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    Opportunity: Part-time Training Outreach Manager @ ELIXIR-UK, MRC FGU, University of Oxford, UK
    Submitted by Dr Vivienne Collins; posted on Friday, March 21, 2014


    Overview of project:
    ELIXIR ( is a pan-European organisation, the purpose of which is to construct and operate a sustainable infrastructure for biological information in Europe in order to support life science research and its translation to medicine and the environment, the bio-industries and society.

    Due to new technologies such as next-generation DNA sequencing, data produced in biological experiments is doubling every few months, and this rate is increasing. In addition, new types of data are constantly emerging that need to be integrated meaningfully. The collection, curation, storage, archiving, integration and deployment of biomolecular data is an immense challenge that cannot be handled by a single organisation or by one country alone, but requires international coordination.

    ELIXIR-UK is the UK-based prospective node of ELIXIR ( and whose focus is on training. As such, it is taking the lead in training research and computer scientists across Europe in experimental design, algorithmic thinking, statistics, databases, biological phenomena, software development, data management and biocuration. Its mission is to fill the current skills gap in biological data interpretation, addressing critical training needs in (a) the analysis and the interpretation of genome-scale data of many types, including next generation sequencing (NGS) data; and (b) techniques and practices for data management, integration, compute and software, tools, services and standards. Training will be delivered in partnership with UK centres, industry and other ELIXIR nodes. The ethos of ELIXIR-UK is not simply to offer training in how to use today's tools and resources, but to educate scientists and technologists to understand the infrastructural concepts that will necessarily and inevitably underpin research programmes of tomorrow.

    Overview of the role:
    The Training Outreach Manager has particular responsibility for liaising with all other stakeholders in ELIXIR-UK, including the Research Councils, and with industry and organisations such as Software Carpentry ( and GOBLET (a Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education & Training; A primary responsibility will be to engage with other ELIXIR nodes across Europe, particularly those with a strong training focus, to share best practice in training and new training opportunities. The Training Outreach Manager will also interact closely with the two Training Coordinators and the two TeSS Managers to ensure that the content of the e-Support platform is maintained.


    • Being a key member of the focal hub for the ELIXIR-UK network across Europe. This will consist of Building and leading an active European training network, actively engaging with ELIXIR nodes across Europe and being a key member of the team
    • Working with other members of ELIXIR-UK to formulate its training and training evaluation strategy
    • Identifying commonalities with ELIXIR nodes across Europe with the aim of identifying best practice and of establishing a network for showcasing new training opportunities
    • Identifying training approaches that are appropriate across Europe in order to address these training priorities and deficits and to share beset practice in training
    • Being responsible for continually evaluating strategies for training delivery and training needs across European institutions
    • When required, to coordinate training activities to include but not limited to, short courses, workshops, boot camps and longer face-to-face training coursed to be delivered by various training organisations
    • Working with the ELIXIR-UK Training Coordinator, identifying funding opportunities under the upcoming EU Horizon 2020 funding programme. This will include supporting and preparing high quality applications
    • Proactively liaising with ELIXIR-UK stakeholders and other interested parties, to identify training priorities and deficits
    • Evaluating the ELIXIR-UK project as a whole to gauge levels of success and to assess its impact
    • To have particular responsibility for liaising with all the stakeholders in ELIXIR-UK, including Research Councils and industry
    • Representing ELIXIR-UK in ELIXIR strategic meetings in Europe, and internationally
    • Communicating the work of ELIXIR-UK to European partners through a variety of mediums including face-to-face, written and web-based


    • Educated to degree level or higher in a biological or computational subject area
    • Experience of working on international, multi-partner projects
    • Experience of working/liaising with senior figures in universities/scientific research organizations/industry
    • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to relate to individuals at all levels within an organisation
    • Able and willing to work collaboratively as a member of a small team
    • Proven excellent communication skills---both written and oral
    • Excellent IT skills including a thorough knowledge of office software
    • Self-motivated with the ability to manage own time effectively
    • Ability to keep track of, and adhere to, strict deadlines in the absence of close supervision
    • ELIXIR is a pan-European organization so there is a need for a willingness to travel frequently to ELIXIR member countries and within the UK


    • PhD in a biological or computational subject area
    • Experience of scientific training programmes
    • Experience of developing evaluation strategies for large projects
    • Experience of writing grant proposals and funding applications
    • Experience of writing reports for funding bodies


    Sixty per cent of full time; fixed term for 36 months


    The MRC Functional Genomics Unit (FGU) at the University of Oxford is a strategic alliance between the MRC and the University of Oxford. The FGU is embedded within the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics and, from 1 July 2013 became a fully integrated University Unit.

    The FGU is a world-renowned centre for comparative genomics and research into neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders. Its research combines the power of computational analyses and the latest experimental technologies in model organisms to reveal the roles of genes and genomes in health and disease. The Unit then pursues the translation of these discoveries into improved healthcare products and patient treatments via partnerships with clinicians as well as the pharmaceutical and biotechnology Industries. The Unit contains the CGAT Computational Genomics Analysis and Training Centre ( which trains scientists at post-doctoral level in the analysis of next-generation sequencing data. Post-doctoral trainees in the CGAT group benefit from in-house training, but also the biological insights of collaborators. Working on a variety of projects, trainees accumulate expertise in genome sequencing-related fields, as well as high profile publications.

    The FGU offers excellent computational and laboratory facilities in the recently-opened Henry Wellcome Building of Gene Function. Additional information about the Unit can be found at


    Salary in the range GBP 29,837 to GBP 36,661(with discretionary points to GBP 40,046) pro rata


    Applications must be made on line. To apply, visit the University jobs website:[...]12532


    12.00 midday on Friday 25 April 2014

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