Job Title: Software Engineer
Job Ref: EBI_00796
Employer: European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)
Job Location:
Closing Date: 06/11/2016
Job Description:

We are looking to recruit an experienced Software Engineer to join the Data Coordination and Archiving team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). Your work will cover two cutting-edge software development initiatives: The CRAM framework provides high-performance data compression for the growing volumes of data managed by genomicists. The ReadUntil project will provide machine control and early data processing software for the emerging Oxford Nanopore Technologies sequencing platforms.

In addition to involvement in all parts of the software life cycle (from design, implementation, deployment, maintenance, operation and support), you will contribute to the integration of CRAM and ReadUntil software components into the broader data archiving infrastructure to add to the portfolios of services around such EMBL-EBI data resources as the European Nucleotide Archive and the European Genome Phenome Archive.


The software development initiatives in which you will be involved have emerged around EMBL-EBI’s leading activities in the archiving and presentation of nucleotide sequence information spanning hundreds of thousands of organisms and covering trillions of sequenced base pairs. Operating some of the world's largest scientific databases, we provide an exciting opportunity for candidates looking to work with extremely large databases.

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 22 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

You will have a university degree in computer science or software engineering with, ideally, a post-graduate qualification in a relevant discipline.

The ideal candidate must be able to demonstrate several years of experience in the building of C and Java applications. Experience is also required in the full software development cycle including design, implementation, testing, version control and deployment. Prior experience working in a multi-disciplinary environment is desirable and awareness of a service ethos is important.

You must show willingness to learn new skills as the projects require and must be self-motivated and capable of working both independently and as part of a team. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are required.


  • Strong command of C and Java;

  • Experience with Linux;

  • Experience building web services;

  • Deep understanding of data compression and signal processing algorithms

  • Excellent communication skills.

Ideally, you will have:

  • Familiarity with sequencing data;
  • Proficiency with database connectivity and relational databases.


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.

This position is limited to the project duration.

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

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