Web Development Team Leader


Job Description

We are looking for an experienced, enthusiastic ‘web guru’ as our Web Development Team Leader at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). This group of 11 developers, UX researchers and designers drives the development of websites that serve millions of users throughout the world. We are located at the Wellcome Genome Campus in the UK’s fast-growing technical cluster near Cambridge in the UK.

This position offers many opportunities to flex your skills and explore new ideas, working and collaborating in an incredibly rich technical environment. The scope of our Web Development team goes beyond developing the central EMBL-EBI website, project sites and Intranet – it is the institute’s primary source of consultation for everything from usability research to emerging web technologies. As Web Development Team Leader, you would lead a flexible, agile team in responding to the needs of a broad range of stakeholders throughout the institute, including scientists, engineers, developers and communications professionals.

Our Web Development team is responsible for building, maintaining and evolving an author-supportive content management system, and delivering the content through a range of well-presented digital channels. Our approach is based on user-centric design and usability testing, as this ensures we implement functional, research-supportive experiences. It is absolutely essential that you have experience with user-centric design, and value it as much as we do.

Teams throughout EMBL-EBI use a range of modern web technologies (e.g. JavaScript, PHP, JQuery, HTML5, JSON, BioJS, Drupal), so you will need to remain up to speed with an evolving technical landscape. We offer a range of opportunities to support you and your team in brushing up your skills as technologies change.

As Team Leader you will need to be very organized, with managerial duties including financial and strategic planning as well as personnel and project management. This position also offers an opportunity to contribute to the wider technical strategy of the institute, and to collaborate with other groups on applying for grants to fund our research-supportive infrastructure. It also requires occasional travel, mainly within Europe.

EMBL-EBI offers much more than a single website, as a look through our data service pages will show. As Web Development Team Leader, you’ll steer our Web Guidelines Committee, a key source of input for major elements of style, and contribute to our Web Content Committee, which explores and triages everything from changes in information architecture to microcopy. Most of your interactions will be with content-generating teams that deliver scientific data services. Your team also works closely with other teams in our technical services cluster, which is led by Steven Newhouse.

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. Our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

Qualifications and Experience

This role calls for you to spend the majority of your time managing and overseeing the work of the team, ensuring a high level of customer satisfaction. One of the most important qualities you will bring to this role is an affinity for building strong working relationships with colleagues working in different disciplines – some of whom may be regular collaborators on other sites. You will also need to demonstrate hands-on experience in gathering requirements, web design and web development so that you can mentor and develop your team appropriately.


  • Experience in managing a team;
  • Demonstrated experience building professional relationships on all levels within an organization (i.e. senior management, interns, peers);
  • Experience with user-centric design and development of streamlined user journeys;
  • Documented experience in the successful delivery of web sites (including requirements gathering, design and development);
  • Familiarity with agile management practices (e.g. Kanban or Scrum) and their role in managing a team and projects;
  • Proficiency in HTML, JavaScript, PHP or other languages;
  • Experience leading, mentoring and managing a technical web development team;
  • Degree-level or equivalent qualification/experience in a computational, engineering or related scientific discipline;
  • Excellent verbal and written English communication skills;
  • Demonstrable problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to manage conflicting, complex, deadline-driven priorities;
  • Ability to adapt to different working styles, both independently and as part of a team.


  • Experience working in an academic/research environment;
  • Knowledge of how to build and deliver large-scale, performant web sites;
  • Familiarity with the European scientific community;
  • Experience communicating and working with expert users in a niche area (e.g. bioinformatics).


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

Please apply online through

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.
  It is envisaged that interviews will take place in the week commencing 25 July 2016.
Source: Nature Jobs

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