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Scientific Officer (Bioinformatics)

Requisition ID:  8401

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  03-Jun-2021


We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Salary: £25,941.00 - £30,046.00 

Closing Date: 17 June 2021


The Role
The Newcastle University Bioinformatics Support Unit is looking to recruit a bioinfor-matician to support the running and development of a bioinformatics service.  You will also have opportunities to develop and apply cutting edge informatics and machine learning to analyse a variety of data sets including those arising from high-throughput sequencing (RNA and DNA) as well as large-scale electronic health care record data. This post is part of the Bioinformatics Support Unit, and will be physically located on the University medical school site but may be required to work close to Genomics Core facility based at the International Centre for Life.


You will have a first degree in a relevant subject, an in-depth understanding of current developments in bioinformatics, and knowledge of a modern scripting language. It is expected that they will have specific experience with high-throughput experimental data, especially sequencing data, and integration with clinical data sets. A relevant postgraduate degree is desirable. You will support the SESO in running and developing a Bioinformatics service to analyse a variety of data sets, including those arising from high-throughput se-quencing (RNA and DNA) as well as large-scale data from electronic health care rec-ords. This would involve assessing the viability of an array of informatics and machine learning methods and integrating the best into efficient bioinformatic and informatics pipelines. You will work closely with the Genomics Core Facility, academic scientists, including computational scientists, biomedical users, expert bioinformati-cians, as well as data management experts. You will be self-motivated with a background in computational biology and bioinformatics, and with experience in pro-gramming for data analytics (R or Python on UNIX/Linux and preferably with experi-ence working on HPC clusters), gained through either work and/or formal qualifica-tions. Reporting to the Senior Experimental Scientific Officer (SESO -Bioinformatics) and based in the Bioinformatics Support Unit (BSU) core facility, the role will specialize in the analysis of high throughput biological data, especially (but not limited to) functional genomics data. 


This post is fixed term for 2 years in the first instance.


More details on the Bioinformatics Support Unit at https://www.ncl.ac.uk/bsu/  


Informal enquiries to BSU Manager – email: ann.hedley@ncl.ac.uk 

Key Accountabilities

  • Responsible for providing primary data analysis for data generated on the high-throughput sequencing platform as well as large-scale data from electronic health care records.  
  • Develop semi-automated pipelines for the necessary QC and processing of da-ta.
  • Develop consumer-facing reporting mechanisms for the above processes.
  • Work with other team members to ensure that any relevant systems work together seamlessly.
  • Undertake extensive reading and literature review in appropriate fields with particular reference to genomics, functional genomics and machine learning. To make desirable modifications to methods from relevant literature review
  • Assist the SESO with day-today operation, maintenance and servicing of equipment in the BSU to ensure maximum availability and access.
  • Work with other members of the BSU where they are utilizing the results of primary processing pipelines.
  • Support the quality assurance processes within the unit.
  • Work closely with staff in the Genomics Core Facility to ensure the best in-tegration of the two services (genomics and bioinformatics).
  • Work closely with academic scientists, including computational scientists, clinicians, biomedical users, as well as expert bioinformaticians outside of the BSU.
  • Prepare reports and figures for inclusion in academic publications and grant proposals.
  • Carry out any additional duties within the remit of the grade as required by the SESO
  • By developing local procedures, establish and maintain a safe/compliant work-ing environment
  • Oversee any required compliance tasks ensuring timely completion and maintenance of appropriate records.
  • Schedule, prioritize and monitor work in line with demands and deadlines.
  • Organize and facilitate progress meetings.
  • Be a key contributor to specialism development, delivery and planning.
  • Contribute to and support change.
  • Create, update and implement procedures to deliver an aligned, efficient and effective service.
  • Assist managers with the identification of training and development needs.

The Person 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • An in-depth specialist understanding, and interest in, evaluation and possible acquisition of, the latest breakthrough technologies in bioinformatics, especially with reference to high throughput sequencing and data integration.
  • An  interest in high performance computing and machine learning.
  • In depth knowledge of a modern scripting language (e.g. Python, Ruby or Perl).
  • Experience scripting in R/RStudio.
  • Experience with UNIX/Linux operating systems.
  • Proven analytical and problem solving skills and experience.
  • Excellent team working skills and a customer-orientated, flexible approach to work.
  • Must have excellent communication and people skills with the ability to deal con-fidently and diplomatically with a range of personalities and staff at all levels of seniority.
  • Excellent time management skills.



  • Specific experience with high-throughput experimental data , especially transcriptomics (RNA-SEq), or genomics ( whole genome/exome sequencing data).  Experience of integrating these with clinical metadata and with electronic health care data would be an advantage. 
  • Experience with high performance computing and machine learning.
  • Experience with programming language for application development ( e.g. C, C++, Java).
  • Knowledge of statistical analysis methods.
  • Experience of web development using the latest technologies.
  • Experience of workflow or pipeline management software.


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Ability to work unsupervised and on own initiative.
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Flexibility.
  • Ability to multitask.
  • Consistent and appropriate approach to staff and situations.
  • Use of feedback for process improvement and staff development.
  • Team player, self starter and able to manage complex workload.
  • Ability to respond enthusiastically and positively to students.



  • Educated to degree level in a relevant subject; or broad relevant work experi-ence acquired through a combination of vocational training and considerable on-the-job experience, demonstrating development through progressively more demanding relevant roles.



  • Professional registration with an accredited professional body or working to-wards this on appointment.
  • Postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject.


Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.


The University holds a silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.


Requisition ID: 8401