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Scientific Programmer

Wellcome Sanger Institute

Contract Length: 3 Years

The Opportunity:

We are recruiting a Scientific Programmer for the Pathogen Informatics team, a software development and support team in the Parasites and Microbes department at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

About Us/The Role:

The Pathogen Informatics team embrace agile methods and promote open source software development. In close collaboration with the scientists on site, we develop workflows and platforms to productionize large-scale surveillance activities for infectious diseases, such as malaria, pneumonia and COVID-19. We also support the scientists by developing and deploying software and services that advance their research, and provide direct informatics advice. As a dynamic team we share all elements of our work, so you would be involved in a variety of different projects, with a focus on developing workflows for the processing of high-throughput genomic data, and making sure that they produce consistent and biologically meaningful results.

About You:

We are looking for a talented and enthusiastic problem solver who can bridge the gap between science and software development. You might have a background in bioinformatics or a related field and now want to expand your programming skills. You might as well have a background in a computer science discipline and now want to apply your skills to answer biological questions. In either case you are passionate about writing clean and robust code, enjoy finding new solutions to technical challenges, and are keen to share and discuss your approaches with the team. Most importantly, you are motivated to support the science and make a difference in the fight on infectious diseases to improve global health. 

Essential Skills
  • MSc in bioinformatics or another natural science discipline with focus on computing
  • Working experience in bioinformatics or scientific data analysis
  • Experience with modern software development practices, including version control and continuous integration
  • Significant programming experience in at least one modern language
  • Demonstrable experience of software testing
  • Demonstrable experience of engineering data pipelines
  • Working knowledge of UNIX 
  • Ability to quickly understand scientific and technical challenges and break down complex problems into actionable steps
  • Ability to prioritise, manage workload, and deliver agreed activities consistently
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders at all levels
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills 

Ideal Skills

  • Solid understanding of genome sequencing, typical sequencing data processing, involved tools and file formats
  • Experience of supporting cluster- and cloud-based computing platforms
  • Demonstrable experience of creating web services and APIs
  • Demonstrable experience of working with relational database systems
  • Demonstrable experience of container deployment and orchestration technologies such as Docker, Singularity, or Kubernetes
  • Experience with scientific data processing workflow systems such as Nextflow
  • Experience of working in an Agile team 

Other information

Closing Date: 20th July 2020

Please apply with a Cover Letter and CV outlining your suitability for the role.

About Us

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a world leading genomics research centre. We undertake large-scale research that forms the foundations of knowledge in biology and medicine. Our findings are used to improve health and to understand life on Earth. Find out more at or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and on our Blog

Our benefits:

There’s an attractive benefits package on offer at the Wellcome Genome Campus. We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer-friendly policies. Plus a flexible working policy for those who may wish to amend their working pattern or arrangement.
As well as the usual benefits you would expect, we go much further:

  • 25 days annual leave (extra 1 day to a maximum of 30 days for every year you work)
  • Auto-enrolment into a generous Group Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, with enhanced company contribution (for more information, see our Pensions page)
  • Up to 2 days annual paid volunteering leave
  • Up to 10 days paid Emergency Carers Leave per year
  • Family friendly environment including options for flexible and part-time working, an on-site Workplace Nursery salary Sacrifice Schemes for pre-school children and Summer holiday club
  • Life Assurance Cover and a Group Income Protection Scheme (if on a contract of 12 months or more)
  • Enhanced maternity leave and parental leave
  • Access to substantial number of courses and training events onsite
  • Private Healthcare Scheme (after 6 months service)
  • Eyecare and Dental payment plans
  • Concessions and discounts from our corporate perks site

Being part of the Wellcome Genome Campus you will be part of the beautiful working environment with an impressive range of benefits, services and facilities also including:

  • Free bus service to and from Campus, covering various routes around Cambridge, Saffron Walden and surrounding villages
  • A car-share initiative
  • Free parking
  • A number of on-site venues where you can meet, eat and socialise with colleagues
  • A thriving Sports and Social Club which provides members with subsidised access to a gym, tennis courts, sports hall, fitness classes and a vibrant social calendar of events

Find out more about our Wellcome Genome Campus.

We have recently been awarded an Athena SWAN Silver Award. We will consider all individuals without discrimination and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, where everyone can thrive.

Location: Cambridge, Hinxton
Salary: £42,002 to £50,313 (Grade 2)
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 30th June 2020
Closes: 20th July 2020
Job Ref: 83943
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