Software Developer


Key information

  • Location: EMBL-EBI Hinxton
  • Staff category: Staff Member - Technology
  • Contract duration: 3 years
  • Grading: 5 or 6 (monthly salary starting at £2,676 or £2,994 after tax)
  • Closing date: 1 July 2020
  • Reference number: EBI01643

Continue reading for more information about this position, or apply now.




About this position

We are seeking a talented backend software engineer to join the Open Targets Core Team in the development of the Genetics Portal. Open Targets (OT) is a public-private partnership aiming to systematically identify and prioritise drug targets by integrating complex biological data in a pre-competitive environment. The Open Targets Genetics Portal (https://genetics.opentargets.org) leverages the increasing amount of human genetic data in order to publicly facilitate the drug discovery decision-making with a focus on target identification and prioritisation.

You  will join a dynamic and multidisciplinary team, where we use a range of cutting-edge technologies, to process, store and aggregate the vast amount of human genetic data available. You will have the opportunity to build on the most recent statistical genomics analysis and provide a robust infrastructure to expand the deck of available applications in public and private instances of the Portal. Our current technologies include ElasticSearch, Spark, ClickHouse and a variety of Google cloud services including Dataproc and BigQuery.

Your role

The main responsibilities will involve:

  • Data processing pipelines in Python or Scala using the Spark Framework
  • Design and implementation of GraphQL web services in the Play Framework
  • Deployment in a cloud environment (Google Cloud) and keeping our services
    performant across multiple geographical regions.
  • Ensuring the open source nature of the Open Targets project as a public
    resource for target identification and prioritisation.
  • Help to improve the orchestration of the backend components
Working in a multi-disciplinary team embedded in the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), you will have the opportunity to join a thriving community around large-scale biomedical data. We seek a colleague who wants to keep up with cutting-edge infrastructure and take ownership on the upcoming Open Targets projects.

You have

  • BSc or higher degree in Computer Science orBioinformatics.
  • Experience delivering production quality software on a regular release cycle to meet project needs.
  • Experience in software development with Python or Scala and shell scripting.
  • DevOps experience, as well as having working knowledge in Bioinformatics.
  • Experience of working in a continuous deployment environment, with source control and managed releases is required. 
  • Ability to work in a highly collaborative Agile team, interfacing with web developers, data analysts and data providers.
We encourage candidates with all levels of expertise to apply.

You might also have

  • A proven track record of working on large-scale data analysis projects and understanding the challenges posed by collaborative projects
  • Previous experience of working on other biological data projects

Why join us

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 over 27 member states and two associate member states. 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.

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. For more information about pay and benefits click here

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.

What else you need to know

To view a copy of the full job description please click here.

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV through our online system.

Applications are welcome from all nationalities and this will continue after Brexit. For more information please see our website.

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.

This position is limited to the project duration specified.

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


Join EMBL and you’ll join a community of world-class researchers and skilled professionals working together to uncover the secrets of life.

We offer attractive conditions and benefits to attract and retain the brightest talent. Learn more.

One laboratory. Six locations. Global reach.

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory is a single organisation spread across six European locations. Each of our sites hosts its own research units, services and facilities.

EMBL is Europe’s leading life sciences laboratory.

EMBL seeks to better understand the molecular basis of life. In the process, we’re changing European science.