Senior Software Developer - HGI Methods Evaluation & Development

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute - Computer Science

We are seeking a software developer with a PhD in sequence-based genetic variation analysis to join the Human Genetics Informatics (HGI) team at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and work on Methods Evaluation & Development. HGI is an agile development team responsible for providing efficient access to cutting-edge analysis methods to human genetics faculty groups at the Sanger Institute.

Our team's focus is the development and operation of scientific analysis workflows and tools for genetic data analysis, as well as developing the infrastructure necessary to manage the efficient operation of those workflows.

This role will involve working as part of the HGI team to deliver working systems that produce analytical outputs for human genetics faculty research groups within the Sanger. In particular the successful applicant would work on the evaluation and development of methods for NGS data analysis that can be applied efficiently at very large scale (on the order of half a million whole genome sequences).

Team members will be expected to produce quality code; to be able to work both independently and in close collaboration with colleagues to develop, debug, and optimise code; to conduct comparative evaluations of NGS data analysis methods; and to be comfortable communicating directly with scientific researchers regarding analysis requirements.

As part of the HGI team, the successful applicant would have access to Sanger's world-class computational resources, including a 15000+ core computational cluster, an OpenStack private cloud environment, and many petabytes of high-speed distributed storage systems.

The choice of development language depends on the task at hand, so as a small team we are flexible in terms of what languages we use. The ideal applicant would be comfortable with independently learning the basics of a new language in a matter of days, and to become productive in it within a week or two. Our philosophy is that development skills are independent of language and that programming languages shouldn't generally need to be formally taught. That said, a successful applicant will likely have developed proficiency in at least a few languages as a side-effect of previous development projects, and should be able to demonstrate skill in at least one scripting/interpreted and one compiled language.

Essential Skills

  • PhD (or equivalent) in statistical genetics or a related field coupled with substantial experience in software development.
  • Knowledge of core computer science concepts and development practices.
  • Skill in a combination of interpreted and compiled languages (e.g. C, C++, Go, Haskell, Python, R, Scala).
  • Experience producing useful code (not necessarily in the context of employment - personal projects, research projects, or contributions to open-source projects would be equally applicable).
  • Critical thinking skills and a working knowledge of statistics (e.g. statistical distributions, significance tests, inference).
  • Knowledge of Linux/POSIX based operating systems, libraries, and tools.

Other information

The Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease. We use state of the art large-scale genomic approaches to drive world-leading projects to uncover the basis of genetic and infectious disease. Our goal is to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens.

The Institute is located near Cambridge, UK on the stunning Wellcome Genome Campus. This growing and dynamic site is the British hub of genomic science.

Wellcome Sanger Institute welcomes applications from all candidates irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, or marital or civil partnership status.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application.

Closing date for applications: 28th February 2018, however applications will be considered and reviewed on an on-going basis and therefore the post may be filled before the deadline.