Data Scientist

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

01 Mar 2018


VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology



The ELIXIR consortium is a European research infrastructure which unites life science research groups. It coordinates, integrates and sustains bioinformatics resources from the different member states.

The VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (PSB)is a world-leading plant science institute with the mission to integrate genetics, genomics, phenotyping and bio-computing to unravel the biology of plants and to further explore the potential of plants to build a sustainable world.

The bioinformatics research groups at PSB develop novel software and web tools for the integration of large-scale data sets in the area of genomics, transcriptomics and phenomics for which an extensive computational infrastructure is available on site. PSB coordinates the Belgian ELIXIR Node, more information on

In order to further enhance the features, usability and integration in the ELIXIR network of our in-house developed software platform on plant phenotyping, PSB is looking for a Data Scientist.

Job Description

  • You will be responsible for developing the necessary tool chains used for the validation of plant phenotyping data. This validation will be leveraging existing frameworks such as ISA and BioSamples. This will be in close collaboration with the teams developing these frameworks internationally.
  • You will assist with the implementation of the plant breeding API (BrAPI) within the PSB plant phenotyping environment. This includes making the PSB system MIAPPE (Minimum Information About a Plant Phenotyping Experiment) compliant.
  • You will be involved in the development of data management systems, with a focus on enabling integrative analyses. You will support research in implementing data mining solutions, in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team.


  • Master or PhD in computer science, bioinformatics, bioengineering or equivalent.
  • Proficiency in at least one programming language is desired (e.g. Python, R, …)
  • Good working knowledge of data interoperability standards and web standards is an asset
  • Experience with semantic web and ontologies is a plus
  • Experience with Linux/Unix environments and BASH scripting is a plus
  • Version control experience, git knowledge is a plus.
  • Fluent in English, with good communication skills.
  • You have a solution-oriented and positive attitude
  • You have a community spirit
  • Able to work both independently as well as in a team. You will be expected to work collaboratively with colleagues within the institute as well as across Europe.

We offer

  • Start date: as soon as possible
  • Duration: 1 year, extension possible
  • International environment in an academic context
  • Engaging with the large ELIXIR network across Europe
  • A challenging and stimulating work environment with opportunities for personal input, at the edge of developments in this area in Europe

How to apply?

Interested candidates should apply online by sending a cover letter, a full CV, and at least 2 contact persons for letters of reference (with name, email, address, phone number).

For more information, please contact Frederik Coppens.