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Database/ Application Developer

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) - EMBO

About the team/job

EMBO stands for excellence in the life sciences. We support talented researchers at all stages of their careers in Europe and beyond, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a research environment where scientists can achieve their best work. EMBO is an international non-profit organisation.

The EMBO Information Support & Resources (ISR) team supports all EMBO activities by developing, implementing and maintaining data management, exchange and storage systems. This includes the installation and maintenance of off-the-shelf hardware and software solutions; the customisation of commercial or open-source platforms to meet the needs of EMBO and its scientific communities; and the development of custom-tailored applications for EMBO. The team operates a cluster of file, database and application servers that complement the IT infrastructure offered by our sister institute, EMBL, and offers training, support and troubleshooting services for everyday office information technology at EMBO. 

Your role

EMBO is looking for a Database/Application Developer to work within the Information Support & Resources team, who will focus on planning, developing, expanding, and administering the in-house workflow and data management system, EMBO Central. A relational database solution custom-built within the Claris FileMaker framework, EMBO Central serves as a robust and flexible tool for processing, reviewing and administering applications from the science community to all research funding programmes of EMBO.

This position is ideally suited for an experienced application and database developer who is familiar with FileMaker or other relational database frameworks, but potentially also for a junior developer who would like to expand their knowledge of user-centric, rich-interface database development with a high degree of integration in internal workflows, direct and efficient feedback loops, and rapid development cycles. Working in a science-driven environment and initially training with the small team of in-house developers who currently work on EMBO Central, you will ultimately take the lead in managing the EMBO Central project. You will report directly to the Head of Information Support & Resources but will also receive guidance and training from the senior members of the team.

Specific responsibilities:

  • Updating the existing database structure, script functionality, UI (layout) features and output templates of EMBO Central in response to user requests and new technical requirements;
  • Developing and integrating complete administrative solutions in EMBO Central for new EMBO activities, and strategically updating existing solutions to accommodate changes in the process logic or other requirements;
  • Together with the ISR team and major in-house stakeholders, subjecting the existing EMBO Central system to an in-depth review and structured revision in the next three years, consolidating the existing functionalities in terms of consistency, robustness, performance, maintainability, and documentation, with a view to preparing the system for migration to a new technology platform (FileMaker or other) in the future;
  • Contributing to the integration of EMBO Central with existing and future public-facing web applications and databases;
  • Operating the EMBO FileMaker Server cluster (Windows Server), including basic system administration, backups, upgrades, and general maintenance tasks;
  • Managing user accounts and access privileges; onboarding new users and providing them with appropriate staff profiles;
  • Training EMBO administrative staff about basic EMBO Central architecture, functionalities and usage, and about utilizing the FileMaker platform as a tool for their own individual workflows and data storage needs;
  • Participating in general IT support services as member of the EMBO ISR team;
  • Performing additional tasks as required by the EMBO Director.

This position will occasionally require working outside of the normal working hours, in the evenings or during the weekend. While EMBO offers flexible work arrangements for its employees, this position will require mainly working with the local ISR team on-site in Heidelberg; fully remote work is currently not possible. 

You have

  • experience designing and developing complex relational database applications, ideally in Claris FileMaker;
  • experience in UX-driven, rich-client interface design and customization;
  • strong analytic and technical skills to solve problems either by yourself or as part of a team;
  • great attention to detail and a high quality of work output;
  • good organization, documentation and time-management skills;
  • service orientation and experience in providing personal, friendly and efficient support and training to users, explaining technical information in simple, understandable language;
  • a good level of spoken and written English; knowledge of German is not required.
  • an affinity for science and interest in supporting a science-driven work environment. 

You might also have

  • experience in operating Claris FileMaker Servers;
  • experience in Windows Server administration;
  • knowledge of other relational databases such as MySQL or PostgreSQL
  • practical experience with current web technologies used at EMBO, such as PHP, Python, JavaScript, VueJS, REST APIs;
  • knowledge of core IT infrastructures (DHCP, DNS, networking, emails);
  • command of other programming and scripting languages, for example Bash, Visual Basic, PowerShell, or R. 

Why join us

The EMBO offices are located on the international EMBL life science research campus in Heidelberg, Germany. Heidelberg, home to around 150,000 people, is a university city offering a high quality of life. EMBO is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international science organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, pension scheme and health insurance, and educational and other family-related benefits. As a non-profit organisation, we have a very informal and collegial working environment that is inspired by the science done by our community and our dedication to working for a common greater good. 

What else you need to know

Please note that appointments on fixed term contracts can be renewed, depending on circumstances at the time of the review.

Location: Heidelberg - Germany
Salary: Grade 4, 5 or 6; depending on qualifications and experience
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 16th November 2021
Closes: 16th December 2021
Job Ref: EMBO00115
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