Biocurator - InterPro
Location: EMBL-EBI, Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 3 years
Grading: 5 (monthly salary starting at £2,676.73 after tax)
Closing Date: 12 September 2019
Reference Number: EBI01490
The EMBL-EBI Sequence Families Team, led by Rob Finn, is responsible for a number of world-leading protein family annotation resources, including Pfam and InterPro. Pfam is a database of protein families, represented by multiple sequence alignments and profile hidden Markov models (HMMs). InterPro is a resource that classifies protein sequences into families, and predicts the presence of functionally important domains and sites. It does this by incorporating protein signatures from 13 different specialist international member databases, including Pfam. There is an opportunity for an expert biocurator to join the team on a full time basis working on the InterPro/Pfam project.

Your role

The successful candidate will critically evaluate protein signature models for inclusion in new or existing InterPro entries, as well as writing descriptive abstracts and assigning GO term annotations. They will also maintain and update Pfam database entries, based on both user contributions and scientific literature, compile pathways from InterPro entries for use in the Genome Properties resource, and partake in other curation activities, as needed.
The successful candidate will work closely with the rest of the curation and development team to ensure timely updates and releases of the various resources. They will respond to user queries and requests, as appropriate. They will also help to maintain resource user guides, adding frequently asked questions and updating content where appropriate.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Create and maintain InterPro and Pfam entries through the assessment of protein signature models. This will involve using our curation interfaces and tools (using basic command line)
  • Write descriptive abstracts of protein families and domains, summarizing functional information found within the scientific literature.
  • Augment entries with annotation terms for use in automatic annotation pipelines, for example the use of GO annotations and other data standards.
  • Respond to user and collaborator queries and requests.
  • Help develop and deliver training materials, either in person of via the Train Online platform

You have

• A PhD in a biological or closely related scientific discipline, or equivalent experience in scientific data curation.
• Several years of experience in curating biological data, and/or experimentally investigating proteins.
• Experience of computational data entry and data standards.
• Experience in widely used bioinformatics tools is essential, ideally related to protein sequence searching and retrieval.
• Ability to read, digest and summarise scientific literature.
• Basic/intermediate Linux/Unix command line skills, and basic scripting knowledge.
• Experience in the use of bioinformatics tools, both GUI and command-line.
• Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.   
• Attention to detail.
• Ability to constructively critique database entries and annotations generated by others
• Ability to manage time and meet deadlines.  
• Good team skills and a flexible attitude.

You might also have

• Demonstratable experience dealing with database helpdesks
• Experience using HMMER suite to build and search profile HMMs.
• Basic knowledge of querying relational databases, e.g. MySQL.
• Experience in producing and delivering training materials to a group, and/or online.

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 over 27 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 you 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.