Vacancies at BioSS

Make a career with one of Europe's leading Centres of Biomathematics and Statistics.

BioSS has an international reputation in the field of statistics and mathematics applied in the biological sciences. It contributes research, consultancy and training to agricultural, environmental and biological research organisations in Scotland and plays a leading role in collaborative research programmes with UK universities. With some 30 statistics, mathematics and computing specialists and 10 postgraduate research students, BioSS is one of the leading European groups in its field. Approximately half of the BioSS staff are based in our headquarters on the King's Buildings campus of Edinburgh University and the remainder are located in four BioSS units at research institutes in Aberdeen, Ayr and Dundee. Staff from all sites come together regularly to discuss their work and plan new activities.

Staff Vacancies

Research Software Engineer- Cloud Computing

We are seeking a research software engineer with a strong background in cloud computing and high-performance scientific computing on a 12 month fixed term contract to undertake the porting of bioinformatics workflows to serverless cloud platforms.

Serverless computing is a novel, exciting cloud computing paradigm, which is increasingly attracting attention due to its lower costs and higher scalability. RNA-sequencing is a high-throughput, data-intensive technique that lies at the heart of modern quantitative biology. The successful applicant will focus on porting to serverless platforms some workflows for the analysis of RNA-sequencing data previously developed by BioSS scientists.

This work will take place as part of the Horizon 2020 project CloudButton – Serverless Data Analytics Platform which is due to conclude in March 2022. CloudButton is a dynamic consortium which includes a number of world leaders in the field of high-performance computing (among them IBM, Atos, RedHat) and several high-profile academic partners. The successful candidate will interact with such partners and be a key player in the implementation of the genomic use case for CloudButton. Work on the project is a guaranteed gateway to state-of-the-art knowledge in a thriving technological field that is likely to see great expansion in the near future.

BioSS offers a stimulating working environment located in the James Clerk Maxwell Building at the University of Edinburgh, King’s Buildings campus and extensive opportunities to develop collaborations with scientists in both the research institute and university sectors.

As well as a very strong background in programming languages and software engineering, applicants should have:

We will consider favourably: Familiarity with serverless cloud computing; Experience with functional programming languages; A broad understanding of data types and quantitative issues relevant to the processing of bioinformatics and high-throughput sequencing data.

More information on the detail of the post and the post holder can be found below in the job description.

Main Purpose of Job

For the residual duration of the CloudButton H2020 project, to port to serverless cloud architectures existing workflows for the analysis of RNA-sequencing data. Serverless is a novel, exciting computational paradigm that has been gaining traction worldwide during the last few years.

To collaborate with other project partners (mainly Imperial College London, IBM and University Rovira i Virgili) within Cloudbutton, in order to understand the different serverless platforms being developed and become able to use them. The project offers a great opportunity to gain direct knowledge of state-of-the-art cloud technologies.

To contribute as needed to the development and maintenance of existing algorithms and methods to analyse high-throughput bioinformatics data previously developed by the PI.

Main duties of post holder

Within CloudButton:

  1. to port to serverless architectures existing workflows for the analysis of RNA-sequencing data
  2. to collaborate with other partners in order to fulfil the goals of the project
  3. to implement the use case for genomics as specified by the project

To help improve and maintain existing bioinformatics software and methods previously developed by the PI

To set up and maintain a clean, robust, reproducible code development environment (version control, continuous integration, bug tracking, documentation) for the projects needing it

To promote use of the developed methods within institutions BioSS collaborates with (e.g. with collaborations and training courses) and worldwide (e.g. through the creation of suitable code repositories and websites, participation in conferences, presence on social media)

To contribute to applications for external e.g. UKRI funding and deliver resulting projects as appropriate.

How to apply

Applications for this post should be submitted using the recruitment pages operated by our parent organisation the James Hutton Instittue

Closing date

22 June 2021

Interview date


Other notes

Due to the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions it is possible that interviewing of candidates will be held remotely. You should therefore ensure you have access to a broadband connection and ideally a PC or laptop.

We will not consider the use of 3rd party recruitment agencies for the sourcing of candidates for this position.

Duration and location:

Please quote reference number BioSS 09-21 in all correspondence.

PhD Opportunities

We also have PhD Opportunities

Collaborative Vacancies

We have no current collaborative vacancies

We offer a pleasant working environment and supportive colleagues who work together with external collaborators to address a wide range of problems of importance to science and society.

BioSS is one of the Main Research Providers (MRPs) for strategic research in environmental, agricultural and biological science funded by the Scottish Government's Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services (RESAS).

BioSS is formally a part of and is administered by the James Hutton Institute, Dundee. The James Hutton Institute is an equal opportunities employer.


About BioSS

Current BioSS Vacancies

Collaborative Vacancies

Investing in Our People

PhD Opportunities

Contact Points for BioSS

Working at BioSS

HWL Silver Award


adobe logoDownload Adobe Reader