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Department: 2050-Knowledge Networks
Location: Seattle

Ontologist - Data Science & Infrastructure 

Position Summary

The Allen Institute for Brain Science is launching an exciting initiative to re-structure and map our vast quantities of neuroscience-centric data into a unified schema, and to develop a knowledge graph. We seek to lay the technical foundation to support supervised and unsupervised content discovery, enable deep data mining, and support new interactive modes of engagement with our data.

We are seeking an Applied Ontologist to join the Data Science and Infrastructure team. Our ideal candidate will have a proven track record of leading the implementation of ontological framing for data engineering initiatives, a solid understanding of data modeling and schema design, and on-time delivery of technology products.   You will be responsible for developing an ontological overlay to the data and information currently in the Allen Institute for Brain Science data corpus.  You will collaborate with an interdisciplinary group of technologists and neuroscientists to mature the knowledge engineering initiative.

Major Duties and responsibilities

  • In collaboration with Technology and Product Program leadership, define and implement a data structure and integration plan
  • Working knowledge of a variety of semantic modeling techniques; ability to evaluate tradeoffs between formality and usability; ability to decide when to borrow from an existing ontology and when to develop new structures
  • Collaborate with scientists and technologists to architect and implement a unified, extensible schema for existing and future data and advise in the development of tools and use cases that are relevant to this initiative
  • Analyze graph structures and content, develop new semantic representations, and work with subject matter experts and end users to inform the development and modeling of new semantic representation to improve entity accessibility inferencing capabilities
  • Identify and build working relationships and partnerships with external collaborators, data providers and semantic technology users
  • Participate in championing, communicating and maintaining internal and external (collaborative) efforts in data integration and standardization
  • Develop controlled vocabularies and apply metadata
  • Identify strategic opportunities and partnerships with a focus on open science and technology
  • Participate in writing, presenting and reviewing strategic and operational reports

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s in Computer Science, Mathematics, Bioinformatics, Computational Linguistics, Philosophy or equivalent
  • 5+ years of experience with data management systems and/or integration of big data from multiple sources
  • Coding experience in Python, C/C++, Java, UNIX, and/or experience with SQL
  • Experience developing and supporting the team; driving and delivering on independent projects
  • Proven written and oral communication skills

Preferred Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Bioinformatics, Computational Linguistics, Library/Information Science, Philosophy or a related field  
  • Experience with applied ontology development (RDF(S)/OWL, SPARQL, the Semantic Web or Frame based KR systems).
  • Expert industry knowledge of data engineering systems, data models, and data structures
  • Domain knowledge in biological science preferred (such as neuroscience or other biological system requiring integrated experimental and ontological schema)
  • Understanding of taxonomy design best practices and experience implementing large-scale taxonomy and/or ontology projects with a user-centered focus
  • Excellent organizational management skills and a sense of diplomacy
  • Enthusiasm for working closely with cross-functional colleagues and stakeholders

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 disabilities.


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