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ELIXIR Science Officer

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Closing date
12 May 2024

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Life Science
Job Type
Employment - Hours
Full time
Fixed term

Job Details

About the team/job

ELIXIR is seeking an experienced life scientist with wide interests in the technologies and disciplines of the biological sciences and a good understanding of the principles and approaches underpinning Open Science, reproducibility and the re-use of data and software. Based at the ELIXIR Hub in Cambridgeshire, UK, you will work with the ELIXIR Interoperability Platform and the ELIXIR Communities as part of an international multidisciplinary team ensuring the delivery of a world leading research infrastructure and its impact across European life science.

You will be joining the team as part of the ELIXIR Hub, the organisational centre for ELIXIR: an intergovernmental organisation that brings together life science resources from across Europe. ELIXIR ensures long-term sustainability and reuse of life-science data by creating and supporting data standards, and the development of tools to ensure data is usable across resources. As a distributed research infrastructure ELIXIR is built upon the bioinformatics services provided by the ELIXIR Nodes (national member organisations in 23 European countries).

The Technical Team at ELIXIR provides strategic oversight and coordination of ELIXIR’s technical activities. These include the development of the Technical Platforms (the Compute, Tools, Data, Interoperability, and Training required to support life science data) delivered by the international network of ELIXIR Nodes, active support for life science research Communities across member states, and externally-funded projects supporting open, interoperable data, software and compute infrastructures across the life sciences.

Your role

Reporting to ELIXIR’s Chief Technical Officer, you will play an active role in teams led by the ELIXIR Coordinators, and work closely with other members of the ELIXIR Hub and ELIXIR Nodes.


Your key responsibilities will be:

  • Delivering technical contributions to tasks in the ELIXIR Scientific Programme and externally-funded projects.
  • Actively supporting new and established ELIXIR Communities as they develop their strategies and portfolios of open data-based services.
  • Contributing to ELIXIR Focus Groups as they investigate new strategic themes and technologies.
  • Providing high quality background research as input to grant proposals and as advice to the ELIXIR Hub and ELIXIR Nodes.


Activities will include:

  • Researching and reporting on the current state of the art and trends in technology and science through literature research and conference attendance.
  • Overseeing, reporting on and participating in the design, prototyping, building, monitoring or maintenance of software, databases, metadata and computational resources.
  • Contributing to the production and delivery of project reports and journal publications.
  • Creating and delivering training materials associated with ELIXIR services and participation in train-the-trainer events.
  • Building and maintaining relationships with ELIXIR members and collaborators internationally and identifying expertise and requirements relevant to ELIXIR activities.
  • Participating in a wide range of virtual and face-to-face events including presenting, co-chairing, active minute taking and organising.


Exceptional candidates will be considered for the role of Senior Science Officer (Grade 6) with additional responsibilities. At a Senior level you would additionally be expected to:

  • Take responsibility for the delivery of project tasks as lead on international teams of researchers.
  • Independently research developments in the science & technology and propose their adoption.
  • Mentor & train more junior members of the team and the ELIXIR network.

You have

You'll have a university degree in the field of life science, computer science, or another scientific, technical or engineering discipline and a solid interest in and experience of, bioinformatics or data science research. An advanced degree or equivalent experience in one of these fields is a plus.

You should have some postgraduate experience in the practice of data-centric research in the life sciences and two or more of the following skills:

  • Computer systems including authentication, networking, and data management or significant experience working in a Cloud environment.
  • Scientific software development, particularly the use of widely used life science software tools and languages, deployment technologies, and workflow definition languages.
  • Biological data management and use including the development of databases and the sharing & interpretation of complex data sets.
  • Metadata, ontologies and the use of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) resources to link disparate data sets.
  • Experience with datasets and analytical problems in molecular biology, biodiversity or human health.


As a Senior Science Officer (Grade 6), you should  in addition have several years of practical experience in application of these skills.

The ideal candidate will be adaptable, self-motivated, and with an ability to work in multiskilled multidisciplinary teams and should have these characteristics:

  • Able to set objectives and plan work independently based on agreed outcomes.
  • Meets deadlines and manages priorities in a complex environment with competing demands.
  • Works to a high level of accuracy and attention to detail.

You might also have

  • Willingness to occasionally work outside normal European office hours and travel to ELIXIR Nodes and stakeholder meetings (usually in European countries) as required. 
  • Ability to communicate to a professional level in additional European languages.


Why join us

Do something meaningful
ELIXIR unites Europe’s leading life science organisations in managing and safeguarding the increasing volume of data being generated by publicly funded research. It coordinates, integrates and sustains bioinformatics resources across its member states and enables users in academia and industry to access services that are vital for their research.

Our values
The ELIXIR Hub has a strong organisational culture which is defined by our core values. To ensure a good fit with our team, we look to recruit candidates who share our five values:

  1. We work to benefit everyone
  2. We are trusted
  3. We work with a spirit of openness
  4. We strive for excellence
  5. We work in an environment of respect

Enjoy lots of benefits:

  • Financial incentives: Monthly family, child and non-resident allowances, annual salary review, pension scheme, death benefit, long-term care, accident-at-work and unemployment insurances
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Private medical insurance for you and your immediate family (including all prescriptions and generous dental & optical cover)
  • Generous time off: 30 days annual leave per year, in addition to eight bank holidays
  • Relocation package including installation grant (if required
  • Campus life: Free shuttle bus to and from work, on-site library, subsidised on-site gym and cafeteria, casual dress code, extensive sports and social club activities (on campus and remotely)
  • Family benefits: On-site nursery, 10 days of 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.

For more details please see our employee benefits page

What else you need to know

    Contract duration: This position is a 3 year fixed term contract, with the possibility for renewal up to max. of 9 years total. International applicants: We recruit internationally and successful candidates are offered visa exemptions. Read more on our page for international applicants. Diversity and inclusion: 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. EMBL is a signatory of DORA. Find out how we implement best practices in research assessment in our recruitment processes here. Job location: This role is based in Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK. You will be required to relocate if you are based overseas and you will receive a generous relocation package to support you. How to apply: To apply please submit a cover letter and a CV through our online system. We aim to provide a response within two weeks after the closing date. Interviews: Interviews will take place on 5th and/or 6th June. 


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