Science Faculty
Hinxton, UK

In this job

EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is the world’s leading source of public biomolecular data. We enable life science research and its translation to medicine, agriculture, industry and society by providing biological data, tools and knowledge. We are one of the six sites of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Europe’s leading life sciences organisation. EMBL conducts research, provides training and state of-the-art research infrastructures. EMBL is an intergovernmental organisation with 28 member states.

Innovative, international and interdisciplinary investigator-driven research in bioinformatics is central to EMBL-EBI’s missions. EMBL-EBI has led the way in computational biology research since our inception in 1994, with compelling work spanning sequence analysis methods, multi-dimensional statistical analysis and data driven biological discovery. Research at EMBL-EBI currently comprises eight dedicated research groups along with six further teams that combine research activities and service delivery.

EMBL-EBI researchers regularly produce high impact publications and strive to make their research and data open access. In 2022, EMBL-EBI held 158 collaborative grants with researchers in 53 countries from 753 institutes.

Located at the Welcome Genome Campus in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside, you will be immersed within one of the world’s largest concentrations of scientific and technical expertise in genomics. You will join a diverse, multidisciplinary team of over 670 forward thinking people, which currently represents over 70 nationalities.

Your role

As Head of Research, you will report directly to EMBL-EBI’s Co-Directors and play a key role setting vision, strategy and scientific direction for the Institute. The Head of Research also provides oversight of EMBL-EBI’s research portfolio, similar to a Head of Department.

The Head of Research will chair the Group Leader appointment panel for dedicated Research Group Leaders at EMBL-EBI and provide decisions on EMBL-EBI Research resources. As part of the leadership group you would represent the Institute within EMBL, to the EMBL Council, and externally to the scientific community within Europe and worldwide.

As a member of the EMBL-EBI Senior Management Team leading the Institute, you will also have the opportunity to:

  • Represent EMBL-EBI and its mission to the global scientific community within EMBL and to the EMBL Council and to the UK Government as required with reference to the Treaty
  • Lead EMBL-EBI Research as a globally competitive computational biology researcher
  • Communicate the vision for the Institute to research staff directly and through the EMBL-EBI Management and Coordination Board (MCB)
  • Manage a team of highly talented Group Leaders
  • Engage strategically with all international stakeholders in computational biology research
  • Oversee and approve the expenditure of internal and external funds, including opening posts and staff appointments in the Research area

Apply now

Closing date: 2 October 2023

  • Contract duration: 5 years (renewable to a maximum of 9 years)
  • Grading: Grade 12 (Starting monthly salary from £9,309,40 after tax, plus benefits)
  • Reference number: EBI02139


You have

  • A PhD in the life sciences or in one of the physical, mathematical or chemical sciences
  • The ability to collaborate on an international level
  • Success in winning and managing grants, especially in Europe
  • Excellent leadership skills including the ability to inspire and communicate with staff at all levels
  • Strategic vision for the future development of bioinformatics research
  • A strong collegial style enabling you to work effectively with the wider EMBL organisation and international collaborators and stakeholders

You might also have

  • Proven track record of leading, developing and coordinating international research in bioinformatics/computational biology
  • Effective management of large scientific consortia
  • Profound understanding of the European scientific bioinformatics environment
  • Excellent scientific insight
  • Experience raising funding beyond your own laboratory

Why join us

EMBL-EBI is a worldwide leader in bioinformatics. Our Head of Research will take this leadership into the next decade, expanding the scope of computational biology beyond its biomolecular basis to encompass new data types (such as imaging) and new synergistic areas adjacent to molecular biology (such as ecology and epidemiology).

You will be supported by an enthusiastic and passionate leadership team and peers at EMBL-EBI and across EMBL and be an active part of the European-wide leadership of EMBL. We expect the Head of Research to continue to have an active research group in their own area but take a broad interest in research across EMBL-EBI by hiring, mentoring and organising EMBL-EBI research.

For this role we encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing team – we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and personal experiences reflect the diversity of the populations that our science serves. We are particularly interested in the strengths and lived experiences of women, different ethnic groups and cultures, and all demographics to help us avoid perpetuating biases and oversights at this transformational point in our people strategy.


Working at EMBL-EBI

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

Image of EMBL-EBI staff member at her desk
“We have a lot of smart people here. I really enjoy making sure they have the right environment to maximise their potential.”
Andy Yates, Team Leader

What else you need to know

To view a copy of the full job description please email

The initial contract is for a period of five years. This is expected to be extended to a maximum of nine years, subject to external review.

We welcome informal enquires to Ewan Birney, Deputy Director of EMBL and Joint Director of EMBL-EBI ( Further information is available at

To apply, please submit a covering letter, CV and concise description of research interests and future research plans via our online system. Please also include three letters of recommendation. Applications will close on Monday 2nd October 2023 and interviews will be held 20th and 21st November 2023.

Apply now

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