Helpdesk Bioinformatician

Helpdesk Bioinformatician

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) - EBI

Hinxton, Cambridge, East of England, United Kingdom


About the team/job

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic Bioinformatician to work in the European Genome-phenome Archive 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 user support personnel and developers as part of the European Genome-phenome Archive project (EGA,
https://ega-archive.org) a leading controlled access resource for human genetic and phenotypic data. The EGA receives submission of a wide range of data, including WGS and WES, array, GWAS, and phenotypic data in a variety of formats. The EGA is a collaboration between the EBI and the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, and is a Core Data Resource for ELIXIR. The EGA therefore works closely with many other groups, both at EBI such as the European Variation Archive, the European Nucleotide Archive, and BioSamples, as well as other groups in Europe and worldwide. The EGA is a driver project for the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) which aims to promote open and interoperable standards for sharing genetic variation


Your role

The main responsibility of the bioinformatician will be working on the helpdesk, advising and helping both data submitters and data users to submit and access data respectively. The candidate must be committed to organization, documentation and timely response time to users’ requests. You will help ensure the data in EGA is FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable), by advising users and developing procedures to unify data representation at EGA. The team is managed using agile methodologies using a mix of the RT ticketing system, JIRA, and Confluence in a collaborative environment. You will work with both national and international collaborators, and will have the opportunity to gain expertise both in terms of technical software engineering, biological scientific data modelling, and to keep up to date with the cutting edge of genomic and phenotypic data production technologies and data representation. You will be expected to intermittently travel to meetings and conferences.


You have

A bachelors or higher degree in computational biology, bioinformatics or life sciences. An additional degree qualification and knowledge of genome sequencing and array file formats would be advantageous. As would previous experience of working in a customer led role and outreach delivery.

You must have the following skills:

  • Demonstrable experience of bioinformatics analysis techniques and processes
  • Knowledge about genetic variation
  • Expertise in one or more of: Java, Python, Bash shell
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Prioritization and organization
  • Relational databases and SQL

You might also have

Experience in:

  • Issue tracking systems (JIRA, RT or other)
  • UNIX / Linux environments
  • Version control systems (Git, Subversion or other)

The successful candidate must be capable of working both independently and within a closely interacting team, in an international collaborative high pressure environment. They will be required to follow standard operation procedures (SOPs), work methodically, and understand the importance of privacy and security with respect to human genetic and phenotypic data. An ability to work to tight deadlines and under pressure is essential.


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 do I need to know

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-embl-EBI01340

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