FAIR Data Coordination Project Lead

Employer: European Molecular Biology Laboratory (http://www.embl.org/) based at Wellcome Genome Campus, just outside of Cambridge, UK.

The Archival Infrastructure and Technology (AIT) team is looking for a dynamic and talented FAIR data expert to join our team. This position is a FAIR Data Project Lead (Grade 7) position, but for the right individual with exceptional skills and experience, we will consider an appointment as FAIR Data Coordinator (Grade 8).

Our team is building global FAIR data management capacity in the life sciences through several major projects and initiatives, including:

  • eLwazi: collaborating with DS-I Africa data hubs to improve health outcomes across Africa by creating tools and processes to make genomic and environmental data ready for integration into the eLwazi data science platform.
  • Human Cell Atlas: helping biological networks produce standardised, reusable data that can be integrated into the first drafts of the Atlas.
  • MorPhiC consortium: working with data production centres producing data to analyse the link between genotypes and phenotypes in humans.
  • We also have several other grants funded in life sciences data harmonisation and “FAIRification’ initiatives, covering clinical cohorts (CINECA) and biodiversity (MICROBE, BIOcean5D).

This is an exciting new opportunity in which you will play a key role in establishing the widespread use of FAIR maturity models and tools across the globe. Working with scientists and data managers across the globe, supporting them to define best practices within their projects and consortia to ensure their data is “born FAIR”. You’ll also lead a small team of bioinformaticians and software developers as part of the AIT leadership team. See detailed job description here.

Your role

As FAIR Data Project Lead (Grade 7), your role will include:


  • Shaping the future of the FAIR best practices in the life sciences by working with community leaders in ELIXIR, the Human Cell Atlas and MorPhiC
  • Defining actionable guidelines and frameworks for FAIR data management in collaboration with our partners
  • Working collaboratively as part of the AIT leadership team, identify opportunities to improve FAIRness of data we handle and ensuring successful delivery of all of our services and projects
  • Orchestrating the design and delivery of the FAIR supporting software (including the ELIXIR Biovalidator), through strategic vision and collaboration with the technical lead


  • Building deep understanding of user needs by engaging with community and collaborating with product owners and UX experts within the AIT team and beyond
  • Leveraging networking and grant-building opportunities
  • Representing the project and the institute at meetings and scientific conferences
  • Conveying our team’s vision and FAIRification framework to collaborators and wider audiences globally

Team management:

  • Line managing a team of approx. 4 and prioritising team’s activity to deliver valuable and user-friendly products and services for FAIRification
  • Supporting staff in building positive relationships with data managers (our users!)
  • Fostering a dynamic, collaborative and supportive culture that values your to deliver over title, role, or adherence to processes

An appointment as FAIR Data Coordinator (Grade 8) would come with added responsibilities including:

  • Taking a leading role in data working groups and leading data management work packages in funded projects
  • Reporting and deliverable writing on the output of the team
  • Proactively engaging in wider cross-consortia discussions (for example as part of the ELIXIR interoperability platform) to identify opportunities for future collaboration
  • Supporting the team through grant writing and funding recruitment activities

Apply now

Closing date: 19 April 2023

  • Contract duration: 3 years
  • Grading: Grade 7 or 8 depending on experience (monthly salary starting at £3,670.47 or £4,210.49 after tax) plus benefits
  • Reference number: EBI02128

You have

As FAIR Data Project Lead (Grade 7), you will bring…

Understanding of:

  • FAIR data management, including the FAIR principles and current patterns of best practice
  • managing life science data through working experience in international collaborative projects
  • software development and the life sciences domain

Experience in:

  • gathering requirements and delivering software that meets user needs
  • taking a long-term view on a project, planning for risks associated with delivery and working with senior management to overcome them

You will also have:

  • demonstrable ability to think creatively about problems, consider multiple possible solutions and work with the team to deliver them in the simplest possible way
  • excellent interpersonal and communication skills and an ability to work as part of a team of people with a range of skills and a diversity of backgrounds
  • a love of agile principles, an enthusiasm for identifying better ways to develop software and deliver value to users, and the flexibility to find these ways

As FAIR Data Coordinator (Grade 8), you will in addition have significantly greater relevant experience in the development of strategic plans, having worked at an influential level in multi-disciplinary collaborations and grant management. You would also have significant experience managing and mentoring teams.

You might also have

  • Knowledge of practical techniques for FAIR data evaluation, including maturity models, indicators and assessments
  • Ontology and data modelling expertise (e.g. OWL, RDF, SPARQL)
  • Experience:
    • managing and mentoring a small team of talented individuals
    • contributing to a development team as a developer, data architect or analyst in a Unix environment, especially on major life science databases
  • Expertise in common data management formats such as JSON schema

Why join us

Do something meaningful

At EMBL-EBI you can apply your talent and passion to accelerate science and tackle some of humankind’s greatest challenges. EMBL-EBI, part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, is a worldwide leader in the storage, analysis and dissemination of large biological datasets. We provide the global research community with access to publicly available databases and tools which are crucial for the advancement of healthcare, food security, and biodiversity.

Join a culture of innovation

We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus, alongside other prominent research and biotech organisations, and surrounded by beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. This is a highly collaborative and inclusive community where our employees enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. We are committed to ensuring our employees feel valued, supported and empowered to reach their professional potential.

Enjoy lots of benefits:

  • Financial incentives: Monthly family, child and non-resident allowances, annual salary review, pension scheme, death benefit, long-term care, accident-at-work and unemployment insurances
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Private medical insurance for you and your immediate family (including all prescriptions and generous dental & optical cover)
  • Generous time off: 30 days annual leave per year, in addition to eight bank holidays
  • Relocation package including installation grant (if required)
  • Campus life: Free shuttle bus to and from work, on-site library, subsidised on-site gym and cafeteria, casual dress code, extensive sports and social club activities (on campus and remotely)
  • Family benefits: On-site nursery, 10 days of child sick leave, generous parental leave, holiday clubs on campus and monthly family and child allowances
  • Benefits for non-UK residents: Visa exemption, education grant for private schooling, financial support to travel back to your home country every second year and a monthly non-resident allowance.

For more details please see our employee benefits page.

Working at EMBL-EBI

Join our diverse team and help power the next generation of discoveries in the life sciences.

What else you need to know

  • Contract duration: This position is a 3 year fixed-term contract.
  • International applicants: We recruit internationally and successful candidates are offered visa exemptions. Read more on our page for international applicants.
  • Diversity and inclusion: At EMBL-EBI, we strongly believe that inclusive and diverse teams benefit from higher levels of innovation and creative thought. We encourage applications from women, LGBTQ+ and individuals from all nationalities.
  • EMBL is a signatory of DORA. Find out how we implement best practices in research assessment in our recruitment processes here.
  • Job location: This role is based in Hinxton, near Cambridge, UK. You will be required to relocate if you are based overseas and you will receive a generous relocation package to support you.
  • How to apply: To apply please submit a cover letter and a CV through our online system. We aim to provide a response within two weeks after the closing date. Interviews are likely to held in the last week of April/1st week of May via Zoom.

The link for application is on the EMBL website: