Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Staff Member
Contract Duration:2 years
Grading:5 (monthly salary starting at £2,552 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here
Closing Date:22nd July 2018
Reference Number:EBI_01234

Job Description

Open Targets is a recently established public-private initative between the EBI, GlaxoSmithKline, Biogen, Takeda, Celgene and the Sanger Institute to combine large-scale genomic experiments with objective statistical and computational techniques to identify and validate the causal links between targets, pathways and diseases.

We are looking for an experienced bioinformatician for the core Open Targets platform project which is involved in large-scale biological data analysis and integration for target identification and prioritisation.

The postholder will join the Open Targets team developing the data processing and database infrastructure to provide the core deliverable of the centre, a genome-wide database of target validity (

Responsibilities will involve development and refinement of suitable data feeds from databases within and outside the partnership including interaction with other groups, establishment of automated processing pipelines and quality control procedures, as well as exploratory data analysis in the area of target prioritisation.

In addition the post will involve extensive interaction with backend database developers to refine and test the data processing pipeline.

The post holder will work with an existing bioinformatician working on the core database, and report to the Open Targets Scientific Director.

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 23 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 PhD or MSc in computational biology, bioinformatics, or other computational science.
  • Experience in bioinformatics, database technologies and genome-wide biological data analysis.
  • Experience in software development with Python possibly in a similar role.
  • Experience with biomedical ontologies and associated tools would be an advantage.
  • Exposure to the following technologies is desirable: JSON data, REST API, Docker.
  • Experience of working in a continuous deployment environment, with source control and managed releases is required.
  • A proven track record of working on large-scale data analysis projects and understanding the challenges posed by collaborative projects, including flexibility, tight deadlines, and use of state of the art approaches.

You should have the ability to work in a highly-collaborative team, interfacing with backend developers, web developers and UX designers. Excellent interpersonal and organisational skills are essential and the ability to present complex bioinformatics analyses in person will be invaluable.


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 project duration specified.

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