BioExcel, in partnership with EMBL-EBI, have created a competency framework within EMBL-EBI’s Competency Hub that describes a set of Scientific, Computing, and Parallel Computing competencies that will help you succeed in computational, biomolecular research at any career stage, either in industry or academia. 

Victoria E Hill has written this post to introduce the Competency Hub.

Screenshot with the career profiles available in the BioExcel competency framework

What is the Competency Hub?

The Competency Hub is a collection of competency frameworks, each focusing on its own area of bioinformatics or life sciences. A competency is an observable and measurable ability of any professional. Each framework includes competencies specific to a particular field. They may be further broken down into Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes (KSAs). The competencies are all mapped to career profiles ranging from PhD student to Computational Chemist to Principal Investigator and assigned a grade on the scale Not Applicable, Awareness, Working Knowledge, and Specialist Knowledge depending on the profile. For a more in-depth analysis, the user can go into each graded competency and look at which KSAs are applicable at that career stage. 

An example of a competency graded at ‘Awareness’ and the associated KSAs mapped to the career profile ‘PhD Student in Biomolecular Simulations’

How can I use them?

There are a few different ways that you can use the Competency Hub to support your professional development:

  • Create your own profile and evaluate your own competencies against those defined by BioExcel.
  • Compare your own profile and competency against that of your current career stage or where you would like to be in the future.
  • Identify the areas where you would like to improve your skills. Each competency also has training resources linked to it to guide your professional development.
  • Go through the two BioExcel learning pathways for in-depth training in some areas that are particularly relevant to computational research: