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Senior Software Developer, Stem Cell Informatics

Salary in the region of £40,000 per annum plus excellent benefits

We are seeking an experienced software developer to join our software development team, which provides informatics support for the High-Throughput Gene Editing team and other groups within the Scientific Operations division.

This role involves gathering user requirements (in an informal way) and discussing the impact on current systems with the Senior Scientific Manager in the group and other members of the informatics team. We operate separate ticketing systems to manage user requirements and functional implementation. We develop primarily in modern Perl using a web stack based on PostgreSQL, Catalyst (for MVC support) and DBIx::Class with views implemented using Template Toolkit and Javascript. However, proficiency at programming in any current language is more important than specific Perl experience.

You will contribute code to our source code repositories on GitHub ( as part of our collaborative and agile-enlightened approach to coding.

You will become part of a relaxed but professional software development team, with access to world class computing resources and many opportunities for furthering your knowledge of programming for bioinformatics and genomics, whether within the web framework or on our extensive compute farm and internal cloud services. You will have well developed interpersonal skills and the desire to grow as a member of the team. There may be opportunities for supervising others and the Institute has a wealth of resources available to support development in this area.

There is substantial Perl expertise in the group and this opportunity could be a good way for appropriate candidates to get up-to-date with current Perl coding methodology.

We develop software tools to assist in genome editing (search for WGE CRISPR for our tools) and leading-edge gene sequencing technologies. Our web services implement a LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) for tracking scientific data generated in our high-throughput labs. We provide bespoke support for our research groups in human stem cell engineering - resulting in interesting and challenging programming opportunities. See for more information on the work we do.

Our LIMS is used to support many other groups, both within the Sanger Institute and around the world. WGE is recognised as world class software for designing important genome editing experiments in many leading research groups.

Coding skills of all shortlisted candidates are tested in pre-interview selection and also at onsite interview. All candidates should submit a covering letter explaining why their skills and experience fulfil the requirements for this job. 

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • Bachelors degree or above in computer related sciences or equivalent experience
  • Evidence of a high level of competence in a modern scripting language based on C-style syntax using a relational database
  • Evidence of working within a team and demonstrable interpersonal skills
  • Evidence of ability to design and run complex database queries in SQL
  • Experience of and the ability to deliver a quality product within fixed deadlines
  • Evidence of having successfully worked in a collaborative, project-focused software team
  • Evidence of ability to prioritise tasks to ensure the right things can be done at the right time
  • Highly developed problem solving skills
  • Willingness to learn and excel in Modern Perl

Other information

The Sanger Institute is a charitably funded research centre focused on understanding the role of genetics in health and disease. We use state of the art large-scale genomic approaches to drive world-leading projects to uncover the basis of genetic and infectious disease. Our goal is to provide results that can be translated into diagnostics, treatments or therapies that reduce global health burdens.

The Institute is located near Cambridge, UK on the stunning Wellcome Genome Campus. This growing and dynamic site is the British hub of genomic science. It hosts the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Open Targets, a Biodata Innovation Centre and will soon host Genomics England Limited’s 100,000 Genomes Sequencing Centre. The Campus is also home to Wellcome Genome Campus Connecting Science. Connecting Science inspires new thinking, sparks conversation and supports learning by drawing on the ground-breaking research taking place on the Campus. Its mission is to enable everyone to explore genomic science and its impact on research, health and society.

To help researchers to develop their skills and networks, the Institute hosts a range of scientific seminars with internal and invited speakers, scientific group meetings and skills development workshops.

Our Benefits include: Defined Contribution Pension Scheme, Group Income Protection, Healthcare scheme, Childcare Vouchers, Workplace Nursery and 25 days Annual Leave, increasing by one day per year up to a maximum of 30, plus Bank Holidays. We also have a gym, two cafes, dining facilities, and a free campus bus service. Our thriving Sports and Social Club provides many opportunities to meet with people working across the campus.

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute welcomes applications from all candidates irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religion or belief, or marital or civil partnership status.

Please include a covering letter and CV with your application. 

Closing date: 29th October 2017