Director, Staff Engineer, Knowledge Data Engineering, Open to flexible working

Stevenage, Brentford
22 Nov 2021
13 Dec 2021
Contract Type

The mission of the Data Science and Data Engineering (DSDE) organization within GSK Pharmaceuticals R&D is to get the right data, to the right people, at the right time. The Data Engineering organization achieves this through the design and delivery of stable and scalable data pipelines instantiated as orchestrated microservices.

The Knowledge and Data Engineering (KDE) team, a key branch of the broader DSDE team, designs and develops the data microservices required to deliver knowledge and data products to GSK R&D using database and ontological engineering methods and tools within a distributed architectural environment. These microservices and data products combine high volumes of external and internal, unstructured and structured biological, chemical and clinical data sources enabling advanced analytics throughout the drug discovery and development process.

The KDE team is seeking a Staff Engineer, Knowledge Data Engineering to help us make this vision a reality. This technical leader will mentor a team of talented data engineers focused on knowledge and data products for drug discovery and development. The Staff Engineer’s primary responsibility is leading the design and delivery of data products as part of an Agile software development team. This leadership extends through all phases of the data product development lifecycle: planning, architecture, development, configuration management, testing, integration, verification, support, and maintenance.  As a leader in this organization, the Staff Engineer will work in close partnership with colleagues in DSDE and R&D Tech to define and prioritize investments aimed at optimizing the performance of the team and ensuring the integrity of the data.

This role will provide YOU the opportunity to lead key activities to progress YOUR career.  These responsibilities include some of the following:

  • Envision and architect scalable, highly available data engineering solutions that leverage microservices in a hybrid cloud environment. The architect will be working as a technical leader alongside product and program leaders, technology development and infrastructure teams, and scientific experts within R&D. 
  • Practice deep database software development knowledge with respect to data and metadata architecture, design patterns, and programming. The role requires resilience and the ability to design and drive strategies around data microservices architecture adoption. 
  • Design data services-based systems to meet customer requirements and draw the data level connectivity.  An experienced data architect will work with our customers in architecting, developing and, re-engineering applications that can fully leverage the Cloud. To envision and design novel architectures of game-changing products, at the forefront of data science and data engineering development, and cloud technology adoption.  
  • Drive and own successful collaboration across many internal teams and external partners. The goals are impact and visibility on the most important biopharmaceutical drug/vaccine discovery and development activities in the company.
  • Drive efficiency and ensure interoperability through the design/adoption of re-usable data services, the consistent documentation of metadata/data models, and employ of standards and ontologies.

Why you?

Basic Qualifications:

We are looking for professionals with these required skills to achieve our goals:

  • MS in Computer Science, Software Engineering, biomedical engineering, engineering or bioinformatics/computational biology, with 8+ years of experience (or PhD with 6+ years of experience) in the biotech/pharmaceutical/healthcare/diagnostics/health insurance space
  • Experience with relational databases (Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, MySQL) or NoSQL databases, NLP, and information extraction methods
  • Experience in writing software within cloud-based microservices architecture distributed systems
  • Experience in building and scaling secure container services on different cloud providers using Kubernetes
  • Experience developing software with at least one of the following: Java, Python, Scala, Node.js, C++, R
  • Experience with genomics, biological, biopharmaceutical, and healthcare standards, and ontologies
  • Experience with common distributed data tools in a production setting (Spark, Kafka, etc)
  • Experience leading an Agile product development team
  • Experience with specialized data architecture (e.g. optimizing physical layout for access patterns, including bloom filters, optimizing against self-describing formats such as ORC or Parquet, etc)
  • Experience with search/indexing systems (e.g. Elasticsearch)
  • Program/product strategy and delivery experience
  • Experience developing project plans and delivering within a QMS framework

Preferred Qualifications:

If you have the following characteristics, it would be a plus:

  • Cloud experience with AWS, GCP, or Azure
  • Deep understanding and application of best data and software engineering practices in genomics, drug development, machine learning, and production deployment of data services
  • Experience in building products with modern Data and ML architectures, platforms, and back-end systems

Why GSK?

Our values and expectations are at the heart of everything we do and form an important part of our culture. These include Patient focus, Transparency, Respect, Integrity along with Courage, Accountability, Development, and Teamwork. As GSK focuses on our values and expectations and a culture of innovation, performance, and trust, the successful candidate will demonstrate the following capabilities:

  • Agile and distributed decision-making – using evidence and applying judgement to balance pace, rigour and risk
  • Managing individual and team performance.
  • Committed to delivering high-quality results, overcoming challenges, focusing on what matters, execution.
  • Implementing change initiatives and leading change.
  • Sustaining energy and well-being, building resilience in teams.
  • Continuously looking for opportunities to learn, build skills and share learning both internally and externally.
  • Developing people and building a talent pipeline.
  • Translating strategy into action - a compelling narrative, motivating others, setting objectives and delegation.
  • Building strong relationships and collaboration, managing trusted stakeholder relationships internally and externally.
  • Budgeting and forecasting, commercial and financial acumen.

GSK is an Equal Opportunity Employer and, in the US, we adhere to Affirmative Action principles. This ensures that all qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, disability, genetic information, military service, covered/protected veteran status or any other federal, state or local protected class.

At GSK, the health and safety of our employees are of paramount importance. As a science-led healthcare company on a mission to get ahead of disease together, we believe that supporting vaccination against COVID-19 is the single best thing we can do in the US to ensure the health and safety of our employees, complementary workers, workplaces, customers, consumers, communities, and the patients we serve. 

GSK has made the decision to require all US employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, where allowed by state or local law and where vaccine supply is readily available. The only exceptions to this requirement are employees who are approved for an accommodation for religious, medical or disability-related reasons.

Important notice to Employment businesses/ Agencies

GSK does not accept referrals from employment businesses and/or employment agencies in respect of the vacancies posted on this site. All employment businesses/agencies are required to contact GSK's commercial and general procurement/human resources department to obtain prior written authorization before referring any candidates to GSK. The obtaining of prior written authorization is a condition precedent to any agreement (verbal or written) between the employment business/ agency and GSK. In the absence of such written authorization being obtained any actions undertaken by the employment business/agency shall be deemed to have been performed without the consent or contractual agreement of GSK. GSK shall therefore not be liable for any fees arising from such actions or any fees arising from any referrals by employment businesses/agencies in respect of the vacancies posted on this site.

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