Database Engineer
Location: EMBL-EBI, Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category: Staff Member
Contract Duration: 3 years
Grading: Grade 5 or 6 (monthly salary starting at £2,738.29 or £3,063.41 after tax) + Other paid benefits
Closing Date: 17 February 2021
Reference Number: EBI01757
We are looking to recruit an experienced database engineer to join the Literature Services Team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK. EMBL-EBI is part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

Our team develops and maintains EuropePMC ( - a repository of 6.5 million full text biomedical research articles, supplemented with ~38 million abstracts, database links and citation information.

This is an excellent opportunity to contribute to an ambitious project that aims to become the literature resource of choice for life science and biomedical researchers in the UK, Europe and beyond.

You will be working together with the rest of the team (Developers, Tester, UX, Product Manager, Team Leader, Data Scientist, Community Manager, Help Desk, Database Administrators - DBAs) in an Agile environment and will need to collaborate with external collaborators

Your role

You will be responsible for engineering solutions that support content input and integrated management of abstracts, full text journal articles, grey literature and related data. There will be opportunities for you to participate in designing and implementing big data schemas and related procedures to manage it.

The position reports to the Technical Project Leader in the Literature Services team and specific tasks will include:
  • Design and maintenance of scalable database schemas and related store procedures, being able to cope with increasing amounts of data
  • Development and maintenance of content input and processing pipelines, building on existing capabilities
  • Interaction with DBAs and System administrators
  • Performance tuning of the databases/queries to obtain high performance considering the significant amount of reading/writing operations
  • Development of ad hoc reports based on database content needed from other team members
  • Maintenance of scripts to generate stats for Key Performance Indicators and evaluation purposes, reading data from Apache application logs

You have

  • A University degree in Computer Science or have equivalent experience.
  • Deep knowledge of relational databases (Oracle, SQL server, Postgres) and experience in writing PL/SQL procedures.
  • Experience in managing relational databases of size of hundreds of TB and with a high amount of read/write requests due to significant usage from clients
  • Good knowledge of Java related technologies
  • Good knowledge of Shell/perl/awk scripting in a linux environment
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to operate in an international environment and being competent in spoken and written English
  • Excellent analytical, problem solving and troubleshooting skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a project team, managing personal priorities and workload effectively

You might also have

  • Experience in working with NO SQL databases (MongoDB)
  • Knowledge of XML parsing strategies (SAX)
  • Knowledge of scientific publishing, Bioinformatics or biological resource development experience
  • Experiencing working in an Agile environment
  • Experience in using and developing Rest APIs
  • Experience in working with Lucene/Solr

Why join us

EMBL-EBI is a worldwide leader in bioinformatics. We encourage personal and professional development and are committed to ensuring our employees feel valued, supported and empowered to reach their potential at work.

Surrounded by beautiful South Cambridgeshire countryside, our state-of-the-art Campus provides employees with a relaxed atmosphere where the pursuit of scientific discovery and meaningful work, underpin every role. In addition, our employees have access to a wide range of benefits including:  
  • 30 days annual leave per year plus 8 bank holidays
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Unique pension scheme including 17% employer contribution
  • Annual salary review
  • Private medical insurance for you and your immediate family (including all prescriptions and generous dental & optical cover)
  • Death benefit, long-term care, accident at work and unemployment insurances
  • Relocation package including installation grant (if required)
  • On-site library and subsidised on-site gym and cafeteria
  • Casual dress code
  • Free shuttle bus to and from Campus
  • Extensive sports and social club activities (run on campus and remotely)
  • Family benefits: Onsite nursery, child sick leave, generous parental leave, holiday clubs on campus and monthly family and child allowances
  • Benefits for non-UK residents:Visa exemption, education grant for private schooling, financial support to travel back to your home country every second year and a monthly non-resident allowance

What else you need to know

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

At EMBL-EBI, we strongly believe that inclusive and diverse teams benefit from higher levels of innovation and creative thought. We encourage applications from women, LGBTQ and individuals from all nationalities. Visa exemptions will be offered to international candidates and details will be discussed during interview. We believe in science without borders and this continues after Brexit.

This role is based in Hinxton, UK and you will be required to relocate once it is safe to do so if you are currently based abroad. More info on how we are recruiting in this period is available on our page: Recruitment and Onboarding during Covid19.