Network Administrator
Location:EMBL-EBI Hinxton near Cambridge, UK
Staff Category:Staff member
Contract Duration:3 years
Grading:5 or 6 (monthly salary starting at £2,507 or £2,805 after tax). For more information about pay and benefits click here
Closing Date:06.03.2017
Reference Number:EBI_00884

Job Description

We are seeking to recruit an enthusiastic, highly motivated Network Administrator to work at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) located at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK.

You will be working in the Network and Datacentre Infrastructure team which is part of the Systems Infrastructure group led by Pete Jokinen. The work consists of maintaining, improving and expanding EMBL-EBI’s network including:

  1. Day-to-day troubleshooting and monitoring
  2. Deployment of new switching and routing hardware
  3. Implementation and improvement of network security
  4. Participation in design, architecture and evaluation of new technologies
  5. Developing and extending internal tools and automation

In addition, the Network Team has responsibility for various infrastructure services such as DNS, RADIUS and Eduroam and is often required to assist with practical datacentre work such as patching and cabling when the datacentre team is busy.

EMBL-EBI operates a large IT estate. The Network Team is responsible for all network architecture and operations across three office buildings on the main campus and three datacentres. Together, these datacentres host approximately 200 racks of equipment including 100PB of storage and more than 35000 cores of compute. They are interconnected using multiple 10Gb/s links across Janet6 and other providers. We operate more than 300 network devices supporting activities including desktop access, high-performance computing, virtualised infrastructure, web services, high-bandwidth file transfer and WAN operations. We currently run network and security devices manufactured by Arista, Juniper, Brocade, HP and Cisco with a small number of other manufacturers such as Mellanox present in specialist areas.

At EMBL-EBI, we help scientists realise the potential of ‘big data’ in biology by enabling them to exploit complex information to make discoveries that benefit mankind. Working for EMBL-EBI gives you an opportunity to apply your skills and energy for the greater good. As part of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), we are a non-profit, intergovernmental organisation funded by 22 member states and two associate member states and proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We are located on the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge in the UK, and our 600 staff are engineers, technicians, scientists and other professionals from all over the world.

Qualifications and Experience

You will have a bachelor’s degree or higher in computer science or a related discipline or have equivalent experience. You will be able to demonstrate experience with and knowledge of a variety of networking technologies. More importantly, you should be confident with the principles of networking and network operations independent of any particular vendor’s hardware. Relevant professional certification is beneficial but not mandatory.

Prior work experience should include four or more years network administration in a team environment supporting production systems in an academic or commercial setting. The ability to work within a team is critical to this position and excellent communication skills, verbal and written, are essential. An ability to work to tight deadlines is essential as are excellent English language skills and the ability to work with minimal direction when making technical decisions.


  • Degree or equivalent experience in computational, or related scientific discipline.
  • At least 4 years experience supporting production network operations.
  • Practical experience of switching and routing protocols including OSPF and BGP.
  • Experience with at least one of Arista, Juniper or Cisco network devices.
  • Experience with high-availability architectures.
  • The ability to troubleshoot network problems efficiently under pressure.
  • A professional and courteous attitude when working with clients/users of all abilities.
  • You should be comfortable working both independently and as part of a small team in a busy environment.
  • Working knowledge of Unix/Linux-based operating systems.


  • Previous experience with a wide range of network devices.
  • Experience with Arista switching and routing, MLAG, leaf-spine architecture.
  • Experience with Juniper SRX firewalls.
  • Experience of Pulse Secure network access control and SSL VPN technologies.
  • Knowledge of scripting languages such as Python.
  • Experience with Ansible for network automation.
  • In-depth practical understanding of OSPF and BGP and other L3 protocols.
  • Experience with bind, ISC DHCP, FreeRADIUS, openssh and other generic Unix services.

You will be able to pay attention to detail but also meet deadlines. You will also demonstrate innovation and a willingness to take on new challenges. You have the knowledge and experience to make technical decisions with minimal supervision when required.


EMBL is an inclusive, equal opportunity employer offering attractive conditions and benefits appropriate to an international research organisation. The remuneration package comprises a competitive salary, a comprehensive pension scheme and health insurance, educational and other family related benefits where applicable, as well as financial support for relocation and installation.

We have an informal culture, international working environment and excellent professional development opportunities but one of the really amazing things about us is the concentration of technical and scientific expertise – something you probably won’t find anywhere else.

If you’ve ever visited the campus you’ll have experienced first-hand our friendly, collegial and supportive atmosphere, set in the beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside. Our staff also enjoy excellent sports facilities including a gym, a free shuttle bus, an on-site nursery, cafés and restaurant and a library.

Application Instructions

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV, with two referees, through our online system.

Additional Information

Applications are welcome from all nationalities - visa information will be discussed in more depth with applicants selected for interview.

EMBL-EBI is committed to achieving gender balance and strongly encourages applications from women, who are currently under-represented at all levels. Appointment will be based on merit alone.

The initial contract is for a period of three years with the possibility of a fixed-term extension.

Applications will close at 23:00 GMT on the date listed above.