European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

DevOps Engineer

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Hinxton, Cambridge, United Kingdom


About the team/job


The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is seeking a DevOps Engineer to join the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) project. The main purpose of the role is to support the containerisation, deployment, and monitoring of EGA software systems in local and cloud environments. The DevOps Engineer will support both ongoing data archive and distribution activities as well as a collaboration between the UK Biobank and the EGA to archive and distribute petabytes of data for 500,000 whole genomes.

As a DevOps Engineer, you will participate in the development of key components of the EGA Data and Permissions APIs and support infrastructure deployment in local, remote, and cloud environments to ensure a high availability and robust service. You will interact with frontline helpdesk to receive reports, diagnose issues, and remedy service interruptions. By writing, designing, and implementing software to drive reliability and performance, you will ensure continuous quality of production systems as you embed deeply in the many layers and stages of software development.

The EGA is a resource for permanent secure archiving and sharing of all types of potentially identifiable human genetic and phenotypic data resulting from biomedical research projects. Its aim is to provide access to data, foster data re-use, enable reproducibility, and accelerate biomedical and translational research in line with FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) principles. On behalf of data owners, we securely archive and provide access to genetic data, frequently streaming over 100TB per day of encrypted data streams to authorized researchers around the world via our data access API. The EGA is also an ELIXIR Core Data Resource and contributes to the wider life science community by committing to the long-term preservation of biological data.

The EGA project is part of the ENA/EGA/EVA Archive Infrastructure team led by Thomas Keane, part of the Molecular Archives Cluster at EMBL-EBI. Initial appointment will be for two years with potential for extension up to five years based on successful delivery of the service and external funding availability.


Your role


The main activities that you will be involved in are:



  • Utilise DevOps technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes for efficient deployment and scaling of EGA services

  • Maintain, improve, and develop Java microservices to deliver cutting-edge functionality as part of the EGA Data and Permissions API

  • Contribute to an environment that enables our engineers to build, release, and operate their own microservices

  • Collaborate with our networking and infrastructure teams in maintaining and administering our infrastructure to support consumer-facing REST APIs, backend business, and data pipelines

  • Employ best-in-class monitoring and self-healing techniques to efficiently scale with our data distribution demands

You have


The successful candidate will be expected to have:



  • A degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering, Bioinformatics, or equivalent industry experience

  • Intermediate to advanced level of software development expertise in one or more OOP languages (Java/J2EE preferred) and others such as Python, Ruby, Node.JS

  • Intermediate to advanced Spring (Boot) 1.4+ expertise

  • Solid experience with writing, understanding and enhancing algorithms, data structures, scripting, and software design practices

  • Relational databases, preferably PostgreSQL

  • Previous experience with deployment technologies and containerisation

  • Familiarity with working in unix environments

  • Working in a professional or academic context in multi-person team on production projects

You might also have



  • Experience with build and deploy technologies such as version control, Maven, Docker, Git

  • Strong experience in administering, debugging and tuning web apps and containers and related tech

  • Some understanding of UNIX/Linux system internals and tools for troubleshooting application stack dumps and networking

  • Experience in supporting cloud-based virtualization and platforms

  • NoSQL databases

  • Scripting languages frequently used in bioinformatics such as Python, Perl or R

Why join us


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. 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.

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. For more information about pay and benefits click here.

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.


What else you need to know


This will be a busy role with frequently changing priorities. You may from time to time have to attend meetings outside normal working hours and undertake international travel. This role is not suitable for part-time working.

To view a copy of the full job description please click here.

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV through our online system.

Applications are welcome from all nationalities and this will continue after Brexit. For more information please see our website. 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.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: embl-EBI01540

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