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Ontology Engineer - FTC until Dec 2020

Location Cambridge, England, United Kingdom Job ID R-058879 Date posted 08/19/2019

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines for some of the world's most serious diseases. But we're more than one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. At AstraZeneca, we're proud to have a unique workplace culture that inspires innovation and collaboration. Here, employees are empowered to express diverse perspectives and are made to feel valued, energized and rewarded for their ideas and creativity.

We are looking for an ontology engineer to join our growing Data Science group. The ideal candidate will have experience of developing and working with ontologies and vocabularies in the healthcare or life science industry. The position will involve applying your skills to solving some of the most exciting data & and information problems in Drug Development whilst working closely with both IT colleagues and R&D scientists.

You will work as part of a global team of data scientists, knowledge engineers & machine learning engineers and have the chance to create tools that will advance the standard of healthcare improving the lives of millions of patients across the globe.

In the role you will be working on a large innovation program which is re imagining the way we plan, design and run clinical trials. You will be expected to use your skills to help integrate information across structured and unstructured data sources to help us design, plan and run clinical trails faster and more effectively.

Key Accountabilities

  • Devise rich vocabularies and ontologies to best support the building of knowledge graphs and the integration of disparate data sources
  • Integrate new structured and unstructured data sources into coherent and consistent knowledge graphs 
  • Create and curate existing vocabularies and ontologies to enable the integration and querying of clinical data sources
  • Work closely with data scientists, information architects and platform teams to build data models to manage key clinical data
  • Help other teams to access and leverage the knowledge graph to answer research questions
  • Develop a robust understanding of relevant AZ internal and external ontologies, vocabularies and data sources

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • MS in Bioinformatics, Computer Science, Semantic Web, Natural Language Processing or similar field with 2+ years of experience working with ontologies, vocabularies
  • Experience of developing and applying ontologies and vocabularies to a wide variety of data integration and/or Natural Language Processing problems
  • A good understanding of FAIR data practices
  • Deep technical skills in one or more of the following areas: knowledge representation, reasoning, natural language processing, data integration or machine learning
  • Strong software development skills, with proficiency in Java or Python preferred
  • Experience with graph technologies: RDF(S), property graphs, SPARQL, triplestores
  • Working knowledge of cloud environment (AWS preferred), Hadoop/Spark, SQL
  • Creative, collaborative, & product focused
  • Experience of the pharmaceutical or life science domain
  • Experience with database technologies, RDBMS, NoSQL
  • Familiarity with modern methods in Natural Language Processing and Named Entity Recognition.
  • Ability to explain complex methods and techniques to a non-technical audience

In addition, candidates will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Good communication and facilitation skills
  • Good written and verbal skills, fluent English

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law.



AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorisation and employment eligibility verification requirements.

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  • Information Technology, Cambridge, England, United KingdomRemove

Glassdoor logo Rated four stars on Glassdoor

Great culture, great work assignments, supportive management. Rotation opportunity within the company. They value inclusion and diversity.