Software Developer

Key information

  • Location: EMBL-EBI Hinxton
  • Staff category: Staff Member
  • Job type: Software Development and Engineering
  • Contract duration: 3 years
  • Grading: 5-6 (Monthly salary starting at £2,728 - £3,063) Plus other paid benefits
  • Closing date: 27 April 2021
  • Reference number: EBI01808

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

About this position

The Ensembl Applications team is looking for a talented software developer to create innovative web services as part of the Ensembl project at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), situated in South Cambridgeshire.   Ensembl ( is one of the most successful large-scale bioinformatics projects and one of the leading projects for genome annotation. We import massive amounts of data from various archives (genome sequences, variation archives, etc) and use them to create summary annotations (gene annotation, whole-genome alignments, gene trees, regulatory elements, etc).

Our services are freely open to all scientists around the world, and serve a range of uses, from basic science to biomedical research.  The Applications team in particular develops and maintains specialised web services that offer scientists specialised views into the Ensembl data ecosystem.

Your role

In this role, you will have the opportunity to design, build and deliver the Ensembl APIs and services that will be used by thousands of biomedical researchers around the world and accelerate genomic science.  The data these services will provide will also be consumed by internal services and websites.

You will be responsible for designing and creating RESTful and GraphQL APIs to the Ensembl data, as well as building data loading pipelines for them. The project you will be working on is relatively new and there will be the opportunity for you to research and suggest architectural options and see them through to delivery.

You will be expected to be able to work independently; with other members of the team and with other teams at EMBL-EBI in a collaborative environment. You will engage with specialist users who will collaborate in the design of new tools. Although this is not a research role, EMBL-EBI is a research organisation and this is reflected in its culture. Within the team you will be able to help evolve best practices and have input into broader discussions.

You have

  • MSc in Computer Science (or a related field), equivalent qualifications or experience.
  • Previous experience of working as a software developer in a collaborative environment
  • Experience of using Git
  • Good working knowledge of 2 or more programming languages, including Python
  • Practical experience of RDBMSs and NoSQL solutions (including Mysql, and MongoDB)
  • Familiarity and experience of methodologies such as Scrum, XP and ‘Agile’
  • Experience with collaborative development tools such as GitHub, Jira and Confluence
  • A genuine curiosity about science
  • Experience of web API design, development and utilisation (including RESTful and/or GraphQL)
  • Experience of Linux
  • A desire to write quality, maintainable code as part of a team
  • Experience of containerisation

You might also have

  • Experience with large biological datasets
  • Experience with Perl
  • Experience of managing CI / CD pipelines
  • Experience of deploying applications using Kubernetes

Why join us

EMBL-EBI is a worldwide leader in bioinformatics. We encourage personal and professional development and are committed to ensuring our employees feel valued, supported and empowered to reach their potential at work.

Surrounded by beautiful South Cambridgeshire countryside, our state-of-the-art Campus provides employees with a relaxed atmosphere where the pursuit of scientific discovery and meaningful work, underpin every role. In addition, our employees have access to a wide range of benefits including:

  • 30 days annual leave per year plus 8 bank holidays
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Unique pension scheme including 17% employer contribution
  • Annual salary review
  • Private medical insurance for you and your immediate family (including all prescriptions and generous dental & optical cover)
  • Death benefit, long-term care, accident at work and unemployment insurances
  • Relocation package including installation grant (if required)
  • On-site library and subsidised on-site gym and cafeteria
  • Casual dress code
  • Free shuttle bus to and from Campus
  • Extensive sports and social club activities (run on campus and remotely)
  • Family benefits: Onsite nursery, child sick leave, generous parental leave, holiday clubs on campus and monthly family and child allowances
  • Benefits for non-UK residents:Visa exemption, education grant for private schooling, financial support to travel back to your home country every second year and a monthly non-resident allowance

What else you need to know

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

At EMBL-EBI, we strongly believe that inclusive and diverse teams benefit from higher levels of innovation and creative thought. We encourage applications from women, LGBTQ and individuals from all nationalities. Visa exemptions will be offered to international candidates and details will be discussed during interview.

This role is based in Hinxton, UK and you will be required to relocate once it is safe to do so if you are currently based abroad. More info on how we are recruiting in this period is available on our page: Recruitment and Onboarding during Covid19.

Apply now

For questions or issues with the application process, please contact

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