Software Engineer
Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Staff Member
Contract Duration:Until 31.12.2019
Grading:5 (monthly salary starting at £2,552 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here
Closing Date:15th July 2018
Reference Number:EBI_01236

Job Description

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic full-stack development Software Engineer to work in the Data Coordination and Archiving Team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge (UK).

The successful applicant will work in a team of developers, data coordination engineers and bioinformaticians providing a range of technical components for use in our portfolio of biomolecular data coordination and presentation services.

You will be responsible for the design and implementation of a rule-based data referencing and partitioning system, to create project-specific slices of data from the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) and to extend our services for cross-referencing and third-party mark-up of records. Most of the software components will be implemented in Java. This system will support our commitments to provide custom data feeds to our collaborators’ systems under the EMBRIC and UniEuk projects and integration tools in our ELIXIR EXCELERATE project. You will also be responsible for the development of project-specific data portals/hubs in a modern JavaScript framework complete with Application Programming Interfaces for these projects, covering both sequence data from ENA and data from other EMBL-EBI data resources. Further tasks include the improvement of usability of the systems and responding to requirements from users. This role also includes development responsibility within an ELIXIR Implementation Study to develop the Contextual Data Clearinghouse system that will enable users to curate, tag and report corrections to data held in biomolecular data archives.

The team manages software development through use of Git, JIRA and Confluence in a collaborative programming environment.

You will engage in both internal and external (national and international) collaborations and will have the opportunity to gain expertise both in terms of technical software engineering and biological scientific data modelling.

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

The ideal candidate will hold a bachelors or higher degree in computer science or bioinformatics. A willingness to learn the biological domain area while on the job is required.

You must have experience in the following:

  • Java 8
  • REST web services and batch processing
  • Modern JavaScript frameworks, preferably Angular
  • Relational and/or NoSQL databases
  • Unix/Linux environments
  • Git
  • Requirements gathering and specification-based design
  • Working in a collaborative software environment

And the following would be desirable:

  • UX / UI design experience
  • Website analytics tools

A willingness to learn others' code and participate in refactoring, design, and testing is more important than specific bioinformatics domain experience.

The ability to work within a team is critical to this position. Excellent communication skills and an ability to work to tight deadlines are essential. The software developer will be required to communicate technical documents, take part in code reviews, as well as provide user-oriented communication with external and internal users of the systems.


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.