(closed) GBIF Secretariat is recruiting a Data Administrator

Selected candidate will manage data processing and data content within an international data infrastructure while supporting data publishers and data users

Two red-billed oxpeckers (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) clean the fur of a common impala (Aepyceros melampus), Tanzania. Photo 2021 romanf via iNaturalist Research-grade Observations, licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

The GBIF Secretariat in Copenhagen is looking for a Data Administrator to work in a small team focused on data content and quality. Responsibilities for the selected candidate will include supporting both data publishers and data users of GBIF's index and website, GBIF.org.

Recruitment for this full-time position is international. The initial contract duration is three years, with the possibility of extension.

This post is a great opportunity for a candidate who has a good eye for detail, is proactive in fixing issues and communicating, and takes enjoyment in seeing things improve. The workplace is an international organization in a science- and technology-based setting supporting biodiversity informatics and sustainable development. We look forward to hearing from candidates who match the requirements listed below.

Deadline for receipt of applications: 16 January 2022

Function and job description

In this role, the incumbent will work as part of the Data Products team tasked with managing all aspects of data processing and data content within GBIF's international data infrastructure. The role is a varied one that includes elements of:

  • Scheduling, overseeing and troubleshooting the ingestion of data from a distributed network of datasets, spanning biological collections, observations, taxon names, and other related data
  • Supporting data publishers and data users with both technical and data content-related questions
  • Generating ad hoc data reports for internal and external clients
  • Contributing to the development, documentation and curation of data standards and vocabularies
  • Collaborating with other teams at the GBIF Secretariat to mobilize new data resources through interactions with the biological community
  • Documenting and communicating data content and quality requirements, and addressing issues diagnosed with data content
  • Supporting the wider network of GBIF collaborators through technical support and training, including a strong communication component (email, video calls, etc.)

Required skills and experience

  • Strong SQL skills, plus working experience in a scripting language such as R or Python
  • Experience with relational databases and a good understanding of basic database management tasks
  • Experience with data processing and working with large databases
  • A good working knowledge of the GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT)
  • Familiarity with diverse data formats and schemas, such as JSON, XML and Apache Avro
  • Professional skills regarding providing support, guidance and feedback to internal and external contacts with varied professional and cultural backgrounds
  • Fluency in English
  • Basic knowledge of the Linux operating system
  • Previous experience working on data quality will be an advantage
  • Experience contributing to collaborative open source projects would be welcome
  • Familiarity with the data content, structure and components behind GBIF.org
  • Experience of working with metadata standards such as Darwin Core, Ecological Metadata Language (EML), etc.
  • Basic skills in producing data visualizations (charts and graphs)
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team

Application procedure and deadline

To apply, please send a curriculum vitae (maximum of two (2) A4 or US letter-sized pages) along with a cover letter (maximum of one (1) A4 or US letter-sized page), detailing your skills and qualifications and how you envisage adding value to GBIF. Candidates must submit applications in English via email to data-admin-2021@gbif.org by the deadline of 16 January 2022. Please indicate in the application where you saw this advertisement.

Enquiries concerning the position can be addressed to Andrea Hahn, head of data products, or Susanne Sheldon, HR manager. Please expect a delay in receiving feedback during the upcoming holiday period.

Interviews for the position are expected to take place from early February 2022. Our goal is for the successful candidate to start in the position in March 2022 or soon thereafter, and we request applicants to indicate their availability in the application letter.

GBIF offers

  • A good team atmosphere and vibrant international working environment
  • The opportunity to learn and use cutting edge big data technologies from the Hadoop ecosystem (HBase, Hive, Elastic Search, Spark)
  • The opportunity to work publicly on open source projects, having direct involvement with the international data holder community

Most importantly, we offer the chance to contribute significantly to an international effort to build and run the global web platform for open biodiversity data.


GBIF salaries are competitive and are exempt from Danish income tax.

The selected candidate is expected to take up residency in Denmark for the duration of the contract, and the GBIF Secretariat will secure the required residence and work permit with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A relocation package is available for internationally recruited staff.

GBIF—the Global Biodiversity Information Facility—is an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world’s governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, free and open access to data about all types of life on Earth.

GBIF is an equal opportunities employer and accepts applications without distinction on the grounds of gender, colour, racial, social or ethnic origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation, marital status or family situation, or any other status. Staff are recruited on the broadest possible geographical basis.