Senior Bioinformatician/ Bioinformatician (Assembly)

Updated: 21 days ago
Location: Cambridge, ENGLAND

The Opportunity:

We are seeking a talented bioinformatician or genomics data scientist to deliver genome data QC and high-throughput assembly for the Moore Foundation Aquatic Symbiosis project. 

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.

About Us:

The Tree of Life Programme at the Wellcome Sanger Institute is dedicated to the generation and analysis of high quality genome sequences from across eukaryotic biodiversity. The Tree of Life team is initiating a new, three-year project on the Genomics of Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, where we will use advanced genomics toolkits to describe and decipher the biology of thousands of species that live in intimate association. The project will collaborate internationally to deliver exciting research outcomes and further understanding of the importance of symbiosis in generating diversity and maintaining function in aquatic ecosystems. To deliver this new project we are recruiting a team of molecular biologists, computing scientists and project management support.

About You:

You will contribute to the development of methods and software for genome data QC and assembly. 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 able to efficiently deliver high quality genome assemblies for species that did not previously have such a resource. We will produce thousands of genome assemblies for symbiotic organisms, and analyse these to understand their biology.

You will have previous experience with genome bioinformatics or other large-scale scientific data analysis, or a newly qualified graduate student with data science skills interested in assembling 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 mindset and excellent communication skills to work effectively within large national and international consortia.

Essential Skills

Technical skills:

  • Degree in a scientific discipline related to bioinformatics, or equivalent experience 
  • Previous experience in computational scientific data analysis, preferably in the area of genome assembly 
  • Expert knowledge of the unix computing environment 
  • Proficiency in one or more scripting languages, preferably Python and Perl 
  • Knowledge of new sequencing data and technologies 
  • Experience with a version control system 

Competencies and Behaviours:

  • 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 
  • Experience of managing and motivating junior staff 

Ideal Skills

Technical skills:

  • 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 and/or a workflow markup languages 
  • Web development experience 

* Please review both role profiles for the required skills and experience for the two grades

Other information


Whilst the developments around COVID-19 continue to evolve, the Wellcome Genome Campus is closed for all but essential functions and facilities. 

People remain at the centre of everything that we do and the majority of our staff are now working remotely to ensure continuity of operations, making use of remote communication and collaboration tools.

Interviews will be taking place virtually and the successful candidate should expect to be fully supported through remote on-boarding and working from home until the Campus re-opens to all staff. This approach may vary for individuals located overseas and/or where a visa is required and starting will be based on a number of factors, we will be able to provide specialist advice to those affected candidates.

Application Process:

Please apply with your CV and a Cover letter outlining 3 points that you feel you meet the essential criteria for this role. Please can you indicate which grade you are applying for.

For further information or questions about this post please contact Shane McCarthy (

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