Institute of Astronomy

IMAXT Astro-Medical Software/Database Developer (Fixed Term)

Published on 30/08/2017 
Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge
£29,301-£38,183 p.a.
Starting Date: 
January 2018 or soon thereafter
4 years in the first instance

This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious software and database developer to work within the Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit (CASU) at the Institute of Astronomy (IoA) at West Cambridge site as part of the IMAXT Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge Project Team. The post is located at the Institute of Astronomy, but the successful candidate will be expected to spend considerable time at the IMAXT project team office at Cambridge Institute, Cancer Research UK, Cambridge, situated on the Addenbrooke's Biomedical Campus in Cambridge (West Cambridge).

The Imaging and Molecular Annotation of Xenografts (IMAXT: see project will take an integrated approach in producing faithful three-dimensional maps of tumours and their host environment, wherein each cell is identified and molecularly annotated. These maps will be accessed in an interactive, virtual reality framework. This will provide an entirely new way for scientists and physicians to understand how cancer develops and predict its clinical behaviour.

CASU undertakes a range of activities in wide field astronomy including: developing and operating pipeline processing and analysis systems for optical and near-infrared mosaic imaging and spectroscopic surveys; together with various space mission projects including PLATO and Euclid and manages a data processing and archive centre.

Within IMAXT, CASU is responsible for developing high throughput pipelines to segment and align the various IMAXT imaging datasets. CASU will also manage the flow of reduced data, both images and catalogues into the central IMAXT database, and define the structure of this database.

The successful candidate will work within the CASU-IMAXT team and be responsible for contributing to the development and support of activities involved in the pipeline development, pipeline operation support, database development and archiving of IMAXT data. The position will also involve: liaising with the IMAXT project teams and external science users; troubleshooting and assessing processing and development problems; contributing to the documentation and user manuals; and collaborating in the IMAXT research programs to optimise interpretation and use of such IMAXT data.

The successful candidate will have a good practical knowledge of software engineering and a degree in a numerate discipline (computer science, maths or a science with significant computing content). The candidate must be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of developing with C (or C++) and Python, together with use of database (SQL, postgres) and web-based systems.

The ability to work as part of a team and have good communication skills is also required. Candidates with experience of working in a research environment involving scientific processing of medical or astronomical image data are particularly welcomed.

Salary will be £29,301 - £38,183 depending on experience and qualifications.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years in the first instance.

Application Information: 

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on 'Apply'. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and covering letter and the contact details of two referees.

Please submit your application by midnight (BST or daylight saving time) of the closing date of Saturday 30th September 2017. The names and contact details of two referees are a necessary part of the submission. Referees of short-listed candidates will be contacted and asked to provide a reference before the interview date. It is anticipated that interviews will be held on Monday, 30th Oct 2017.

If you have any queries about your application, please contact Ms Joy McSharry by email jpm (at)

Further information can be obtained from Dr Nicholas Walton (naw(at)

Please quote reference SW13124 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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

Application Deadline Date: 
30 September 2017
Application Deadline Information: 
Applications to be received by midnight.
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Page last updated: 7 November 2017 at 11:56