Jobs in Structural Biology and Related Fields

Senior Software Developer

Instruct-ERIC, Oxford, United Kingdom
Application deadline: 11 Jan 2019

A position has become available in the Instruct-ERIC office. More information below

Overview of the role 


You will be part of the Instruct-ERIC (European Research Infrastructure in Structural Biology) Operations team located in Oxford. You will join a lively and motivated international and interdisciplinary group of scientists. You will work with a small team to develop and implement new digital solutions that exploit and support common processes identified across very diverse research infrastructures (RIs). You will participate in projects that will shape and influence strategies for managing structural biology data, to enable the storage, use and reuse of large datasets and the implementation of FAIR principles in data management. 

We are looking for a confident, motivated candidate with an academic background and the vision and ability to create digital solutions for our Instruct-ERIC user communities. The role requires creative thinking, excellent developer and communication skills, professional rigour and a ‘can-do’ philosophy. This role is based in Oxford, UK and will have interactions with pan-European data management initiatives for research infrastructures in other Life Sciences and Environmental Sciences sectors. There is a requirement to travel mostly within Europe and occasionally to non-European countries. 

This is a full-time appointment, fixed term for 3 years in the first instance. You will be required to upload a CV and supporting statement as part of your online application. Only applications received before 12.00 midday on Friday 11th January 2019 can be considered. 

Please quote ref. INST003 on all correspondence.


  • Developing software solutions to serve the future needs of the user community for structural biology services that are provided through Instruct-ERIC:  

  • Understanding the existing code base of ARIA, identifying future directions of the software and contributing to a development plan;  

  • Managing the design, performance expectations, development, testing, release and post-release support; 

  • Understanding authentication and authorisation infrastructures (AAI) with a view to maintaining and developing the existing Instruct Identity Provider (IdP) which is built on SAML-based Shibboleth

  • Working with the life-sciences community on future needs for the ARIA system and its implementation across various platforms; 

  • Contributing to a time-dependent and prioritised development strategy for these future needs; 

  • Managing integration with other systems as required; 

  • Delivering the plan to time and with appropriate documentation and testing to ensure a robust and well-supported service. 

  • Handling the Instruct internal computing infrastructure including server maintenance: virtualised infrastructure and networking infrastructure. 

  • Co-developing solutions for several European RIs to offer access to their resources in a cross-platform model: 

  • Working with developers from large European data management service providers and cloud resource providers to test and implement software that delivers an integrated cross-RI model system; 

  • Monitoring and fixing defects in functionality, especially to ensure coherence between Instruct systems and other systems in sister RIs; 

  • Creating and maintaining detailed documentation of the software landscape across RIs; 

  • Drafting reports on the development activity for the Instruct Director and Coordinator; 

  • Managing the day to day communications between all stakeholders in the process; 

  • Maintaining good and effective relationships with internal and external collaborators. 

  • Coordinating with the technical teams in other related projects in the integration of their systems including: 

  • Representing Instruct-ERIC at relevant meetings; 

  • Taking responsibility for the administrative management of IT-related contractual delivery of several EC-funded projects including: 

  • Managing team effort and timelines to deliver on each contract. 

Selection criteria  


  • A higher degree, preferably in computing or a science-based discipline, or equivalent experience; 

  • Practical experience in software and web design and functionality; 

  • Excellent communication skills, including the ability to respond to user support requests both efficiently and appropriately and deliver both written and oral presentations of technical work at international symposia and to non-specialist audiences; 

  • Website development skills using current web technologies (HTML4/5, CSS3, JavaScript, AJAX, XML); 

  • Knowledge and experience of using SQL; 

  • Knowledge and experience of command-line Linux; 

  • Good knowledge of modern IT systems and project methodologies, practises and approaches; an understanding of software design patterns; 

  • Excellent time and task management; 

  • Quick learning ability and an end-user focus, building high value solutions; 

  • Experience of managing complex projects; able to steer a project even when requirements are vague; 

  • Ability to deliver results to a high standard on time, including working to demanding deadlines; 

  • Positive attitude and the ability to overcome obstacles and resistance; 

  • Ability to travel.


  • Some interest or experience in biological sciences or bioinformatics; 

  • Experience of web development in PHP; 

  • Creativity and an interest in the visual representation of biological subject matter.

Instruct-ERIC is a Landmark European Research Infrastructure for the structural biology community. It provides access to high-value structural biology facilities, enabling researchers to undertake important research. Service delivery is managed through an on-line portal through which users can apply, choose, schedule and complete their research work. Instruct-ERIC is one of 13 research infrastructure service providers in Europe and one of the overarching objectives is to integrate the systems of each research infrastructure into a single entry point to facilitate multiplatform service provision. 

The INSTRUCT consortium was established in 2008 and awarded European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status in July 2017. Instruct-ERIC is funded by the national membership contributions of twelve European Member States, with the Coordination Hub based in Oxford, UK. Instruct-ERIC is a funded partner of nine Horizon 2020 projects. 

Instruct-ERIC is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer, with a welcoming and family-friendly working environment. Instruct-ERIC provides a contributory pension scheme and 38 days leave inclusive of public holidays. 

Applications should be sent by email to Dr Susan Daenke and include: 

  1. A statement letter outlining your suitability for the role; 

  1. A curriculum vitae; 

  1. The names of three referees; 

  1. A statement on your right to work in the UK

Oxford, United Kingdom

Senior Software Developer