges? Are you passionate about understanding and solving complex biological problems? Are you self-motivated and capable of working within a close team? If the answer to these questions is yes, this could be an ideal role for you, allowing you to work with the Wellcome Trust Human Cell Atlas Award supporting the community to contribute to the Human Cell Atlas.

You might also have

If you already have experience with single-cell experimental technologies this will be considered an advantage. If you have any existing knowledge of best practices with respect to metadata such as ontologies and their application or FAIR (Findable Accessible Interoperable and Reusable) data standards that will be valuable in this position.

Why join us

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 22 member states and two associate member states. 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.

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. For more information about pay and benefits click here.

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.

What else do I need to know

To view a copy of the full job description please click here.

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV through our online system.

Applications are welcome from all nationalities and this will continue after Brexit. For more information please see our website. 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.

This position is limited to the project duration specified.

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