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Software Developer

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Closing date
15 Dec 2023

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Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

About the team/job

EMBO is a not-for-profit organization that promotes excellence in life sciences in Europe and beyond. We fund talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate scientific exchanges through high-quality academic publishing, conferences and lectures, and help build a research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.

Our international staff of around 65 members from a variety of countries, personal circumstances and professional backgrounds work closely together for a greater good and make EMBO a truly diverse organization. EMBO is located on the international EMBL life sciences research campus in Heidelberg, Germany.

Your role

We are looking for a Software Developer to join the Information Support & Resources (ISR) team by mid-April 2024. ISR is integral to EMBO’s operations: in addition to providing IT support, we develop and maintain central data storage and workflow management tools and services for all EMBO activities.

We're not simply looking for years of experience – we're searching for the right person. We are flexible and open to junior and senior-mid profiles. We would also be happy to hear from people with a scientific background who have acquired software development experience through their work.

You can contribute your talent in software development and play a key role in building our future online applications portal and grant management system. You may also help extending, maintaining and improving the capabilities of our other in-house developed solutions.

You will also have the chance to develop your skills further by working with experienced colleagues as well as attending professional development and technical training courses or conferences.

You will work closely with your colleagues on the ISR team consisting of a Web Developer and an IT Administrator, and report to Alejandro Riera Mainar, the Head of ISR.

Your main responsibilities will be:

  • Develop and maintain our portfolio of in-house developed software solutions, including a variety of web applications and databases. You will be working mainly with Django, Vue.js and PostgreSQL using Docker containers, although we also host a few php-based websites;
  • Provide a first line of support to internal and external users of those applications / databases;
  • Contribute to the maintenance of our server infrastructure;
  • Deputize for any of your teammates, providing a minimum service in their absence;
  • Communicate with the EMBL campus IT team to agree on hardware and infrastructure needs;
  • Work with our established FileMaker Pro database in order to advise internal users and improve workflows.

The role is based in Heidelberg, Germany, and requires an on-site presence, but flexible working arrangements, including a variety of hybrid work patterns, are possible. It requires occasional work outside normal working hours, including weekends.

You have

  • A degree in computer science, software engineering, or adjacent fields; or a web development bootcamp certification; or at least 2 years of demonstrable work experience in the field;
  • The ability to work co-operatively within a group and across EMBO to achieve goals in a respectful manner displaying a helpful, supportive and problem-solving attitude. Your people skills will be as important as your technical skills in this role;
  • A service-oriented and customer-focused mindset. You have the ability to understand your customers and identify their needs. You are willing and able to deliver high-quality services;
  • Strong communication skills, which are essential due to the collaborative nature of ISR’s work across all departments at EMBO. You should be able to explain the reasons for your choices and decisions to non-technical colleagues;
  • Experience programming in at least one of the main programming languages currently used at EMBO (Python, PHP, JavaScript) or comparable alternative;
  • A basic understanding of relational databases (we use PostgreSQL or MySQL for web projects, and also run a FileMaker server);
  • Familiarity working with the standard web development ecosystem in a collaborative environment, for example using version control systems (we use git), command line tools in Linux-like environments, package managers (npm, pip, composer), basic understanding of networking, etc.

You might also have

  • Production experience building and deploying web applications, ideally with Django and Vue.js, using established good practices (e.g. test-driven development, design patterns, object oriented programming or functional programming);
  • Experience maintaining and working with PostgreSQL or MySQL, designing the structure of relational models to solve real problems;
  • Familiarity with containerization technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes;
  • Experience developing and maintaining FileMaker databases;
  • Experience setting up and maintaining Linux or Windows servers;
  • Demonstrated ability to translate user requests to features and into shipped functionalities;
  • Familiarity with Agile Development methodologies;
  • Familiarity with Office365 and Asana.

Why join us

Support the life sciences

At EMBO, you can make meaningful contributions to promoting the life sciences in Europe and beyond. Apply your skills and energy to support talented scientists to allow them to do great science and create a research environment in which they can thrive.

Join a professional working environment

EMBO is an organization with employees from across the world and an inclusive, equal opportunity employer. We believe that our work benefits from diverse teams and encourage applications from all qualified individuals, irrespective of characteristics such as age, gender, nationality or ethnicity. We create a collegial and supportive working environment to ensure that employees feel valued and empowered to reach their full professional potential.

Our offices were expanded in 2022. They are located on the EMBL campus in Heidelberg, Germany, with employees from around the world. The working language at EMBO and on the campus is English. The campus has an on-site nursery, subsidized canteen and cafeteria, as well as clubs for social activities and sports.

Heidelberg, home to around 160,000 people, is a lively, safe and international university city and research hub. It is attractively located between the Rhine River and the Odenwald, a low mountain range that offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Roughly one third of Heidelberg's residents has an international background, and many of them are scientists or students. The city has good national and international travel connections.

Receive attractive employee benefits

EMBO offers attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organization. Benefits include:

  • Competitive salary with transparent, annual review
  • Family and child allowance
  • Private health insurance for you and your immediate family, including dental and optical cover
  • Pension scheme, accident-at-work insurance, death benefit insurance, unemployment insurance
  • Flexible working arrangements, including hybrid working
  • 30 days paid annual leave, in addition to public holidays
  • Professional development and training opportunities
  • Non-resident allowance, education grant, home leave and travel grant (for non-residents, depending on certain conditions)
  • Relocation package, including installation grant (depending on certain conditions)
  • Subsidized language courses for integration purposes (depending on certain conditions)

What else you need to know

Contract duration

EMBO offers a fixed-term contract of five years for this position, issued through our sister organization, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Appointments on fixed-term contracts can be renewed up to nine years in total, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.

International applicants

EMBO and EMBL recruit internationally. Due to the special status of EMBL as an intergovernmental organization you will not need a working visa but, depending on your nationality, you may need an entry visa. Once in Germany, we will register you with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from which you will receive a special permit (Sonderausweis) which allows you to work at EMBO, to live in Germany and to travel within the Schengen countries. Family members are also entitled to the “Sonderausweis”.

How to apply

Please apply online through In your online application, you will be asked to include a cover letter, CV/Resumé and the contact details of two or three referees.

If you have questions about the role, please contact Alejandro Riera Mainar (

There will be a two-step interview process consisting of an online pre-interview, followed by an in-person panel assessment day for selected candidates. We strive to give you a comprehensive impression of EMBO and the advertised position, so you will meet colleagues both from your future team and across EMBO during your interview day.

Pre-interviews for this role will take place on a rolling basis during and shortly after the advertisement period. The in-person interviews are currently set to take place in the week commencing 22 January 2024.

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