Ontario Institute for Cancer Research



, Ontario


Job Type:


Degree Level Required:


418 days ago Apply now

Position: Outreach Lead & Curator (Scientific Associate I)
Location: MaRS Centre, Toronto
Department: Computational Biology
Reports To: Project Manager, Reactome
Salary: Commensurate with level of experience
Hours: 35 hours/week
Job Type: Hybrid/On-site
Status: Full-time, Permanent


The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is seeking a highly motivated individual to act as Outreach Lead for the Reactome project. The position will also involve part-time curation of biological pathways.

Reactome ( is an open access and open source curated database of human biological pathways. Pathways are assembled from the published literature by Masters- and PhD-level scientists and published alongside powerful bioinformatics analysis tools on the Reactome website. Our team consists of an international and interdisciplinary mix of biologists, software engineers, and user interface designers.

As Reactome Outreach Lead, you will work with the software and curatorial teams to coordinate all aspects of Reactome communications, including conference presentations, workshops, scientific and lay papers, and social media. You will develop education and training materials for in person and online learning, and will contribute to the documentation on the Reactome web site.

As a Reactome Curator, you will create machine-readable pathway records from the published literature using curatorial software developed by Reactome, in accordance with the comprehensive Reactome standards. We will provide you with extensive training on the Reactome data model and its associated tools.

OICR has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy in place that requires proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a medical exemption issued pursuant to the Government of Ontario guidelines.  Accordingly, as a condition of employment, new employees who may be required to work at OICR offices are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 subject to the duty to accommodate on the basis of protected grounds pursuant to the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Fully vaccinated is defined as having received all of the required doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine and having received the final dose at least 14 days before your employment start date.

As described above, the requirement to be fully vaccinated is subject to the Ontario Human Rights Code. If the candidate is unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for a reason protected by the Code, requests for accommodation from the vaccine policy will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

To learn more about working at OICR, visit our career page.


Your responsibilities will include:

Outreach Lead role:

  • Planning and delivering training workshops on Reactome tools and application programmer interfaces (APIs),and using these in next generation sequencing analysis. This responsibility will involve multiple public presentations per year and frequent international
  • Promotion of Reactome and communication of Reactome news through social media channels including Twitter and Facebook, or their successors.
  • Creating and maintaining documentation and e-learning materials on our advanced tools and APIs, and their application in bioinformatic analysis.
  • Direct support of user queries via email and tracker on using our APIs and advanced tools.
  • Direct interaction with our development teams to fix bugs identified by users and find solutions to user problems.
  • Supporting usability testing of tools and APIs.

Curator role:

  • Working with the Editor-in-Chief of the Reactome project to prioritize pathways for curation, identifying research scientists to author modules related to these pathways, and curating these modules into the Reactome database.
  • Identifying peer reviewers for pathway modules and shepherding them through the peer-review process.
  • Observing the quality control protocol for reviewing and releasing new modules.
  • Reviewing and updating previously-written modules on a timetable set by the Editor-in-Chief.
  • Working with Reactome staff to improve user interfaces, data models and workflows to accomplish the pathway-based analysis of biological problems.

Required Qualifications:

  • A Master’s or PhD degree or equivalent in life sciences, preferably in bioinformatics, biochemistry, molecular biology, cancer research or a related field.
  • You have excellent English communication skills, both written and verbal, to facilitate effective communications with other team members and to communicate with external collaborators and users.
  • You are highly self-motivated, able to work independently, and work well as a part of a team.
  • You should be comfortable speaking to large audiences in an engaging manner as well as conducting teaching and tutorials in small group settings, both online and in person.
  • Significant experience in teaching, training, public outreach, online help and/or event planning events is required.

Bonus (Nice-to-Have) Skills:

  • Self-reliance, resourcefulness, and ability to multitask well.
  • Team player open to cooperation and collaboration – Building trusting relationships with colleagues is key in our team.
  • Knowledge of cancer genomics is an asset but not essential.
Additional Information:

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

CLOSING DATE:       Until Filled

OICR is committed to fostering a climate of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. This commitment is central to, and mutually supportive of, our research excellence mandate. We welcome and respect the diversity of all members of our community and we support an inclusive culture for all. We welcome all applicants, and encourage applications from racialized persons, Indigenous Peoples, women, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S persons, and others who may contribute to furthering a diversity of ideas within our community. OICR is committed to fair assessment of a candidate’s abilities, and consideration for diversity of thought, method, and experience. Providing an accessible workplace and recruitment process is important to us, as described in our Accessibility Plan (  Should you require accommodation during any stage in the recruitment process, please complete the form at the bottom of page Information received related to accommodation will be handled confidentially.

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

Resume Format: If you elect to apply, you will need a text or HTML version of your resume so that you can cut and paste it into the application box provided. Before you submit the completed application, you will be asked to attach one or two files to your application. Please attach your resume as a .pdf or .doc file.




molecular biology

cancer research

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