Course at EMBL-EBI

Managing a bioinformatics core facility

Welcome to the new EMBL-EBI Training site. Please tell us what you think!

 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.

Who is this course for?

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.

What will I learn?

Learning outcomes

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


Cath Brooksbank
Sarah Butcher
Steven Newhouse
Sarah Morgan
Andrew Hercules
Vera Matser
Thomas Keane
Revathi Nathaniel
Jun Wang
Queen Mary University of London, UK


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  

Please read our page on application advice before starting your application. In order to be considered for a place on this course, you must do the following:

  1. Complete the online application form
  2. Provide a Microsoft Word (.docx) document containing three short paragraphs with a biography, work history and description of your current research interests; each paragraph should be no more than 100 words
  3. Provide a letter of support from a supervisor or a senior co-worker explaining why you should be selected for this course

Please submit all documents to Charlotte Pearton ( by 12:00 GMT on Friday 8 March, 2019.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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.

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04 - 06 June 2019
European Bioinformatics Institute United Kingdom
Charlotte Pearton

  • Sarah Butcher
  • Cath Brooksbank

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