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Job ID:
Sharnbrook, England
Date posted:

Job Title: Bioinformatician

Location: Colworth Science Park


As a Bioinformatician at Unilever, you will be involved in conducting research to help advance both our current and new safety assessment methods by applying your scientific expertise in bioinformatics and computational biology. The role is based in the dynamic environment of our Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre (SEAC) team, located near Bedford. You will be joining a team of bioinformaticians, where you will be supported in your own development, while also expected to help others grow in their roles. You will collaborate with a diverse range of scientists, including biologists, toxicologists, eco-toxicologists, computational chemists, and mathematical modellers and will have access to a wealth of expertise and knowledge. In this exciting role, you will have the opportunity to lead projects, build collaborations and partnerships with relevant academic, governmental, and industrial groups and to present and publish your research.


As a Bioinformatician your primary responsibilities will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Work within a multi-disciplinary team of scientists to understand, define, and clearly articulate problems that need to be addressed and determine the most effective strategies to solve them
  • Define appropriate approaches and methodologies for manipulation, analysis, and biological interpretation of transcriptomic data to support non-animal safety assessment
  • Provide accurate and timely analysis of sequencing data in accordance with project objectives and timelines
  • Actively seek novel and leading-edge methodologies applicable to safety assessment
  • Work closely with other SEAC and Unilever scientists, as well as external collaborators, to provide expert scientific advice on bioinformatics approaches
  • Joint responsibility for the design, development and dissemination of user-friendly tools, workflows, and databases to a wide group of scientists within SEAC and wider Unilever R&D
  • Provide training to both expert and non-expert users within the organisation
  • Joint responsibility for the delivery of scientific input into evolving SEAC’s strategic direction around computational toxicology
  • Joint responsibility for continued development and maintenance of Unilever network of expertise in computational approaches
  • Promote the acceptance and adoption of new scientific approaches external to Unilever through interactions with key opinion formers with international reputation and influence


You’ll need to be able to work effectively and with impact in cross-disciplinary teams and in multi-cultural environments, be flexible and willing to adapt within a fast-changing business environment.

We would expect the successful candidate to have:

  • A master’s or PhD degree in bioinformatics, computational biology, statistics, data science or a related scientific discipline, or equivalent previous experience working in industry
  • Demonstrated understanding of complex biological data and ability to analyse complex transcriptomic experiments (RNA-seq), including concentration series, timeseries, and repeated measures designs
  • Familiarity with common bioinformatics databases, resources, and tools, as well as experience performing biological network and pathway analysis and data interpretation
  • Strong problem definition, solving and technical expertise with demonstrated programming skills in R or Python
  • Enjoy challenging goals and problem solving in a fast-moving environment, keeping pace with advances in bioinformatics
  • Highly self-motivated, with a proven track record of collaborating effectively in interdisciplinary teams
  • Ability to work with scientists from other disciplines to understand and define problems
  • Strong communication skills, with the ability to effectively communicate complex ideas to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Ability to lead and motivate others


  • Have several years of industrial/consulting/postdoc experience
  • Project leadership experience
  • Good understanding of statistical analysis and/or application of mathematical techniques
  • Competent using Linux, Docker and code version control (e.g. Github)
  • Experience of developing of bioinformatics pipelines for non-expert users
  • Familiarity with data management/data integration approaches of diverse data sets (including database design, ontologies)
  • Familiarity with machine learning approaches
  • Understanding of computational approaches applied to Human/Environmental Toxicology and/or Microbiology

How you’ll work – our values:

  • We COLLABORATE to build our networks to unlock creativity & deliver innovation
  • We strive for open, honest & TRANSPARENT communication
  • We take control over how, when & where we work to ensure we are HIGH PERFORMING
  • Our personal, physical, mental & emotional WELLBEING always takes priority
  • We EXPERIMENT & LEARN in a safe space to meet Unilever’s needs
  • We are guided by our collective purpose & passion for PIONEERING new science to protect people & planet
  • People come first; we are SUPPORTIVE, we embrace flexibility, jump in to help out & ask for help when we need it
  • We are INCLUSIVE; every voice counts & trust, respect & kindness are part of all we do


Colworth is a vibrant scientific community with around 500 Unilever employees from 33 nationalities, with 88 PhDs, 8 Professors, and 40 apprentices. On site there are various facilities including a restaurant, gym, and a nursery. There are many social and recreational activities to take part in such as going for a lunchtime walk or run in the beautiful surrounding countryside, the Colworth choir, and Colworth Cats netball team to name just a few. London with all its attractions is a short 40-minute train ride from Bedford.


We want consumers to be confident that our products are safe for them and their families, and better for the environment. The scientists at SEAC play a key role in ensuring that our products are safe, and our business is environmentally sustainable. SEAC’s world-class reputation for safety and sustainability science plays a key role in Unilever achieving its purpose, by working across the business to build safety and environmental sustainability into everything we do; find out how at

We are committed to safety without animal testing and are leaders in non-animal safety science. We strongly believe that we should #UseScienceNotAnimals. Take a look at our BBC StoryWorks film to learn more.


About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Dove, Tresemme, Lynx, Lifebuoy, Shea Moisture, Persil, Domestos, Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum, Marmite, The Vegetarian Butcher, Graze and Pot Noodle.

Faced with the challenge of climate change and the need for human development, we want to move towards a world where everyone can live well and within the natural limits of the planet. That’s why our purpose is ‘to make sustainable living commonplace’ 

What We Offer

Not only do we offer a competitive salary and pension scheme, we also offer an annual bonus, subsidised gym membership, a discounted staff shop and shares. You’ll have the opportunity to work directly with our renowned and exciting brands in a flexible and hybrid working environment.

Whilst the role is advertised on a full-time basis, we would be happy to discuss possible flexible working options and what this may look like for you. We are a key advocate of wellbeing and offer a variety of support for our people including hubs, programmes and development opportunities. We strive to achieve a family-friendly and inclusive workplace and to, above all, create possibilities for all.

Diversity at Unilever is about inclusion, embracing differences, creating possibilities and growing together for better business performance. We embrace diversity in our workforce. This means giving full and fair consideration to all applicants and continuing development of all employees regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity. We are also more than happy to provide reasonable adjustments during our application and interview process to enable you to be present your best self. To find out more, including about our Employee Resource Groups, please click here Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Unilever | Unilever.

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