Project Leader – Database & Software


Job Description

We are seeking to recruit an experience and motivated software engineer to join the Protein Function Development team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).

You will take on a Project Leader role working in a highly dynamic software engineering team with responsibility for the development and dissemination of robust and reliable services and data from widely used resources including UniProt and the Gene Ontology annotation. You will play a critical role in setting goals and priorities with the Team Leader and the other Project Leaders for this large team. A key part of the role will be managing the team members to ensure that developments are understood and completed on time. You will actively contribute to the code base and set the standards for the rest of the team. Another aspect of this role is the overseeing of software development with our diverse collaborators and their teams in international Consortia.

Drawing on your experience of the development and maintenance of biomolecular databases, services and tools, you will lead the team in the use of modern software development technologies and best practices. In particular, you should have experience in managing and developing frequent and robust database production and release systems including both the relational database back-end and the software application lifecycle.

Reporting to Maria Martin (Team Leader of the Protein Function Development team), you will take an important role in building and developing the team. In addition, you will encourage the team members to keep up to date with current developments and also to present the work of the team by attending relevant meetings and conferences.

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 21 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 postgraduate degree in computer science (or equivalent degree) with at least 5 years proven professional experience in software development (i.e. back-end and front-end tiers and programmatic access APIs) in a team environment, and in supporting production systems in an academic or commercial setting. You will be required to communicate technical documents, take part in the daily Scrum as Scrum master, as well as to provide user orientated communication with external and internal users of the resource. An ability to work to tight deadlines is essential and you should have the knowledge and experience to both propose technical solutions and make decisions with the team.   Required:

  • Postgraduate degree level or equivalent qualification/experience in computational, or related scientific discipline
  • At least 5 or more years’ experience writing production quality software in a team environment
  • Expert knowledge of Java and Spring (MVC, Security, Integration), Oracle RDBMS, and SOLR
  • You will be experienced in Web Services technologies like REST
  • Use of version control (e.g. Git, subversion) and notions of Continuous Integration is important (e.g. Apache, Maven, Apache ant, Apache Ivy, Jenkins and SonarQube, etc.)
  • Experience with agile development practices and methodologies, and the full software development lifecycle in a team environment
  • Experience in communicating and working with expert users (e.g. in a science community) in a co-development model
  • Experience with software development in the production of biomolecular databases.


  • Previous experience evaluating open-source software and its subsequent integration to a production system
  • Knowledge of scripting languages such as Perl/Python
  • Familiarity with SOLR/Lucene and when to use them
  • Familiarity with other RDBMSs and NoSQL DBMS.


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

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 BST on the date listed above.

Don’t forget to mention Naturejobs when applying.

Source: Nature Jobs

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