Junior Software Developer (COPO)
Post Details
Job Title
Junior Software Developer (COPO)
Post Number
Closing Date
12 Dec 2021
Starting Salary
£25,568 - £27,815
Hours per week
Months Duration

Job Description

Main Purpose of the Job

Working in the Research e-Infrastructure team at the Earlham Institute in Norwich, the role will be tasked with assisting the Collaborative OPen Omics (COPO) team by developing code to test and maintain the current service. The role will support internal and external collaborators in the use of the service, and also assist with updates to the main project website and associated documentation. This is an exciting opportunity for someone who is looking to start their career in software development in a supportive environment of other experienced Research Software Engineers.

1) Support the existing COPO code by writing unit and integration tests
2) Quality Assurance of existing COPO pipelines
3) Support and assist EI, national, and international users of COPO
4) Produce content to promote COPO to the research community through the COPO project web pages and social media account

Key Relationships

Internal:     all EI and Norwich Research Park staff    
External:        national and international COPO users
Other:             DTOL members, ERGA members and other COPO users

Main Activities & Responsibilities

Support the existing COPO code by writing unit and integration tests
Quality assurance of existing and new COPO pipelines in development
Support assist EI, national, and international users COPO users in familiarising with the platform and perform tasks such as metadata annotation, data transfer and upload to different repositories
Promote and support COPO to the research community by producing content for the website and social media account
As agreed with line manager, any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role

Person Profile

Education & Qualifications

2 x A Levels in relevant subject, or equivalent experience
Qualification or experience in biological science or bioinformatics
Bachelor’s degree or other accreditation in Computer Science or equivalent

Specialist Knowledge & Skills

Familiarity with Python or other similar programming language
Interest in code development and testing
Interest in programming languages with web frameworks (e.g. Python and Django)
Interest in the research environment, especially in life science
Knowledge of databases and associated technologies
Some familiarity with Javascript, CSS and HTML

Relevant Experience

Some previous experience in coding
Knowledge and experience of open science, data management and FAIR principles

Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Good written and verbal communication skills
Good interpersonal skills, with the ability to work well as part of a team

Additional Requirements

Attention to detail
Respect and advocacy for diversity in the workplace
A keen interest in science and technology
Willingness to embrace the expected values and behaviours of all staff at the Institute, ensuring it is a great place to work
Willingness to work outside standard working hours when required
Promotes equality and values diversity
Able to present a positive image of self and the Institute, promoting both the international reputation and public engagement aims of the Institute

Who We Are

Earlham Institute

Earlham Institute is a vibrant, contemporary research institute and registered charity, working in an area of rapid technological development and innovation.

Earlham Institute is strategically funded by the BBSRC to lead the development of a skill base in bioinformatics and a genomics technology platform for UK bioscience. The Institute is located on the Norwich Research Park, together with its partners: the John Innes Centre, the Institute of Food Research, The Sainsbury Laboratory, the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. The research park has an excellent reputation for research in plant and microbial sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science and food, diet and health, to which Earlham Institute contributes strengths in genomics and bioinformatics. Close links exist between the NRP partners and new opportunities for collaboration in exciting new initiatives are under development. The NRP recently received £26M of government investment to facilitate innovation and further develop infrastructure to attract science and technology companies to the Park to enhance the vibrant environment and realise economic impact from research investment.

Earlham Institute is a UK hub for innovative Bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. This has been boosted recently by an e-Infrastructure grant to expand the data storage capacity to a multi-petabyte unit, deploying a high performance cluster and large-memory server enabling the allocation of processes requiring several terabytes of computing memory.

Earlham Institute’s state of the art DNA sequencing facility operates multiple complementary technologies for data generation that provide the foundation for analyses furthering our fundamental understanding of genomes and how they function. We aim to be at the forefront of technological advances and are developing and implementing technologies to generate and analyse new types of data. We also develop novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational bioscience. Earlham Institute has one fully owned subsidiary, Genome Enterprise Ltd (GEL) via which it offers genomic and bioinformatics services on a trading basis and works with commercial providers on a partnership basis. Earlham Institute also receives specific funding to enable knowledge exchange programmes which are supported across the institute teams.


Digital Biology

Living in Norfolk


Advert Text

Junior Software Developer (COPO)

Applications are invited for a Junior Software Developer (COPO) to join the e-Infrastructure department within the Digital Biology Programme at the Earlham Institute, based in Norwich, UK.


Collaborative OPen Omics (COPO) serves as a data and metadata brokering service for national and international communities such as Darwin Tree of Life and the European Reference Genome Atlas, projects that are aiming to sequence all eukaryotic life on Earth. COPO helps life science researchers to implement good data and metadata management practices to submit research outputs to public repositories

The role:

Working in a professional team of Research Software Engineers, this position will support the development and testing of the COPO project.

The role will develop unit tests, improvements to the project frontend website, assist with support and maintenance of the platform, and interact with an exciting community of biodiversity researchers.

The successful candidate in this new role will work with the existing COPO Research Software Engineers supporting the existing service while developing programming skills and gaining experience in working in a research environment.

There will be many learning opportunities for the candidate who wants to approach and progress in the field of software development.

The ideal candidate:

The ideal candidate will have 2 x A Levels in relevant subjects (or equivalent experience), familiarity with Python or other similar programming language and some previous experience in coding.

Previous work experience in computer science/software engineering is not necessary, but a keen interest in code development and testing is essential.

Additional information:

Salary on appointment will be within the range £25,568 to £27,815 per annum depending on qualifications and experience.  This is a full time post for a contract of 12 months.

This role does not meet the full salary requirements set by UKVI to allow for visa sponsorship.  However, some individuals may still be eligible for visa sponsorship depending on their personal circumstances.  If you require visa sponsorship, please click here to find out if you qualify before applying. Please note, the occupation code for this role is 2136, which is on the shortage occupation list.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit our website http://jobs.earlham.ac.uk/ or contact the Human Resources team on 01603 450462 or nbi.recruitment@nbi.ac.uk quoting reference 1004146

As a Disability Confident employer, we guarantee to offer an interview to all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for this vacancy.

The closing date for applications will be 12th December 2021