Virtual course

Managing a bioinformatics core facility (Virtual)

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.

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
Andrew Hercules
Vera Matser


Day 1 – Tuesday 18 August 2020
09:00-09:45 Welcome and participant introductions Cath Brooksbank
09:45-11:00 Identifying key challenges and setting expectations Cath Brooksbank
11:00-13:00 Break  
13:00-13:45 Keynote - The evolving role of bioinformatics core facilities Sarah Butcher
13:45-14:00 Short Break  
14:00-15:00 Spectrum exercise Andrew Hercules & Vera Matser
15:00-15:30 Virtual Drinks and Nibbles All
Day 2 – Wednesday 19 August 2020
 9:00-09:30 The F words : funding and finances Sarah Butcher
09:30-11:00 Resourcing your sercvice: cost models ecxercise Sarah Butcher with other course faculty memebers
11:00-13:00 Break  
13:00-13:45 Resourcing your service: people and compute Sarah Butcher
13:45-14:00 Short Break  
14:00-15:00 Resourcing your service: grant-costing exercise Sarah Butcher
Day 3 – Thursday 20 August 2020
9:00-10:00 (re)Designing Your Service - Part 1 - The Design Process Andrew Hercules and Vera Matser
10:00-10:15 Short Break  
10:15-11:15 (re)Designing Your Service - Part 2 - Understanding Users Andrew Hercules and Vera Matser
11:15-13:00 Break  
13:00-13:45 Project Management - Approaches and Tools Andrew Hercules and vera Matser
13:45-14:00 Short Break   
14:00-15:00 Revisit Challenges and expectations Cath Brooksbank
15:00-15:30 Workshop wrap up, feedback and additonal resources Cath Brooksbank

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 Marina Pujol ( by 12:00 GMT on Friday 21 February, 2020.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

This course has ended

18 - 20 August 2020
Marina Pujol

  • Cath Brooksbank
  • Sarah Butcher

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