University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Assistant/Research Associate: Drosophila phenotype biocurator

We seek to recruit a new member to the FlyBase group at the University of Cambridge, UK, subject to confirmation of funding, which extracts biological information from scientific articles about the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and enters this information into the FlyBase database ( Prior biocuration experience is not required, so this position will suit Drosophila researchers looking for a fulfilling, fly-related career away from the lab and who enjoy the challenge of organizing complex data, as well as experienced biocurators with Drosophila experience. Currently the team members work in a hybrid pattern of office and home working.

The phenotype biocurator will focus on research papers that illuminate the function of genes based on their mutant phenotypes and genetic interactions. This work will involve careful reading and interpretation of phenotypic data in published articles, and the annotation of relevant alleles/genotypes using terms from our phenotype and anatomy vocabularies (ontologies).

Additional responsibilities include: developing strategies/tools to improve curation; enhancing data display/querying on the website; and interacting with the research community through answering HelpMail and presenting at research conferences. Curators also contribute to FlyBase publications and have the opportunity to develop computational skills (e.g., Unix, scripting, SQL).

Essential skills/experience are:

  • a science degree (minimum B.A. or B.Sc.; a Ph.D. is required for appointment at Research Associate level)
  • research experience using Drosophila
  • ability to quickly and accurately extract data from the scientific literature
  • ability to organize data
  • excellent written English
  • ability to work both independently and as part of a team

Useful skills/experience are:

  • familiarity with biological databases
  • relevant curation experience

Informal enquiries to Dr Steven Marygold ( or Prof Nick Brown ( If you have any queries about the application process please contact Tracey Flack (

Salary Range: Research Assistant: £29,605 - £33,966, Research Associate: £36,024 - £44,263.

Fixed Term: 3 years in the first instance, subject to the confirmation of funding.

We welcome applications from individuals who wish to be considered for part-time working.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

To apply for this post, please submit in the Upload section of the online application: 1) a CV, 2) a covering letter AND 3) a completed curation test, aimed to provide applicants with an idea of what biocuration involves. The test is on the final page of the Further Particulars, you can find the link to this document at the end of this advert. We also need the contact details for two people who can provide a professional reference, preferably before interview.

Closing date for applications: 8th October 2023. Interviews are anticipated to occur in the week commencing 9th October 2023.

Please quote reference PM38394 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. The Department of Physiology, Development & Neuroscience particularly encourages women and candidates from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background to apply for this vacancy.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online