Location: EMBL-EBI, Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 2 years
Grading: 5-6 (monthly salary starting at £2,738 - £3,063 after tax)
Closing Date: 3 August 2020
Reference Number: EBI01648
The Archival Infrastructure and Technology (AIT) team is looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated bioinformatician to join the Human Cell Atlas (HCA - project. You will support labs from all over the world contributing single-cell data to the HCA. You will ensure this data is associated with a rich description and is interoperable so it can be combined with other data in order to build the Atlas.  The HCA is a cutting-edge initiative using recent technological advances that allows us to measure and observe individual human cells at scale. Labs all over the world are collecting vast volumes of data that will help us to understand health and disease better. As part of this team, you will support the HCA community sharing this data and increasing our understanding of human biology. You will be defining and running processes that make single-cell data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reproducible (FAIR, as part of the Data Coordination Platform (HCA-DCP) for the HCA community.  We deliver services that biologists and bioinformaticians in labs all over the world use to submit datasets to the DCP, uploading terabytes of data at a time. This is big data, but the hardest challenge we face is variability, not volume, as we support submitters to accurately describe their experiments using our tools. As part of our team, you will have the chance to engage with our collaborators from the Broad Institute and the University of California Santa Cruz.

Your role

You should have knowledge of genomics and an ability to pick up new skills quickly. You should be adaptable, enthusiastic and value-focused, as these are traits we look for in all our team members. Existing domain knowledge of data management and single-cell data is useful, but a willingness to learn and versatility in approach is key.  As part of your day to day job, you will interact with the labs generating data for the HCA project. You will support them structuring their data to meet HCA standards and ensuring their data is FAIR. You will work with them to understand their needs and requirements for data deposition. You will work with the whole HCA community to understand what metadata is vital to ensure the FAIRness of single-cell data and that it can be used to build the Atlas. You will use this information to evolve our metadata standards. You will also work with software developers to design and implement improved processes and services to capture single-cell data and increase the level of automation in our FAIRification processes including annotating metadata with ontology terms. All of our code and data is open, you should be confident in making your work open-source.  We follow agile principles in our approach to development and operations, focusing on our user needs when prioritizing work to be done. You will be part of a cross-functional team where bioinformaticians and software developers work together to understand the needs of the HCA scientists and deliver and run services to meet those needs. This position is a fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on experience, working on a high-profile project with major scientific impact in a world-leading bioinformatics institute.

You have

  • Experience working with sequencing or other omics data
  • Experience in Genomics and/or Bioinformatics
  • Knowledge of common data formats, in particular, JSON and JSON schema
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and an ability to work as part of a team of people with a range of skills and a diversity of backgrounds.

You might also have

  • Practical experience of data management
  • Experience in single-cell genomics 
  • Some familiarity with semantic technologies and the use of ontologies for annotating metadata 
  • Experience in running bioinformatics training courses 
  • Experience of at least one programming language including Python and/or Java
  • Experience of working in an agile development environment
  • Interest in Cloud technologies

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 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.