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​Scientific Programmer

An opening for a scientific programmer is available in the group of Prof. Robert Hoehndorf at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.

Start date: Earliest possible

Location: Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Employment: Full-time

Duration: initial contract 1 year (renewable)


Applications are accepted until the position is filled.


Job description:

We are seeking to fill a position for a scientific programmer working in a research group focusing on biomedical data analysis. The group has developed and maintains a number of public services, such as the AberOWL ontology repository, the PhenomeNet system for candidate gene prioritization, the DeepGO server for function prediction, as well as a number of machine learning methods and software for genomic data analysis (see

The scientific programmer will be responsible for developing research software jointly with other researchers in the group, maintain and further develop current services developed by the group, and contribute to developing analysis workflows for genomic data. All software should be made available under a free software license.

The programmer will work in the group of Prof Robert Hoehndorf (, a research group which is recognized for its work on biomedical data analysis and knowledge-based systems, and which has strong collaborations with leading international research institutes.

Expertise required:

- BSc/MSc (or higher) in computer science, bioinformatics or a related field

- Strong programming skills and experience

- Experience with high performance computing and parallelization

- Ability to work as part of a team, in particular with students and junior researchers

There is no specific requirement for a particular programming language, but software developed in the group is written in C, Python, Java, Groovy, Perl, R, Matlab, PHP, Javascript, and other languages. It is expected that the candidate is willing to contribute to existing in projects.


Desirable expertise:

- Experience in Bioinformatics, in particular analysis of next generation sequencing data

- Experience with Semantic Web technologies, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence

- Experience developing web-based interfaces

Scientific programmers are entitled to a competitive salary (commensurate with the applicant's qualifications), fully-furnished housing on the KAUST campus, free medical and life insurance, free education at KAUST schools for children, and relocation allowance.

KAUST will be responsible for the actual recruiting decision, appointment offers and employment benefits.

How to apply:

To apply, please send your CV, the names and contact details of two referees, a brief letter of motivation, and a link to your Github, Bitbucket, or similar repositories, by email to:


For any questions related to the position, please contact Robert Hoehndorf (

About KAUST:

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is an international, graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the region, and around the globe. As an independent, merit-based institution, KAUST's pioneering matrix structure of academic divisions and interdisciplinary research centers enables top researchers from around the globe and across all cultures to work together to solve challenging scientific and technological issues.

The KAUST global research and education networks support diverse talents, both on its campus and at other premier universities and research institutions, through collaborative research agreements, grants, and student scholarship programs. KAUST, open to both men and women from all around the world, is governed by an independent, self-perpetuating Board of Trustees. The core campus, located on more than 36 million square meters on the Red Sea at Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, was inaugurated on the 23rd of September 2009.

Postdoctoral Researchers in AI

Would you like to work with world-leading scientists on the development of Artificial Intelligence methods and their applications in the life sciences, join one of the fastest growing universities in the world, and have access to world class resources to boost your academic career and prepare for a research career or faculty position?

We are looking for brilliant scientists to join us in the Bio-Ontology Research Group (BORG) at the Computational Bioscience Research Center (CBRC) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. The BORG, headed by Professor Robert Hoehndorf, is renowned for pioneering several methods that combine deep learning and symbolic AI (formal logics, knowledge representation, ontologies) in biology and medicine, and is developing some of the world’s leading systems for protein function prediction, finding gene-disease association, and identifying causative variants in genomic sequences.  

Get to know us:

Whom are we looking for exactly?
We are looking for researchers who have completed their Ph.D. in the past four years (due to the eligibility requirements set by KAUST), or will complete their Ph.D. in the next six months, and who have an ambition to advance their academic career through world class research on Artificial Intelligence and its applications in the life sciences. Successful candidates will have experience, demonstrated by publications in leading conferences or journals, in knowledge representation and reasoning, Semantic Web technologies, machine learning on structured data, or the application of artificial intelligence to challenging problems in biology or biomedicine. Also, candidates will be able to develop and implement AI systems that can utilize very large datasets such as those available in life sciences.

What are the requirements for the positions?

  • A Ph.D. degree (in Computer Science or related), completed in the last 4 years (due to the eligibility requirements set by KAUST).
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English.
  • Experience, demonstrated by a publication record, in one of the following areas:
    • Machine Learning, Data Mining, Statistics, Data Science
    • Semantic Technologies and Ontologies, Knowledge Representation, Formal Logic
    • Development of novel methods in Bioinformatics or Biomedical data analytics

What can we offer that others cannot?

  • Access to world-class computer infrastructure, including the Shaheen 2 Cray XC40 supercomputer (top 20 in the world) and dedicated machine learning systems.
  • Exciting research topics frequently published in top-ranked journals and conferences in bioinformatics and computer science
  • Access to unique samples and datasets that enable us to address some of the most challenging problems in biology and medicine.
  • The opportunity to be a part, and an architect, of the AI revolution happening in the Middle East, with significant support for technology transfer and industrial applications.
  • An international, highly diverse university campus and housing by the Red Sea, with activities ranging from relaxing at the beach to golfing.
  • A competitive salary (commensurate with the applicant's qualifications), free, fully-furnished housing on the KAUST campus (with less than 10 minutes travel time to and from work), free medical and life insurance, and free education at KAUST School for the postdoctoral researcher’s children. 

KAUST will be responsible for the actual recruiting decision, appointment offers and employment benefits.

To apply, please send a brief letter of motivation, CV, and names and contact details of two references to Hanouf Al Hattan (, using "Application to BORG Postdoctoral Position" as subject of your email.