Ensembl Front-End Web Developer
Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Staff member
Contract Duration:3 years or until 31.07.2020
Grading:5 (monthly salary starting at £2,507 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here
Closing Date:7 May 2017
Reference Number:EBI_00916

Job Description

The Genomics Technology Infrastructure team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) seeks a highly motivated individual committed to developing and delivering web views supporting data visualisation for the Ensembl family of web sites.

Big data management and dissemination is one of the most important biological information problems in genomics. The Ensembl project and Ensembl Genomes project provides access to over 30,000 genomes served from one of the world's largest computer resources for genomic analysis developing Open Source software. Thousands of scientists worldwide depend on access to these data to help their research.

You will take part in Ensembl Front-End web development and your responsibilities will include:

  • Working to create our next-generation website including search, a genome browser and entity viewer
  • Developing views that are driven from interfaces created as part of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) for both raw data and metadata
  • Creating interfaces and authorisation methods for accessing restricted data sets
  • Enabling visualisation of client side large data files
  • Engaging in user interviews and user centric design during the design and implementation of the browser
  • Working closely with other members of Ensembl front-end web development and members of GA4GH

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 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

You will have a masters level qualification or similar practical experience in computer science, bioinformatics or related subjects.

The ideal candidate should have a masters level qualification or similar practical experience in computer science, bioinformatics or related subjects. They should have previous experience in developing web interfaces.

You must be highly self-motivated and be able to work independently. You are also expected to have excellent English communication skills, written and verbal, both to facilitate effective communications with other team members and to communicate with external collaborators and users. Attention to detail, capability to deliver to deadlines, ability to delegate and prioritize tasks are essential.


  • Have experience of Perl (or equivalent scripting language such as Python, Ruby or PHP)
  • Have experience of web development languages including HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Be familiar with the latest versions of the above languages
  • Have knowledge of modern web front-end frameworks such as Foundation
  • Be comfortable with working on the Linux command line
  • Be able to use software development tools including Git

In addition the following would be desirable skills:

  • Experience of web security authentication and authorisation standards e.g. OAuth 2.0, HTTPS
  • Experience of web UI development methodologies including using analytics, logs, speed regression testing and UX design methodologies.
  • Knowledge of biology/biochemistry/genomics but not essential


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.

This position is limited to the contract duration specified.

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