Software Developer

Requisition ID:  26862

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  19 Mar 2024


Salary: £29,605 to £30,487 with progression to £32,982 per annum


Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.


Closing Date: 16 April 2024



The Role


We are inviting applications for a Software Developer to join the Data Science & AI Programme at the NIHR Innovation Observatory (IO), based at Newcastle University. The IO, supported by £27M of NIHR funding, integrates the expertise of horizon scanning analysts, evidence synthesis researchers and data scientists into a cohesive hub focused on observing and reporting on health innovation.


In this role, you will play a key part in the continuous enhancement and support of OpenScan, our in-house developed, cloud-based data science engine. Your expertise will be leveraged to refine our data ingestion pipeline, designed to collate, standardise, and analyse health data from diverse sources, including clinical trial registries and research publication databases. OpenScan is used as a platform to develop search and analytical tools to support the IO’s horizon scanning and evidence synthesis research activities.


The position calls for a proficient coder, to develop and optimise data processing routines in OpenScan. You will also be involved with supporting the integration of emerging technologies, such as large language models and generative AI.


This post is available fixed term until 31 March 2026 in the first instance.


For informal queries, please contact Dr Christopher Marshall at the following email address:


Key Accountabilities

  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of OpenScan’s data pipeline, focusing on enhancing data crawling, extraction, and analysis capabilities, primarily using Python
  • Engage in data collection and processing, effectively managing structured and unstructured health data. Employ data transformation techniques to prepare data for analysis
  • Support the use and maintenance of databases such as MongoDB
  • Participate in integrating emerging technologies, including large language models and generative AI, into our data processing workflows, working with our academic researchers
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to support projects, maintain clear documentation, and communicate clearly technical progress


The Person


Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Proficient in Python programming, with a focus on web scraping and data manipulation
  • Familiarity with web crawling libraries such as Selenium and Beautiful Soup
  • Promote strong programming standards, prioritising clear, maintainable, and easily testable code
  • Experience in data collection, cleaning, and processing for diverse datasets
  • Proficiency in utilising source code version control systems such as GitHub


  • Knowledge and proficiency in cloud computing environments, particularly AWS, demonstrating the ability leverage cloud services effectively
  • Proficient in Java programming
  • Exposure to JavaScript frontend libraries such as React and NodeJS, with an openness and willingness to learn new frameworks
  • Experience with NoSQL databases (MongoDB) and Elasticsearch
  • Interest and/or experience with generative AI technologies
  • Experience as a full-stack developer


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Effective communicator with the ability to articulate technical concepts clearly to non-technical colleagues
  • Eager to join and contribute to a collaborative environment, supporting team objectives and sharing knowledge
  • Willing to tackle challenges with a positive and proactive attitude, and a willingness to seek out learning opportunities to resolve a problem
  • Open to exploring innovative ideas and approaches, showing a keen interest in staying updated with the latest technology trends



  • Undergraduate degree in Computer Science or a related discipline


  • Postgraduate degree in Computer Science or a related discipline


Training Opportunities

We are committed to fostering professional growth and development. As part of our commitment to your success in the role, we will support you in attending tailored training programs to expand your skill set. This includes workshops, mentorship opportunties, and access to resources aimed at amplifying your expertise. These initiatives are designed to significantly contribute to your long-term career progression within the NIHR Innovation Observatory.



Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.


We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.


At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.


In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 26862