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Ontologist

Department: 4000- Data and Technology
Location: Seattle

Ontologist

We are looking for an experienced applied Ontologist with a great balance of precision and pragmatism to design and implement product and domain-specific ontologies that semantically enrich the Allen Institute for Brain Science knowledge graph and data model. We seek to lay a semantic foundation to support supervised and unsupervised content discovery, enable deep data mining, and support new interactive modes of engagement with our data.

The ontology will enable the representation provenance of the data origin and integrate across datasets, modalities and scales from micro- to macro-scale and from raw data (sequences, images, time-series) to derived models (cell types, circuits, brain organization). You will be working with subject matter experts to gather requirements, assess different ontologies for fit for purpose, implement rapid prototypes to flush and validate concepts. This role is part of a team doing big and open science. You will interact regularly with neuroscientists and a wide variety of engineers, collaborating in a large team working on new discoveries about the brain.

Job Responsibilities

  • Work as part of the architecture team to fluently translate natural language, scientific assays, processing, analysis and concepts into complex knowledge representations to enrich the Allen Institute for Brain Science products and related consortia activities
  • Design and deploy ontologies, models, controlled vocabularies and other structures in the representation of entities, relations and processes related to neuroscience
  • Work with subject matter experts to gather requirements and use cases and design ontologies capable of scaling out to meet anticipated growth
  • Analysis of internal and external ontologies and assess their fit for purpose
  • Synthesize and arbitrate disparate views of a knowledge domain
  • Implement rapid prototypes to flush out concepts and to obtain metrics supporting the fit for purpose. Responsibility includes identifying, curating and transforming relevant datasets
  • Develop and maintain documentation to clarify architecture requirements and rationale
  • Assist in developing tooling in support to capture of domain concepts and to allow model/ontology extension by subject matter experts and curators
  • Support development teams as they integrate heterogenous unstructured, semi-structured and well-structured data into a master repository
  • Identify and build working relationships and partnerships with external collaborators, system vendors, and semantic system users
  • Participate in writing, presenting and reviewing strategic and operational reports
  • Exceptional problem-solving abilities will be essential for success
  • Strong communication skills to concisely communicate to provide context, offer insights and minimize misinterpretation

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science, Information Science, Computer Science or related field
  • Minimum of 6 years of experience in data governance, ontology and taxonomy development
  • Proficiency with RDF, OWL, SPARQL or similar technologies
  • Experience in using ontologies to support data integration and search
  • Experience in scripting, preferably using Python

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Advanced degree in a relevant technical discipline or equivalent experience
  • Experience in data science and analytics
  • Experience with research in biological sciences

It is the policy of the Allen Institute to provide equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, the Allen Institute will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabiliti

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