Hinxton, UK

In this job

ELIXIR is looking for a dynamic and accomplished Legal and Ethics Officer to join our Legal Services team.

You will be joining the ELIXIR Hub, the organisational centre for ELIXIR, which is an intergovernmental organisation that brings together life science resources from across Europe. As a distributed research infrastructure ELIXIR is built upon the bioinformatics services provided by the ELIXIR Nodes (organisational touch-points in 23 European countries).

Based at the ELIXIR Hub in Cambridgeshire, UK, you will be responsible for all ELSI (Ethical, Legal and Social Implications) related questions. As an organised individual, with excellent communication skills (proven e.g. by publications) and proven interest in ELSI related matters and in process improvements you will work closely with the ELIXIR Director, the Principal Legal Adviser, the ELIXIR Hub management team, and the wider ELIXIR community across Europe. You will ensure that ELIXIR performs at the highest levels operationally through being aware of, complying with and advising regarding ELSI rules and standards.

As the Legal and Ethics Officer you will be responsible for operationalising good ELSI practice within a distributed international organisation. In this role you will follow the development of regulations and good practices in ELIXIR’s domain (e.g. data from human genomics, translational medicine and also biodiversity, agriculture and infectious diseases) and oversee the translation of regulation and good practice into ELIXIR procedures. A key component of the role is the development and delivery of training to ensure people within ELIXIR understand requirements and procedures.

Your role

The Legal and Ethics Officer should in particular:

  • provide general advice on ELSI practice, and related needs and risks for ELIXIR;
  • follow developments within the European landscape and provide the ELIXIR Director, Principal Legal Adviser, and members of the management team with timely briefings;
  • lead on the implementation of ELIXIR’s ELSI policy: ensure that there is guidance and training available for ELIXIR Nodes to ensure they comply with ELIXIR’s ELSI Policy and are aware of other relevant regulations;
  • map and analyse national ELSI rules and regulations in ELIXIR’s Member States and effects on operations of ELIXIR’s Nodes within the European operations, in particular larger communities affected by those rules;
  • provide advice to the ELIXIR Hub regarding ELSI related questions that come up within EU projects in which ELIXIR is involved, covering human genomics and translational research, infectious diseases, agriculture, and biodiversity;
  • establish processes and procedures that help the ELIXIR Hub to operate in compliance with applicable ELSI rules (e.g. in the context of EU projects;
  • establish a training programme and run regular training courses to ensure ELSI standards are considered and implemented in all ELIXIR activities on a continuous basis, in addition to the implementation of ELSI toolkits developed in large European and international initiatives (e.g Beyond One Million Genomes (B1MG), and Federated European Infrastructure for Genomics Data (GDI));
  • prepare, review and revise agreements as regards ELSI aspects;
  • serve as a backup for data protection related questions within the ELIXIR Hub and so maintain a general overview of the field and regulations relevant to ELIXIR.

Apply now

Closing date: 5 October 2023

  • Contract duration: 3 years (renewable to a maximum of 9 years)
  • Grading: Grade 5 – 6 (monthly salary starting from £3.090 or £3,456 after tax + benefits)
  • Reference number: EX00050


You have

We are looking for a candidate with the following attributes:

  • Master’s degree or higher in law, ideally in combination with science and technology studies, or bioethics
  • Experience in health policy, genetics and genomics, bioethics, and/or related matters
  • Strong analytical skills – e.g. proven by publications – and the ability to identify potential risks and problems and offer pragmatic options for solutions – is considered a strong asset
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to liaise with colleagues and stakeholders in an international environment as well as to work in a team
  • Excellent communication skills (ability to listen, understand and convey your ideas) and the ability to articulate clearly the ELSI needs to various audiences (ELIXIR Hub, ELIXIR Nodes, funding organisations, scientists, lawyers, etc).
  • Proficiency in English with excellent drafting skills is mandatory
  • Proficiency in using Microsoft Office is essential
  • Self-motivation with a structured and organised approach to work

You might also have

  • Experience of implementing ELSI management procedures (highly beneficial) 
  • Experience in contract and data protection law
  • Working knowledge of French, German, Italian and/or Spanish – especially gained in a legal working environment would be an asset

Why join us

Do something meaningfulELIXIR unites Europe’s leading life science organisations in managing and safeguarding the increasing volume of data being generated by publicly funded research. It coordinates, integrates and sustains bioinformatics resources across its member states and enables users in academia and industry to access services that are vital for their research.

Our values

The ELIXIR Hub has a strong organisational culture which is defined by our core values. To ensure a good fit with our team, we look to recruit candidates who share our five values:

  1. We work to benefit everyone
  2. We are trusted
  3. We work with a spirit of openness
  4. We strive for excellence
  5. We work in an environment of respect

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.

Image of EMBL-EBI staff member at her desk
“People get satisfaction out of seeing their work make a difference, so I encourage my team to look at outcomes and impact.”
Gemma Wood, Head of Communications

What else you need to know

  • Contract duration: This position is a 3 year contract, renewable to a maximum of 9 years. 
  • International applicants: We recruit internationally and successful candidates are offered visa exemptions. Read more on our page for international applicants
  • Diversity and inclusion: At ELIXIR, 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. 
  • 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: 5th October 2023. 

Apply now

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