Job Details
Ensembl Production Project Leader


EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK

Staff Category:

Staff Member

Contract Duration:

3 years


6 or 7 (monthly salary starting at £2,856 or £3,250 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here

Closing Date:

30 November 2017

Reference Number:

Job Description
The Genomics Infrastructure Infrastructure Team seeks a talented and motivated project leader to oversee production of Ensembl databases at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.
Genomics is one of the fastest growing areas of science, increasingly making large contributions towards improving human health, securing food food supplies, and protecting our environment. Ensembl and Ensembl Genomes are amongst the world’s leading resources for genomic research and are accessed by thousands of researchers from around the globe every day. We provide access not only to the human genome but also to the genomes of farmed animals, crops, and disease vectors and pathogens.
Ensembl databases are periodically updated with a consistent set of data and analyses prior to public release. The successful candidate will lead our production activities, developing and managing data processing workflows capable of robustly handling terabytes of data in the context of our data release schedule. The project leader will:
  • Coordinate the production of new releases of Ensembl and Ensembl Genomes
  • Lead a team of 2-3 staff involved in core production tasks, and guide team members in their production and development projects
  • Lead the development of our new automated data processing workflows
  • Design, build and apply tools and processes to ensure the quality and integrity of data for release
  • Communicate with key stakeholders within EMBL-EBI and externally concerning ongoing and future developments within the Ensembl production team
  • Present work developed by the Ensembl production team at internal and external meetings

The Ensembl and Ensembl Genomes projects comprise over 70 staff members with backgrounds in scientific research and/or information technology.

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 23 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. 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.
Qualifications and Experience
You should ideally hold an MSc, PhD or equivalent experience in Bioinformatics, Biology, IT, Computer Science or related fields.

You will have worked in large scale data processing systems using workflow management systems within a distributed compute environment and should also be able to demonstrate a history of designing large compute systems and deploying them as production quality environments. Prior personnel and project management experience is desirable but not essential as support would be offered on the job as required. Evidence of working in a dynamic, team-based environment or contributing to a large, shared code-base is desirable.

You must be highly self-motivated and be able to work both independently and as part of the team. Good communication skills, written and verbal, both to facilitate effective communications with other team members and to communicate with external collaborators and users are essential. An interest in biological science is highly desirable (although biological qualifications are not themselves essential).

Linux/Unix command line experience is essential as is knowledge of modern software development environments (Git, continuous integration, test suites). A successful candidate should have knowledge of three of the following skills: programming in a scripting language (e.g. Perl, Ruby or Python), programming in a compiled language (e.g. Java, C or C++), designing and querying databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL or Oracle), workflow management systems (e.g. LSF, SGE, PBS, Torque, Celery, Airflow or Luigi).
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.

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.
Application Instructions
To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.
Additional Information
Applications are welcome from all nationalities - 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.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.

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