University of Dundee

Bioinformatics Scientist/Research Software Engineer

Computational Biology
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Grade 7 - 8 (£32,817 - £49,553)

We seek a computational scientist, bioinformatician, or (research) software engineer with an interest in interactive data analysis platforms for biology and medicine to join the Jalview ( research software engineering team.

Jalview is free software for visualisation and interactive analysis of biological sequence and structure data (proteins, DNA and RNA), first developed in 1996. Its Java desktop application is used by tens of thousands of researchers and students worldwide. A JavaScript version, JalviewJS, is now being developed as a single page web application and W3C compliant web component, as part of an ambitious program supported by the Wellcome Trust. In the next 5 years we aim to develop plugins and libraries for widely used data science platforms (Jupyter, RStudio), and enable interactive sequence analysis in the context of data from large scale cryo-EM and direct transcript sequencing experiments. In partnership with groups at EMBL-EBI, UC San Francisco and UC San Diego we will also enable interoperation with leading standalone and web-based genome browsers, and integrate with platforms for Comparative Genomics, Metagenomics, and RNA and Protein structure and functional analysis.

The University of Dundee is an Equal Opportunities employer, and we strongly believe that Jalview’s developers should be as diverse as its global userbase of students, educators and researchers. Applicants should be proficient in Java or JavaScript, and familiar with developing in the other. Knowledge of at least one other programming or scripting language (e.g. R, Python) will be an advantage. You should also be aware of and able to apply critical software engineering practices (version control, documentation, code review, build systems, tests, debuggers) and have good written, visual, oral, and online communication skills.

Who we’re looking for:

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Enthusiasm for learning about and advancing the science that Jalview supports now, and in the future.
  • A degree, masters, or Ph.D. and/or equivalent experience in a scientific or numerate discipline
  • A keen interest in the creation of powerful open source interactive visualisation and analysis tools for biological data science
  • Working knowledge of data science notebook systems (e.g. JupyterHub, RStudio, ObservableHQ) 
  • Familiarity with the creation of interactive GUIs and data visualizations that employ web services, databases, and distributed computation

We will also welcome candidates with:

  • Excellent knowledge of web standards and protocols
  • Experience of working with open source components and large legacy codebases
  • An interest in helping grow Jalview’s user and developer community.

Apply Here

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a Java programming task and invited to give a short presentation during their interview.

This position is fixed-term for 24 months, and the salary will be between £32,817 - £49,553 depending on experience.

Informal enquiries about this position may be made to Prof. Geoff Barton ( or Dr Jim Procter (

Jalview development is about world-class research software engineering, user interface design, high-performance data analysis and communicating best practice in the interactive visual exploration of biological data. We have a growing list of contributors, including students and interns who developed bioinformatics research projects based on Jalview, or just wanted experience in open source scientific software development. If you aren’t already working in computational biology/bioinformatics, then this is a great opportunity to gain knowledge of key resources in this fast-moving field.

Jalview development is managed in Prof. Geoff Barton’s bioinformatics research group at the University of Dundee ( with support from the Wellcome Trust and BBSRC. The team occupies purpose-built space for computational research in the Discovery Centre, the latest development to the School of Life Sciences research complex. We support both flexible and remote working arrangements, and the University has a generous holiday entitlement.

The diversity of our staff and students helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for undergraduate, postgraduate and distance learning. Family friendly policies, staff networks for BME, Disabled and LGBT staff, membership of Athena SWAN, the ECU Race Equality Charter and Stonewall as well a full range of disability services, create an enjoyable and inclusive place to work.