University of Dundee

Bioinformatics Scientist/Research Software Engineer

Computational Biology
Job Reference: 
Closing Date: 
Friday, March 5, 2021
Grade 7 - 8 (£32,817 - £49,553)

We seek a bioinformatician, computational scientist, or (research) software engineer with strong programming skills, and enthusiasm for interactive data analysis platforms for biology and medicine, to join the Jalview ( 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 >70,000 researchers and students worldwide with >800,000 sessions in 2020. 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 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 the other as well as at least one other language (e.g. R, Python). 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:

  • Demonstrated an ability to apply software engineering in a scientific context.
  • A keen interest in the creation of powerful open-source interactive visualisation and analysis tools for biological data science
  • 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

In addition, we also welcome candidates with:

  • Excellent knowledge of current and emerging 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.
  • Experience of using and extending data science notebook systems (e.g. JupyterHub, RStudio, ObservableHQ)

Apply Here

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a Java programming task on the Jalview codebase before interview, and to give a short PowerPoint presentation during their interview.

While we support remote working, the position will be based in Dundee, Scotland and the successful candidate will be expected to relocate to Dundee or the surrounding area.

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

Additional information:

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 flexible 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.