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Software Engineer
Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts
Date Posted 10/06/2021
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Employment Type
Application Deadline Open until filled


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Job-Specific Responsibilities

At the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, we advance health science through research, education, and practice in statistical and computational methods and applications. The Quantitative Biomedical Research Center (QBRC) in the Department of Biostatistics is seeking a Software Engineer to help develop and build upon existing open source software to advance cancer research. Our focus is on developing cloud-based infrastructure with intuitive user interface and genomic presentation to enable cancer researchers to analyze, interact, share, and test their hypothesis. The new hire will work closely and collaboratively with the PI and senior researchers in the QBRC to gather user requirements, define analysis workflow, implement methods and data visualizations to advance cancer research.

This position will be co-supervised by Dr. Derrick DeConti, Director of the QBRC and Professor John Quackenbush. The QBRC includes Dr. DeConti, as well as two Research Scientists and a staff research data analyst, and several postdoctoral fellows who work with the Quackenbush laboratory.

The Software Engineer (SE) will lead the user interface development of WebMeV (https://webmev.tm4.org) -- a cloud-based genomic data analysis application which focuses on providing biomedical researchers with a highly interactive genomic data visualization and intuitive workflow for performing complex genomic data analysis. The SE will collaborate with our team's senior leaders to develop WebMeV, and will be responsible for generating code to implement an interactive user interface with data visualizations to summarize large datasets. The implemented interface will need to allow users to explore their genomic data analysis results, create/modify data sets and data annotations, and interact with backend infrastructure to initiate computational analyses.  

Additional duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Performs code generation to develop a user interface and web visualization for our open source platform, including full stack development work (front and back end) with an emphasis on front end (using JavaScript)
  • Develop web applications using the Angular framework
  • Adhere to the best practices of modern software development - including documentation, automated testing, and code reviews
  • Aid with development of technical documents, online tutorials, and public presentations of the platform
  • Design and prototype user interfaces with input from the scientific community
  • Performs other duties as assigned
PLEASE NOTE: This position has a term appointment of one year from date of hire, with the possibility of extension.

PLEASE NOTE: Short-listed candidates may be required to submit a work sample (for example, a sample code).

PLEASE NOTE: The primary work location for this position is Boston, Massachusetts. Until our return to campus, which is still to-be-determined but anticipated to begin as soon as August/September 2021 (or later into the fall), this interview process and position will be conducted virtually – including virtual interviews, remote onboarding, and remote work. The remote nature of this position is only temporary. Local, on-campus work will be required as a condition of continued employment once the School and this role return to an operational status that supports it.

Typical Core Duties

  • Participate fully in software development life cycle
  • Implement and support technical solutions to deliver business requirements
  • Identify and evaluate opportunities to improve services
  • Contribute ideas to coding best practices and new technologies
  • Draw on relationship and technical skills to act as technical liaison to internal and external clients
  • Abide by and follow the Harvard University IT technical standards, policies and Code of Conduct

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum of two years’ post-secondary education or relevant work experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

The following job-specific skills and competencies are preferred:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science (or related field)
  • Experience with Angular or other modern JavaScript framework
  • Experience in user interface design
  • Working knowledge of Node.js and NPM
  • Experience with meeting deadlines and work cooperatively in a collaborative team
The following cultural competencies are also preferred:
  • Awareness of and aptitude to appropriately and effectively understand, respect, and adapt to cultural and identity-based difference within group environments
  • Knowledge of and commitment to concepts and issues tied to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Skills related to creating and supporting an environment that allows for inclusion, effective intercultural engagement, and personal humility and authenticity

Certificates and Licenses

Additional Information

At the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, we believe that diversity is integral to the Harvard experience and our mission of improving public health education, research and policy. Diversity of cultural backgrounds, identities, lived experiences, perspectives, and ways of understanding the world enriches our community and enables us to best meet the public health needs of the United States and the world. Ongoing learning and development related to diversity allows for both individual and institutional growth, and is necessary to foster and sustain a culture of inclusion. To achieve this, we are committed to ensuring equitable access to opportunities for learning, living, and working at the Harvard Chan School. We maintain an unwavering dedication to diversity, inclusion, and belonging as core to our institutional values and to actively counter, minimize, and address racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, gender bias, and all forms of discrimination.

Learn more about the School’s mission, objectives, and core values  and our diversity, inclusion, and belonging  initiatives.


Harvard University offers an outstanding benefits package including:

  • Time Off: 3-4 weeks paid vacation, paid holiday break, 12 paid sick days, 12+ paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days per year.
  • Medical/Dental/Vision: Excellent and affordable medical, dental & vision plans, with coverage beginning as of an employee's start date.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance & Reimbursement Programs: $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School, discounted options through participating Harvard graduate schools, and reimbursement options for accredited schools outside of Harvard.
  • Transportation: 50% discount on MBTA passes, as well as additional options (rideshare, biking, etc.) to assist employees in their daily commute.
  • Wellness & Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, hard & soft skills development, career planning, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services. Additionally, access to Harvard athletic facilities, libraries, campus events -- and many discounts for various cultural and leisure activities throughout metro Boston.
Join the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to support our mission of health research and education, and to be a part of the oldest institution of higher learning in the country!


  • The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health does not provide visa sponsorship, now or in the future, for staff positions.
  • Harvard University requires pre-employment reference checks and background screenings.
  • This position has a 90 day orientation and review period. The O&R period will be waived for any internal Harvard employee transfers.

Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all Harvard community members. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage .

Job Function

Information Technology, Research


USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

I0757P Applications Professional III


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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