Posted on 14.11.2018

Job description

We are looking to appoint a highly motivated bioinformatician to manage the submission and distribution of data generated as part of the international Human Cell Atlas project.

Recent advances in the area of single cell genomics have facilitated the possibility of generating a Human Cell Atlas, where cutting-edge molecular biology techniques can be used to refine our understanding of cell types within the human body, thereby building a platform for future transformative research in understanding tissue homeostasis and, ultimately, disease1-3.

The Marioni group is a world leader in computational biology, with a particular focus on developing methods for data generated using single cell genomics technologies4-8.

The HCA DCP team at EMBL-EBI is leading efforts to build the ingestion service enabling submission of data to the DCP and validating these datasets meet HCA standards. This team also works with biologists and bioinformaticians to under the different HCA data types. 1. Young et al., Science, 2018.
2. Hagai et al., Nature (in press)
3. Gomes et al., BiorXiv,
4. Haghverdi et al., Nature Biotechnology, 2018
5. Lun et al., Nature Methods, 2017
6. Vallejos et al., Nature Methods, 2017
7. Achim et al., Nature Biotechnology, 2015
8. Buettner et al., Nature Biotechnology, 2015


You will be a key link between data generators, based primarily within the UK, the Human Cell Atlas Data Coordination Platform (DCP), and downstream visualisation and analysis portals such as the Single Cell Expression Atlas (LINK). You will interact closely with all three of these groups to facilitate smooth upload, processing and dissemination of the data generated as part of this project.

You will be based within the HCA DCP team at Hinxton led by Laura Clarke and work closely with the EMBL-EBI based groups of John Marioni, Irene Papatheodorou and will collaborate with the group of Sarah Teichmann at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.

Your role will include the following tasks:

Designing and extending services to ensure the HCA is collecting high quality metadata to support and enable discovery and integration operations on its data
Supporting the data flow into the HCA and EMBL-EBI archives from project contributors
Collaborating with expert biologists and external collaborators to define and extend the minimum standards for the various HCA data types
Working with biologists and other collaborators to define requirements for HCA services
Running training courses on how to submit data to the HCA project
Working with other teams across EMBL-EBI to deliver our components of the HCA Data Coordination Platform
Representing the team and the institute at HCA project meetings and international scientific conferences.

Why join us
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.

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. For more information about pay and benefits click here

How to apply

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

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.

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