Semantic Software Engineer, Open to flexibility

Stevenage, Hertfordshire
16 Oct 2018
12 Nov 2018
Contract Type

Semantic Software Engineer, Open to flexibility

GSK is committed to becoming a leader in the Digital, Data, and Analytics space. To support those aims, we need clean, machine-interpretable data and metadata, in standard and documented formats. That's where you come in.

The Digital Lab Semantic Data Standards team, based in Stevenage, UK, is looking for a semantic software engineer to help fix the root cause of common data challenges. Our aim is to provide both the standards and an infrastructure for data standardisation, backed by Semantic Web technologies and software engineering best practices, at the source of data generation. This will form part of a Digital Lab collaboration with other GSK teams and third-party vendors, culminating in a new lab standard where data and metadata are recorded in an industry-standard format with minimal human intervention to eliminate human errors. This will enable our scientists to make decisions faster and with more confidence, and ultimately get medicines to the patients that need it.

The successful candidate will have an interest or background in Semantic Web technologies, data modelling, and programming. The role involves working with both technical and domain experts inside and outside the company, so you should have the ability to communicate at a wide range of audiences. You'll get exposure to cutting edge Semantic Web technologies such as SHACL, so a strong enthusiasm to learn is a must!


  • Establish best practice guidelines and expectations for metadata within the company
  • Evaluate public metadata standards for utility and compatibility with the established guidelines
  • - represent GSK's perspective and requirements to the standard bodies, including travelling to face-to-face meetings where appropriate
  • Identify weaknesses and contribute improvements to public standards
  • Design new semantic metadata standards to support research and development processes in drug development
  • - work with scientists and domain experts to understand the domain, develop and test suitable data models
  • - using software engineering best practices such as continuous integration and delivery, coupled with cutting edge semantic technologies like SHACL
  • Curate the portfolio of metadata standards, both public and internal, to ensure compatibility and compliance with guidelines
  • - contribute to technical infrastructure to enable companywide access and utilisation of the standards portfolio
  • Encourage and support other teams in implementing these standards within the company

Application Details

During the course of your application you will be requested to complete voluntary information which will be used in monitoring the effectiveness of our equality and diversity policies. Your information will be treated as confidential and will not be used in any part of the selection process.

If you require a reasonable adjustment to the application / selection process to enable you to demonstrate your ability to perform the job requirements please contact 0808 234 4391. This will help us to understand any modifications we may need to make to support you throughout our selection process.

Thank you for your interest in this opportunity.

Closing date: 12th November 2018

Why You?

Basic qualifications:

  • Bachelor's or higher degree in computer science, physical sciences, mathematics, philosophy or a related discipline
  • Good communication skills at both technical and non-technical levels, inside and outside the company
  • Team player
  • Strong programming skills in Java, .NET, or Python
  • Interest in Semantic Web technologies/taxonomy & ontology development/data modelling
  • Eager to learn

Preferred qualifications:

  • Strong object-oriented background
  • Experience with software engineering best practices (Agile working, unit testing, DevOps, CI/CD)
  • Experience with SPARQL, SHACL, RDF, OWL, graph algorithms and databases, other Semantic Web technologies
  • Working knowledge of upper-level ontologies, particularly Basic Formal Ontology
  • Awareness of existing biomedical ontologies and data standards
  • Experience in designing taxonomies and ontologies
  • Experience in building semantic data models
  • Experience in Life Science domain, especially the pharmaceutical industry
  • Working knowledge of ALCOA+CCEA and FAIR data principles

Why GSK?:

At GSK, our mission is to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. Our three world-leading businesses research and deliver innovative medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. We need a talented and motivated workforce to deliver against our strategy. To achieve this, we strive to attract the best people and to create an environment that empowers and inspires.

Contact information:
You may apply for this position online by selecting the Apply now button.

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