European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) - Samples, Phenotypes and Ontologies

Job Description

The Samples, Phenotypes and Ontologies team are looking to recruit an enthusiastic, highly motivated Bioinformatician to join their team. You will be working on the GWAS Catalog, the major worldwide resource for capturing information about the genetic basis of disease from scientific literature. The GWAS Catalog is a manually curated, high quality repository of all published genome wide association studies that has been running since 2008.

You will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with members of the GWAS Catalog team, the Samples, Phenotypes and Ontologies Team, the Open Targets Team, and other developers and bioinformaticians at EMBL-EBI, the NHGRI, and elsewhere to ensure the delivery of the infrastructure of the NHGRI-EBI GWAS Catalog.

In this role, you’ll be expected to work with the user community to acquire and store GWAS summary statistics in a streamlined and quality controlled manner. This might involve developing, or helping to develop, the necessary access tools for highly requested summary statistics, liaising with users to gather requirements and translating these into technical specifications and test plans, and developing new applications to complement and replace the existing NHGRI-EBI GWAS Catalog infrastructure. We’ll expect you to develop an understanding of the sorts of curation involved in building the GWAS Catalog, so you can help drive forward the tools that assist this process. This might mean proposing a new curation interface, or building a pipeline for mapping GWAS data to other genomic resources like Ensembl or dbGaP.

Qualifications and Experience

We follow agile techniques in our approach to development, so if you’re the sort of person who likes to work in sprints, has worked with tools like Jira in the past to prioritise user requirements, or have ever tried pair-programming or code reviews, then you’ll be a good fit for our team. All of our software is built and published using continuous integration and version control, so you should be familiar with GitHub, and you should be confident in making your code public for others to install and run.

We are looking for a bioinformatician with experience in handling biological data and biological requirements. You should have a biological background but you should also be able to find your way around a terminal. Programming experience in at least one programming language (such as Python, Perl, or Java) and experience with managing data and data processing pipelines would be desirable. Previous experience of working in a bioinformatics-focused environment, especially on a large, public database, would be beneficial. If you’ve worked with relational databases (MySQL, Postgres, or Oracle) you’ll be at a distinct advantage.

Our ideal candidate will be self-motivated and capable of working both independently and with a closely interacting team of scientists in an international academic environment.

This position represents a fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on experience at working on a resource with major scientific impact in a world-leading bioinformatics institute. It comes with the chance to work with a strong team of curators and developers team at the interface of big data architecture and expert biologists to help deliver content with real scientific impact and a variety of clinical applications.

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South East England