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[Apply by 1 July 2018] Ensembl Plants Project Leader at EMBL-EBI

The EMBL-EBI is seeking a project leader to join the Non-vertebrate Genomics Team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus. The appointee will be responsible for the development of the Ensembl Plants resource.

Apply by 1 July 2018 >>>

Ensembl Plants is a leading bioinformatics resource and provides plant researchers with access to genome sequence, gene annotation, and analysis tools for over 50 different species. We are participants in the United Kingdom’s Designing Future Wheat program, which brings together eight organisations aiming to assist in the development of improved wheat varieties; European and trans-Atlantic collaborations (in the ELIXIR and Gramene projects); and are working with the community to develop new data standards and tools to assist in the collection and dissemination of data. We are looking for a new staff member to lead the team working on this project, part of a larger organisational unit providing genome-centric services across the whole taxonomy from plants to bacteria.

The project leader’s working life will be varied and range in scope from the strategic development of Ensembl Plants to the operational management of our public data releases. The work required will be varied and will involve supervising staff; interacting with our collaborators, with data generators, and with the user community; contributing to data releases and development of the Ensembl code base; developing operating procedures and code specifications; and establishing priorities for future work. The project leader will work closely with similar staff responsible for other Ensembl services, and will help prepare both reports on existing funding and applications for future projects. The post will suit an experienced bioinformatician, ideally one with established connections to the European plant research community, with an interest in, and ideas for, developing services that facilitate genomic-driven research. If you join us, you will find a supportive environment, outstanding local know-how, and a robust infrastructure and toolset to form the basis for the basis for the services whose development you will oversee.

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 24 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. 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.

Qualifications and Experience

Applicants should have at least five years-experience working in bioinformatics, with at least two years working in a service capacity. Previous managerial experience, research experience, and experience of working with on plants, are all desirable but not essential. The successful candidate will be familiar with many of the types of data we handle in Ensembl Plants (including but not limited to short read sequencing data, variant call data, and multiple sequencing alignments) and aware of the common approaches and pitfalls when dealing with them. They will be familiar with Ensembl Plants and will have a working knowledge of common bioinformatics tools and databases. They will possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and be able to demonstrate a capacity for scientific and operational leadership.

Computational expertise is also necessary: the applicant is expected to be familiar with Linux, relational database management systems, and at least one programming language. Experience of code repositories, compute farms and queuing systems, containers, and other tools for software development and deployment will be considered favourably.


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. 

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.

Application Instructions

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.

Additional Information

Applications are welcome from all nationalities - 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.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

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

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