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Senior Bioinformatician/ Genomics Data Scientist - Tree of Life Genomics

Salary in the region of £36,737- £44,451 (dependent on experience) plus excellent benefits

Fixed term for 2 years - with potential to extend for 3 years

The Sanger Institute with other partners has launched the Darwin Tree of Life project to provide high quality genome assemblies for all eukaryotic species in the British Isles. This project will significantly contribute to the global Earth Biogenome Project, fundamentally changing scientific knowledge of evolution and interactions among millions of the planet’s organisms. 

We are seeking two talented bioinformaticians or genomics data scientists to contribute to genome assembly, data analysis and the development of methods and software to support the Darwin Tree of Life project. Sequencing technologies are constantly evolving in terms of the type and volume of the sequence data they produce. The recent progress in long-read sequencing technologies means that we are now beginning to be able to consistently deliver high quality genome assemblies for species that did not previously have such a resource. There are opportunities and challenges to design scalable and robust informatics solutions for the data tracking, storage, and analysis of this data. One of the most challenging aspects of this role will be to produce high-quality scientific results on a large scale while adapting to rapid developments in sequencing technology and software.

The primary responsibilities of the successful applicants will be: 

  • To develop, maintain, and run pipelines and processes for the processing, QC, and analysis of high-throughput sequencing data.
  • To evaluate and compare new tools and technologies such as new assembly programs or tools for inclusion in the pipeline.
  • To develop and maintain a system for tracking data sets and their analysis progress against team projects.
  • To participate in the development of novel bioinformatics software tools and techniques for high-throughput sequencing and assembly.
  • To contribute to scientific publications.
  • To help to make our data and resources available to a large community of biologists and geneticists.

These roles would suit somebody with some previous experience with bioinformatics or other large scale scientific data analysis, or a newly qualified graduate student with data science skills interested in DNA sequence data. While desirable, previous experience with DNA sequencing data is not strictly necessary for the position. We have a strong publication record and culture of producing open data resources and open source software development. This role requires an investigative and solution-oriented mind set and excellent communication skills to work effectively within large national and international consortia.

For further information or questions about this post please contact Shane McCarthy (sm15@sanger.ac.uk)

Essential Skills

  • Advanced degree in a scientific discipline, or equivalent experience
  • Record of multiple years of computational scientific data analysis
  • Knowledge of the unix computing environment
  • Proficiency in one or more scripting languages, preferably Python and Perl
  • Excellent critical and problem-solving skills
  • Attention to detail and the ability to work to meet timelines
  • Ability to quickly adapt to new problems and ideas
  • A high level of communication skills to be able to elicit complex requirements from, and convey complex information to, groups with different levels of technical knowledge

Ideal Skills

  • Knowledge of new sequencing data and technologies
  • Experience in genome assembly
  • Experience with the git version control system
  • Experience with running software on a compute farm, cluster, or cloud environment
  • Previous experience with managing large volumes of data
  • Experience with a compiled programming language such as C or C++
  • Experience with database management in MySQL or similar
  • Web development experience

Other information

The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre and committed to training the next generation of genome scientists. Focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease and a world leader in the genomic revolution, our mission is to use genome sequences to advance understanding of human and pathogen biology in order to improve human health. We aim to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens. Our science is large-scale and organised into Programmes, led by our Faculty who conceive and deliver our science, and supported by our Scientific Operations teams responsible for all data production pipelines at the Institute. 

Our Campus: Set over 125 acres, the stunning and dynamic Wellcome Genome Campus is the biggest aggregate concentration of people in the world working on the common theme of Genomes and BioData. It brings together a diverse and exceptional scientific community, committed to delivering life-changing science with the reach, scale and imagination to pursue some of humanity’s greatest challenges.

Our Benefits: Our employees have access to a comprehensive range of benefits and facilities including:

  • Defined Contribution Pension Scheme and Life Assurance
  • Group Income Protection
  • Private Health Insurance
  • 25 days annual leave, increasing by one day a year to a maximum of 30
  • Family friendly environment including options for flexible and part-time working, a childcare voucher scheme, Campus Nursery and Summer holiday club
  • Two days paid Employee Volunteering Leave a year
  • Employee Discount Scheme
  • Campus Gym, tennis courts and sports hall plus a range of dining facilities
  • Active Campus Sports and Social Club
  • Free Campus Bus Service

Genome Research Limited hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and will consider all individuals without discrimination and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, where everyone can thrive.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application. Closing date for applications: 20th July 2019