Bioinformatics Community Project Manager

Key information

  • Location: EMBL Heidelberg
  • Staff category: Staff Member - Administrative and support
  • Contract duration: 3
  • Grading: 4, 5 or 6; depending on experience and qualification
  • Closing date: 26 July 2020
  • Reference number: HD01778

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

About this position

The Zeller Team is looking for a community project manager to join the Bio-IT core team.

The EMBL Bio-IT project aims to build and support a thriving community from the growing number of computational researchers and bioinformaticians at the institute. The project is coordinated by a small team of core members, distributed between the Zeller and Gibson teams at EMBL Heidelberg. Driven by voluntary contributions from members of the community, Bio-IT project activity includes:

  • delivering training in computational research skills;
  • creating connections between community members;
  • developing and maintaining resources and supporting infrastructure;
  • and disseminating relevant information throughout the community.
Since the project began, back in 2010, the community has created an extensive programme of internal and external training, established internal GitLab and instant messaging systems with 100s of users throughout the institute and its many sites, and organized occasional events on a variety of computational topics and meeting series for those learning and using Python and R for their research.

Your role

The successful candidate will work as part of the Bio-IT core team and with stakeholders across all EMBL research units to coordinate new and existing project activities; encourage and empower community members to engage with and contribute to these activities; and develop project strategy.

Though coordinated from EMBL Heidelberg, Bio-IT project activity is increasingly expanding to cover all six EMBL sites. The Bioinformatics Community Project Manager will strive to identify and engage with appropriate members of this wider community to establish further links across the organization to support and facilitate Data Science Activities throughout the Institute.

In addition to this internal community and project management activity, the role benefits from significant opportunities to connect and collaborate with relevant external communities, such as The Carpentries, CodeRefinery, Open Life Science, ELIXIR, Bioconda, national and international Research Software Engineer communities.

The successful candidate will help to steer the Bio-IT project's training programme, organising and delivering training in fundamental skills for computational research. They will work with the community to identify new training needs and develop material and resources appropriate to a dynamic community working at the cutting edge of life science research.

This is a highly collaborative role that provides diverse opportunities to engage with and support the scientific community while developing your own leadership skills. The role includes significant scope for self-determination, providing the successful candidate with opportunities to shape the strategy and direction of the project according to their interests as well as the needs of the community.

You have

  • PhD or equivalent experience in Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, or related fields.
  • Excellent synchronous & asynchronous communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Willingness to lead community-oriented initiatives.
  • Keen interest in teaching bioinformatics and scientific computing skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively.
  • Desire to connect people with similar interests and goals.
  • Familiarity with multiple programming/scripting languages such as Bash, Python, R and scientific computing concepts such as version control, cluster computing, etc.
  • Interest in learning from other research communities of practice.

You might also have

  • Experience with scientific community engagement/management.
  • Experience organising computational training courses/workshops/study groups.
  • Ability to communicate technical concepts to a non-technical audience.
  • Demonstrated experience and/or formal qualifications in teaching computational research skills (e.g. Carpentries and/or RStudio instructor certification).
  • Awareness of latest developments in computational research and data science.
  • Project management experience.
  • Experience with designing or maintaining websites e.g. WordPress, GitHub/GitLab Pages.
  • Social media/blogging experience.

Why join us

EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation with a very collegial and family friendly working environment. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme, medical, educational and other social benefits. Excellent child care facility is available on campus.

What else you need to know

We are Europe’s flagship research laboratory for the life sciences – an intergovernmental organisation performing scientific research in disciplines including molecular biology, physics, chemistry and computer science. We are an international, innovative and interdisciplinary laboratory with more than 1600 employees from many nations, operating across six sites, in Heidelberg (HQ), Barcelona, Hinxton near Cambridge, Hamburg, Grenoble and Rome.

Our mission is to offer vital services in training scientists, students and visitors at all levels; to develop new instruments and methods in the life sciences and actively engage in technology transfer activities, and to integrate European life science research.

The working language of the institute is English.

In your online application, you will be asked to include a cover letter, CV and the contact details of 3 referees. Further information about the position can be obtained from Georg Zeller, (

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.