Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
     Current Opportunities
     Keyword Search
     Career Alerts
     About OICR
     Research Achievements
     Careers at OICR

Current Opportunities

Software Developer - Toronto, Ontario

Position:  Software Developer I
Site: MaRS Centre, Toronto
Department: Computational Biology (Stein Lab)
Reports To: Team Leader
Salary:  Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 hours/week
Status: Full-time, Temporary (1-year contract)

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a Software Developer to join the Computational Biology program. The Software Developer will join a team developing cutting edge Open Source applications for analyzing genomic data in cloud compute environments. The applications will be used by researchers around the world to process and interpret vast amounts of cancer genomic data and to apply this understanding to new paradigms for diagnosing and treating cancer.

Learn more about working at OICR here.

The project you will work on, Dockstore (https://dockstore.org), is an open source project aimed at providing a scientific tool repository and framework for launching large-scale, cloud-based genomics analysis. Dockstore combines the Docker software container system with portable, standard-compliant workflow descriptions, to create software packages that describe their inputs, outputs, and parameterization, and can easily be combined to form higher-level workflows. This work is closely tied to, and driving adoption of, standards like the Workflow Execution Service (WES) created as part of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). We are planning to integrate Dockstore into a variety of third-party open source and commercial products.

This task would focus on two such projects, working on Dockstore integration with cloud execution environments that implement WES and Dockstore integration with ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) in order to improve the publication and citation experience for researchers creating and sharing bioinformatics workflows.

If you are passionate about software development, are a quick learner, enjoy producing & sharing beautiful code and want to become part of a team building complex environments from the ground up, please get in touch.

We seek a talented full stack developer who has an interest in learning new technologies. As part of your activities you will have the opportunity to be exposed to a large set of technologies, including compute clouds, container virtualization systems, and genomic workflow technologies. In addition, there will be opportunities to improve your Java backend and Javascript front-end development skills. As part of our development team you will be working closely with internal and external stakeholders to create an infrastructure that will have a potentially significant impact on society. You will also be working closely with our collaborators at DNAstack (a local software company that builds a leading genomics cloud platform) and at UCSC (University of California Santa Cruz, which forms part of our software development team).

As part of your job responsibilities, you will participate in the design, development, and testing of two new features for the Dockstore platform. This will include the preparation of documentation for those features and the maintenance and debugging of those features when running on distributed computing platforms.

To find out more about what’s happening in Computational Biology, visit OICR news.

The position is based in Toronto, but depending on the evolving COVID-19 situation may be work-from-home with occasional visits to the Toronto office. As such, experience with, and access to, a recent Linux desktop or laptop computer with camera and microphone would be an asset. You will be provided with suitable equipment otherwise.


  • Exposure to, or interest in acquiring, modern Java web service development skills (Dropwizard, Spring Boot, etc.);
  • Exposure to, or interest in acquiring, modern Javascript development skills (Angular, React, etc.);
  • Exposure to, or interest in acquiring, virtualization/cloud technologies (Docker, AWS CloudFormation, OpenStack, etc.);
  • Exposure to, or interest in acquiring, knowledge of products in the Docker ecosystem (Compose, Swarm, Docker Cloud, etc.);
  • Experience with a package manager such as NPM or Yarn would be an asset; and
  • Experience with a continuous integration platform such as CircleCI would be an asset.


  • University degree in computer sciences, software engineering or equivalent;
  • Minimum of one-year experience in software development including but not limited to co-op terms and internships;
  • Excellent communication skills (listening, written and verbal), both in articulating your ideas and gathering input from inside and outside the institute;
  • Resourceful team player who excels at building trusting relationships with customers and colleagues;
  • Working knowledge of source control; and
  • Knowledge of bioinformatics/cancer genomics is an asset but not essential.

OICR is a collaborative, not-for-profit research institute accelerating the development of new cancer research discoveries for patients around the world while maximizing the economic benefit of this research for the people of Ontario. We are dedicated professionals who bring expertise to each of our roles. We are looking for individuals who share our values of excellence, innovation, collaboration, impact, responsibility and community.

 Launched in December 2005, OICR is an independent institute funded by the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

For more information about OICR, please visit the website at www.oicr.on.ca.

POSTED DATE:        Until Filled

OICR is an inclusive employer dedicated to building a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from all qualified candidates and will accommodate applicants’ needs throughout all stages of the recruitment and selection process. Please advise the Recruiter to ensure your accessibility needs are accommodated throughout this process. Information received relating to accommodation will be addressed confidentially.

Resume Format: If you elect to apply, please click on the “Apply for this Job” button below.  You will be required to enter contact details, and to attach your resume to your application. Please attach your resume as a .pdf or .doc file.

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research thanks all applicants. However, only those under consideration will be contacted.