ELIXIR Data Steward

Ghent VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

15 Jan 2019


VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology

Bio IT



ELIXIR is the European life-sciences infrastructure for biological information. ELIXIR brings together bioinformatic tools, resources and experts into a distributed infrastructure that enables researchers across Europe to share and analyze their life-science research data.

The Belgian ELIXIR node has been awarded a grant from the Flemish government to build a data management and data analysis infrastructure for life-sciences. The overall aim of this project is to build an interoperable data infrastructure that provides tailored solutions to enable researchers in life-sciences to focus on their research question, rather than technical details of data, interoperability, compute resources, …. We will build on, and further develop, existing internationally used frameworks and technologies such as FAIRDOMHub (https://fairdomhub.org) for data management, and Galaxy (https://www.usegalaxy.be and https://usegalaxy.eu) and containers (http://biocontainers.pro) for data analysis. To extend the ELIXIR team, we have 5 vacancies available within VIB.

This project is in close collaboration with international partners involved in ELIXIR and aligned with initiatives in life-sciences in the context of FAIR data and the European Open Science Cloud.  In short, if you’re interested in contributing to building the data research infrastructure for the future for life-sciences, these positions should be of interest to you. We are building a multidisciplinary team, therefore we are looking for talented people with complimentary expertise. 

Job description

Modern (molecular) biology rests on the generation, sharing and integrated analysis of digital data. Connecting the large amounts of digital life-science data, fosters innovation allowing to address major societal challenges. For this to succeed, research data and digital services need to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR). The ELIXIR Belgium project will provide tools and guidance for researchers to facilitate the process of making their data FAIR.  This will be pursued by a hands-on approach in which we provide actionable best practices for commonly used data types and software development. As a Data Steward, you

  • will be responsible to build a knowledge hub and deploy tools to facilitate research data management by researchers,
  • will provide domain-specific guidelines to describe, format and share data as well as code, ensuring that these are aligned with international standards,
  • will be the central contact person in this area and will engage with e.g. dmponline.be and FAIRDOM to leverage other Flemish and international initiatives,
  • will work closely with the ELIXIR Belgium team, more specifically with our dedicated software developer, and interact with national and international experts in data management,
  • will assist researchers with data management plans, data and metadata description, and deposition in public repositories,
  • will assist with monitoring of data protection obligations (GDPR), data storage management and its compliance with authorities.



  • Master or PhD degree with a background in life-sciences or computational sciences
  • Knowledge on data standards and ontologies
  • Proven experience of collaborative research, research management and project management skills
  • Knowledge about various high-throughput life-sciences data sets like NGS, proteomics or metabolomics
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing in English
  • Positive and enthusiastic personality
  • Able to meet deadlines and manage priorities to handle a diverse workload

Desirable but not required

  • Experience with (some of) the mentioned platforms or technologies is an asset
  • Hands-on experience with life-science data analysis, scripting and Linux environments

We offer

  • A fulltime position for 2 years initially. This is part of the long-term strategy for funding research infrastructures in Flanders, therefore prolongation is envisaged pending on the successful renewal of the national project
  • Participation in the building of state-of-the-art data management platform to facilitate research data management for researchers in life-sciences
  • An exciting international environment, engaging with the large life-sciences network across Europe of ELIXIR
  • Work place is the VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology (Ghent, Belgium)

About the institute and research infrastructure

The ELIXIR consortium (https://www.elixir-europe.org) 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, https://www.psb.ugent.be) 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 https://www.elixir-belgium.org.

How to apply?

Motivated candidates are asked to apply online.