Biodiversity Informatics Senior Software Engineer - 22666BR

Biodiversity Informatics Senior Software Engineer

Biodiversity Institute
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Work Location Assignment: 
Employee Class: 
U-Unclassified Professional Staff

Position Overview

The Biodiversity Institute at The University of Kansas is searching for a humanistic software engineer to help document the diversity of life on Earth. The ideal candidate values meaningful work contributing to a global mission that builds on 350 years of intrepid Earth exploration aimed at identifying and describing the world’s species. The person enjoys solving problems, creative solutions, learning technologies, and communicating insight and expertise.

Biological specimens of plants and animals document the distribution of life on the planet. Our group supports biodiversity scientists in research centers around the world with software that manages and publishes information about the specimens of preserved plants and animals in their collections. Our open-source Specify platforms are used by 300+ collections around the globe as part of our research software consortium HQ’d at the University of Kansas.

Add passion to your career path, help us document the natural world, and enjoy a collegial and welcoming work environment. You will be a valued colleague in our small, competent, and friendly team that has been growing this active, expanding, museum technology initiative for over 30 years.

The Specify Collections Consortium, (, is a global, non-profit, biological museum consortium, organized under the University of Kansas administrative umbrella. We offer a remote or hybrid, flexible 40-hour schedule and a generous university benefits program. Our home office is on the bucolic KU campus in lovely Lawrence Kansas.

Technologies We Use:
  • Front-end: Typescript, React, Figma, Tailwind CSS
  • Back-end: Python, Django, MySQL, OpenAPI
  • Dev-ops: Docker, GitHub Actions, Linux

Job Description

  • With vision and insight, you will contribute significantly to creating and extending the Specify 7 web database platform for biodiversity research by skillfully applying software engineering best practices, including design, code documentation, and automated testing, to create great software with immediate environmental science impact.
  • You will analyze and influence platform architecture, security and standards options, assess alternative implementation strategies and component classifications for software modules, and contribute enhancements to Specify tools and development processes for continuous improvement of our products and DevOps methods.
  • Playing a key role in the success of Specify Collections Consortium, you will anticipate design options and prioritize software innovation for generality, flexibility, extensibility, and scalability. You will champion solutions with an expert-level understanding of requirements acquired from interactions with project stakeholders, including other team members, advisory committees, and the Specify user community of biological collections and biodiversity researchers.
  • You will collaborate with a small team of Consortium software developers, research scientists and leadership to research technical requirements and solutions. Participate in developer meetings and with Specify Consortium partners around the globe to advance your ideas and proposals.
  • Mentor talented and highly-motivated undergraduate student developers in software engineering, and collaborate with them to leverage their enthusiasm and engagement.

Position Requirements

Position will be hybrid (on-site and remote work) or fully remote based on selected candidate's preference.

Required Qualifications

  1. Bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics, software engineering, computer science, biology, or related field with 2 years of professional experience, OR Master's degree with 1 year of professional experience, including one or more of: front-end, back-end, or UI development.
  2. Competency and skill in best-practices of software design and implementation.
  3. Proficiency in at least one, and capability to develop competency in the other, of front-end and back-end coding languages: JavaScript, TypeScript, Python.
  4. Professional experience with relational database systems, including proficiency with SQL and principles of relational database design.
  5. Effective oral and written communications skills as evidenced by application materials and interview.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. A Master’s degree in computer science, or software engineering.
  2. Professional experience with front-end/UI development for end-user applications.
  3. Competency with a variety of object-oriented and functional programming languages.
  4. Familiarity with test automation, Agile development practices, CI/CD, GitHub, Virtual machines and Docker.
  5. Experience delivering and maintaining high quality, large-scale software to end-users.
  6. Familiarity with scientific computing in the scope of museums and environmental sciences.

Additional Candidate Instructions

A complete application consists of:
  1. Resume including a link to a portfolio demonstrating required skills.
    Preferred: GitHub or other open-source code sharing platform link
  2. Preferred: Cover letter addressing how required qualifications are met.
  3. 3 supervisory or professional references
Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application review begins on July 21, 2022 and will continue until a pool of qualified applicants is received.

Contact Information to Applicants

Aimee Stewart,

Advertised Salary Range

$80,000, contingent on experience

Work Schedule

Hybrid, 40-hours: M-F

Application Review Begins


Anticipated Start Date


Search Jobs
Posting Information
Posting ID:
Biodiversity Institute
Primary Campus:
University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
Work Location Assignment:
Employee Class:
U-Unclassified Professional Staff
Application Review Begins: