Research Engineer – Data Steward

Umeå University

Application deadline

November 12, 2023

Research Engineer – Data Steward

Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

Are you interested in learning more? Read about Umeå university as a workplace

Umeå University and SciLifeLab are seeking a Data Steward to support a newly established national platform for data-driven research in bioinformatics. The holder of the advertised position will be referred to as a Research Engineer at Umeå University.

As a national hub for molecular biosciences in Sweden, SciLifeLab develops and maintains unique research infrastructure, services and data resources for life science. The overall aim of SciLifeLab is to facilitate cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary life science research and promote its translation to the benefit of society. About 200 research groups, 1500 researchers and 40 national infrastructure units are associated with SciLifeLab at all major Swedish universities.

The SciLifeLab and Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) is a 12-year initiative that focuses on data-driven research, within fields essential for improving people’s lives, detecting and treating diseases, protecting biodiversity and creating sustainability. The DDLS  program will train and recruit the next generation of data-driven life scientists and create strong and globally competitive computational and data science capabilities in Swedish life science. The program aims to strengthen national collaborations between universities, bridge the research communities of life and data sciences, and create partnerships with industry, healthcare and other national and international actors.

The DDLS program is now establishing a national Data Science Node in “Epidemiology and Biology of Infections” at Umeå University with a national responsibility to develop national data services and to provide bioinformatics support. The four Data Science Nodes of the program are responsible for bioinformatics support and the development of data services and tools for the different scientific fields of the program. This node also works to coordinate needs for services and support for epidemiology and biology of infections, and to engage with research communities and users within the field on the national level. We strive to make tools, project information, code and data as open as possible through SciLifeLab’s national data platform with the FAIR principles at the core. Each node is organized locally and is integrated in a strong environment for research and data within its field. The employment and placement are at Umeå University and the work is led by SciLifeLab Data Centre. 

Your future workplace

HPC2N at Umeå University is one of Sweden’s leading supercomputer centers. HPC2N supports e-Science in Sweden by providing large-scale resources for computing and storage, as well as all levels of user support, aiming at the most efficient and effective use of the resources. HPC2N is a consortium of 5 institutions and operates locally, nationally and internationally.

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest institutions of higher education with over 35,000 students and 4,200 faculty and staff. We are characterized by world-leading research in several scientific fields and a multitude of education programs ranked high internationally. Umeå University is also the site of the pioneering discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 genetic scissors – a revolution in genetic engineering that has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. 

SciLifeLab Data Centre (DC) is a central unit within SciLifeLab with responsibility for IT- and data management issues, serving the SciLifeLab and the Data Driven Life Science (DDLS) research program. DC has a national assignment and, for example, operates the Swedish national Covid-19 research data portal. DC also works with issues about FAIR data and open science, and in close collaboration with major national and international partners. Working at the DC, you will be at the core of Sweden’s top infrastructure for life sciences and have the opportunity to actively shape how state-of-the-art IT and data science are integrated in Swedish life science research, and help to maximize the scientific impact of the large amount of research data generated at SciLifeLab. You will work in a team with researchers, data engineers, data stewards and system developers in a rapidly growing, dynamic and progressive team with a leading role in Swedish data driven life science. 

Your main responsibilities

This opening is for one of three positions within the DDLS Data Science Node at Umeå University. This specific position is for a Data Steward, with the aim to collaborate with and guide Swedish researchers in all aspects related to the management, sharing, distribution, publishing, and archival of data in the context of a national infrastructure for data-driven research. The Data Science Node in Umeå has a focus on epidemiology and biology of infection. This position will work closely with the Pathogens data portal ( staff at SciLifeLab to create new data services that support Swedish research in this area. Sweden has a very strong international position in this community, and the successful candidate will work in collaboration with project partners at top international institutions.

You are expected to participate in user support and development of data services, and your main tasks include:

  • Data management following the FAIR principles.
  • Data curation. 
  • Metadata management.
  • Training activities. 
  • Communication with and education of users.
  • Need analysis for current and prospective users.
  • Conduct consultations and collaborations with supported projects.
  • Engage in the continuous development and improvement of the DDLS program and its Data Science Nodes.

Qualification requirements

  • Academic degree in Data Science, Computer Science, Bioinformatics or a related subject relevant for the position, or documented experience that can be considered equivalent to a degree. 
  • [Essential] Knowledge of and experience with the principles for Open Science and FAIR. 
  • Very good communication skills in English, both written and oral.
  • Proven ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment, and to collaborate with end users.

Additional non-required qualifications

  • Additional academic degree(s) in a computational discipline.
  • Work experience in Linux-based environments. 
  • Experience with scripting languages.
  • Experience with versioning control systems, e.g. Git. 
  • Ability to communicate and read in Swedish.

Your application must include 

  • A cover letter (max 2 A4 pages, 11pt)  that motivates your interest in this position and that explains why you are the person to be hired. The letter should also include a discussion of your experience in software development.
  • A curriculum vitae.  
  • Contact information of at least two reference persons (no reference letters are required).
  • Documentation of formal qualifications (diplomas, course transcripts, course certificates, etc.).
  • Documentation of former positions, relevant experiences and other qualifications.
  • References (links) to publicly available development projects and repositories you have been part of. 

Should the submitted material be in a language different from Swedish or English, an English translation must be included too. 

Last updated: 2023-10-09

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