Salary: £48,114 - £60,905, with possible market supplement up to a total maximum £75,000
Contract: Fixed-term for 2 years in the first instance, renewable subject to funding
Hours: Up to full-time; flexible and part-time acceptable
Closing date: Noon on Wednesday 27 October 2021
Interview date: 8th-12th November 2021
Vacancy ID: 153167
Apply: https://www.jobs.ox.ac.uk/ > search all jobs > search by "DataLab" or vacancy ID


We are looking for an Engineering Team Lead to join our team and help us build the OpenSAFELY platform, a revolutionary open source platform for secure clinical research.

About OpenSAFELY

This is a career-defining opportunity to develop OpenSAFELY, a revolutionary open source platform for secure clinical research. Conceived at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, this has already been used to produce ground-breaking research using an unprecedented volume of patient data. Our research has been published in high profile journals such as Nature, and won praise from media outlets like The Economist, and patient advocacy groups like medConfidential.

OpenSAFELY aims to make secure, reproducible clinical analytics the norm, by making best-practice easy and enjoyable. We are pioneering new approaches to safely accessing sensitive and globally-important clinical datasets.

Who we are

We are the DataLab, at the University of Oxford, led by Dr Ben Goldacre. We are a small, productive, ambitious, very fast-moving team of software developers, academics, and clinicians, all pooling skills and knowledge to build platforms and tools as well as traditional academic papers.

Why join us?

You’ll get to work on a high-impact project, with real and immediate importance for policy and patient care. Everyone’s input is important, and you’ll be empowered to challenge and improve the way we do things. We value kindness and helpfulness in the way we interact with each other, and you’ll be part of a team that works hard at supporting each other.

We believe in a good work/life balance. We offer very flexible working, including remote working (within the UK) and a generous holiday allowance, family leave and other benefits.

Who we’re looking for

While we have some key technical and leadership skills that we‘re looking for, it’s equally important to us that you enjoy working as part of a collaborative team; that you’re inquisitive and interested in learning outside of your area of expertise and also keen to share your knowledge with others. We encourage applications from non-traditional technical/academic backgrounds.

Key skills

  • Experience in web technologies and distributed systems (experience of Python and React an advantage), and the usual Open Source tooling, e.g. git, code reviews, continuous integration.
  • Experience of line management, coaching, and building teams
  • Self-motivated and able to demonstrate strategic thinking and hands-on engineering skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and able to contribute to a supportive, helpful culture and work very closely with end users
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to communicate deeply technical concepts to non-technical audiences
  • Enjoy working independently, in a small team, with a light management touch
  • Be happy switching between quite different domains – we take joint responsibility for all our outputs and activities
  • Able to take responsibility for complex apps: this means new features, maintenance and devops
  • Have a “leave it better than you found it” mentality, and be willing to work with and improve on code you did not originally write

What to expect

Our application process follows a series of steps:

  1. Application: submit your CV and supporting statement. All candidates will be contacted about the status of their application after the closing date.
  2. Initial conversation - a 30 minute video call where we can get to know each other a bit better and you can find out more about the role, products, team and work environment.
  3. Coding problem - a short and well-defined coding challenge that should take you no longer than 1-2 hours.
  4. Technical interview - a 60 minute video call to discuss technical skills in more detail, using your solution to the coding problem as a source. You should be prepared to discuss your approach to the problem, issues you encountered and the rationale for your solution. We want you to have the best possible opportunity to demonstrate your technical knowledge and skills, so we won’t ask you trick questions or expect you to do any whiteboard coding or on-the-spot challenges.

Ready to apply?

Visit https://www.jobs.ox.ac.uk > search all jobs > search by "DataLab" or vacancy ID 153167 for a detailed job description and application form.

Want to know more? If you’re not sure you meet the criteria, you have questions about the role, or you’d just like to talk to someone informally about what it’s like to work here, please reach out to Becky, one of our software developers, and she’ll be happy to tell you more.
Contact: Becky Smith - becky.smith@thedatalab.org