Managing a Bioinformatics Core Facility


 Tuesday 4 Thursday 6 June 2019


European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) - Training Room 2 - Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridge,  CB10 1SD, United Kingdom

Application opens: 

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Application deadline: 

Friday 08 March 2019


Open application with selection


Charlotte Pearton

Registration fee: 


Registration closed

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This knowledge exchange workshop is an opportunity for managers of bioinformatics core facilities to learn from EMBL-EBI’s service teams, from each other, and from potential users of their services. These facilities play an essential role in enabling research in the molecular life sciences. The landscape is constantly evolving as new research tools emerge, as experiments become increasingly data intensive, and as their clients – experimental researchers – become more exposed to the power of data-driven biology.

The workshops will allow participants to share experiences, discuss challenges and solutions that they face, and plan ways to cope with the ever changing demands raised by the molecular life science field. It will include sessions to learn from data providers at EMBL-EBI, hear how others have tackled common problems, and work together to design core services.


This workshop is aimed at new and experienced managers of bioinformatics core facilities, or other facilities that support their users to analyse and interpret large biomolecular data sets.  This course will not provide a platform for teaching hands-on bioinformatics analysis.


After this workshop you should be able to:

  • Identify the strengths and limitations of your core facility
  • Apply a framework for designing new services (including training your users) or redesigning existing services
  • Appreciate different cost models, their pros and cons, and how to apply them in the context of your core facility
  • Advise your users on how to manage sensitive data and where to submit them

Additional information

Accommodated will be provided onsite at the Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre. Please contact them directly if you wish to arrange to stay additional nights around the course dates.

The course includes evening meals at the Hinxton Hall Restaurant on campus or the Red Lion Pub in nearby Hinxton village, and breaks and lunches outside the EMBL-EBI training rooms.


The workshop is organised in parallel with Bioinformatics for Principal Investigators to maximise opportunities for networking. Shared sessions are in bold type.

Day 1 – Tuesday 4 June 2019
Setting the scene and identifying challenges
12:00-13:00 Arrival, registration and lunch  
13:00-13:30 Course welcome and introduction to EMBL-EBI Cath Brooksbank
13:30-14:15 Keynote - The evolving role of bioinformatics core facilities Sarah Butcher
14:15-15:30 Participant introductions and flash talks All
15:30-16:00 Break  
16:00-16:45 Keynote - planning for your data and compute needs Steven Newhouse
16:45-17:30 Participants’ perspectives – challenges and expectations All - led by Sarah Morgan
17:30 End of day  
18:00 Evening meal with participants from Bioinformatics for Principal Investigators Red Lion, Hinxton
Day 2 – Wednesday 5 June 2019
Designing your core service
9:00-09:15 Introduction to day 2 Cath Brooksbank
09:15-10:30 Designing your core service: facilitated discussion and practical Andrew Hercules, Vera Matser & Revathi Nathaniel
10:30-11:00 Break  
11:00-12:30 Designing your core service Andrew Hercules, Vera Matser & Revathi Nathaniel
12:30-13:30 Lunch  
13:30-15:00 Designing your core service Andrew Hercules, Vera Matser & Revathi Nathaniel
15:00-15:30 Break  
15:30-16:00 Designing your core service Andrew Hercules, Vera Matser & Revathi Nathaniel
16:00-17:30 Dealing with secure data - talk and discussion Thomas Keane
17:30 End of day  
18:00 Evening meal with Bioinformatics for principal investigators course Hinxton Hall Restaurant
Day 3 – Thursday 6 June 2019
Working with users of your facility
9:00-09:15 Introduction to day 3 Cath Brooksbank
09:15-10:30 The F words: funding and finances - talk, discussion, and practical Sarah Butcher
10:30-11:00 Break  
11:00-12:30 Funding and finances Sarah Butcher
12:30-13:30 Lunch  
13:30-14:30 Collaborative team working Jun Wang
14:30-15:00 Break  
15:00-16:00 Collaboration and networking session with principal investigators All
16:00 Workshop wrap up, feedback and additional resources Sarah Morgan
16:15 End of workshop  
16:30 Shuttle to Cambridge Station