European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Software Developer

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Hinxton, Cambridge, United Kingdom

About the team/job

We are looking for a talented backend software engineer to join the Open Targets Core team. Open Targets (OT) is a public-private project aiming to systematically identify and prioritise drug targets by integrating complex biological data in a pre-competitive environment. As an open source project, the Open Targets platform ( organizes and serves the increasing amount of biomedical data, in order to publicly facilitate the drug discovery decision-making.

The postholder will join a fast-paced, startup-like environment, where we use a range of modern technologies including ElasticSearch, Spark, ClickHouse and a variety of Google cloud services including Dataproc and BigQuery. Working in a multi-disciplinary team embedded in the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the candidate will have the opportunity to join a thriving community around large-scale biomedical data. We seek a candidate who wants to keep up with cutting-edge infrastructure and take ownership on the upcoming Open Targets projects.

Your role

The main responsibilities will involve the development and delivery of the Open Targets Platform including working on:

  • Data processing pipelines in Python or Scala using the Spark Framework

  • Design and implementation of REST and GraphQL web services in the Play Framework

  • Deployment in a cloud environment (Google Cloud) and keeping our services performant across multiple geographical regions.

  • Ensuring the open source nature of the Open Targets project as a public resource for target identification and prioritisation.

  • Help to improve the orchestration of the backend components

You have

The postholder should hold a BSc or higher degree in Computer Science or Bioinformatics. The ideal candidate will have experience delivering production quality software on a regular release cycle to meet project needs. The role requires experience in software development with Python or Scala and shell scripting. DevOps experience would be ideal, as well as having a working knowledge in Bioinformatics. 

Experience of working in a continuous deployment environment, with source control and managed releases is required. You should have the ability to work in a highly collaborative Agile team, interfacing with web developers, data analysts and data providers.

You might also have

Exposure to the following technologies is desirable: Elasticsearch, Docker, CoreOS stack, Google Cloud services, Spark, Play Framework, ClickHouse.

A proven track record of working on large-scale data analysis projects and understanding the challenges posed by collaborative projects is highly recommended. Previous experience of working on other biological data projects will be an advantage. 

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 over 27 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

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-EBI01565