EBI - European Bioinformatics Institute

Hinxton near Cambridge, United Kingdom

Job Description

The Samples, Phenotypes and Ontologies team are looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated bioinformatician/biocurator to join the BioSamples database team in a short term (6 month) post to analyse and perform targeted data curation at EMBL-EBI.

The Biosamples database at EMBL-EBI is a resource that integrates biological samples from a wide variety of sources to provide a single location to apply standards and ontologies to sample data. It has grown from 14,000 samples in 2010 to over 5 million samples in 2017. Almost every biological experiment starts with samples, and as the home for this information, the BioSamples database is a central component for the EBI. It plays a key role in biological knowledge to the raw data, stored in the many archive databases at EBI and outside. BioSamples is an increasingly important component in a building bioinformatics platforms to enable stem cell research, improving our understanding of the genetic basis of disease, and facilitating genomics research in crop science.

In this role, you’ll be working to perform targeted data mining and data cleaning over a subset of samples focused on one particular area of biology, depending on your expertise and interests. This role would suit someone with a biological background, an interest in the use of big data in biological research and a keen sense of attention to detail. You’ll be performing curation and metadata management of BioSamples, with an opportunity to shape the way all future submissions that include sample metadata are handled by the EBI. You should be familiar with working with standard formats for expressing biological data, but there’ll also be a variety of data analysis techniques involved (in the past, we’ve done analysis using tools like Neo4J).

You’ll be embedded into the Biosamples team, a multidisciplinary team of bioinformaticians and programmers with experience in ontologies, databases, backend java technologies and user interfaces, and with scientific backgrounds ranging from biochemistry to systems biology. This means you should be comfortable interacting with scientists and developers to help specify, build and test new tools and techniques that would be helpful to your tasks.

Qualifications and Experience

You should ideally have an undergraduate degree in a Biomedical Science, with a masters degree in bioinformatics or a computer science. You’ll need to be self-motivated and capable of working both independently and with a closely interacting team of scientists in an international academic environment. You should be able to demonstrate previous experience of software development or scripting in at least one programming language, and if you have worked on collaborative coding projects or in an agile software development environment you’ll be a good fit for our team.

This position offers exciting opportunities, both to work as part of a team on a large, established bioinformatics database and to take the initiative in the development of new data processing tools. It would be perfect for a recent bioinformatics graduate looking for a first position in a world-leading bioinformatics institute.

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