Programme activities

As part of the Sex in Science programme we organise a wide range of regular events and activities with the aim of engaging staff on campus.

In addition to the talk series, we host activities such as workshops, career days, discussion panels, debates and theatrical plays.

The Sex in Science programme is a joint initiative of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI).

[Genome Research Limited]



The Sex in Science programme is pleased to be collaborating with Biobeat 15 to host a one day conference entitled Translating Genomics into Biobusiness, to be held on the Genome Campus in the newly refurbished Wellcome Trust Conference Centre on 20th November 2015.

The conference will explore the burgeoning opportunities for developing companies that harness the potential of genomics. Take a look at the webpage to learn more about the conference and the high-quality line up of all female speakers: Biobeat15

Our annual programme of events includes:


Every January we host a campus Sex in Science Debate to encourage discussion about the key issues surrounding Sex in Science. In 2013 the debate topic was "This House believes that it is harder for women than men to be scientific leaders" and in 2014 "This House believes that it is not possible to be a scientific leader and work part-time." The debates are very popular events and prompt lively discussions. The audience use electronic voting pads to cast their opinion on who was the more persuasive debater.

International Women's Day

In March 2013 we held an event entitled 'The Female of the Species' which comprised a series of short talks from six female Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI scientists, followed by a panel discussion. The speakers shared their experiences as women in science, and how their career path had developed so far.

In March 2014 our 'Inspirational Scientists' event marked the day by hearing keynote speakers talk about the female scientists whose careers have inspired them and why, followed by questions and discussion.

Careers Day

Sadaf Farooqi, Maria Martin and Liz Murchison at the 'Making the Transition to Independence' event.

Sadaf Farooqi, Maria Martin and Liz Murchison at the 'Making the Transition to Independence' event. [Genome Research Limited]


Our annual Sex in Science Careers Day in June incorporates keynote presentations, panel discussions usually discussing the different career paths available in research with a careers surgery, involving a number of leading researcher employers, and a CV clinic.

Seminars, workshops and events

In addition to these annual events we organise a varied programme of monthly seminars, workshops and events focusing on pertinent topics. Recent events include:

Making the Transition to Independence - three female principal investigators, at different stages of their career, spoke about how to set up a dry and wet lab, how to recruit a good team and how to attract funding.

Mentoring lunch - a seminar outlining what is involved in mentoring, and its benefits. Members of staff could book mentoring sessions over lunch with Faculty members from the Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI.

The annual Sex in Science Debate is always very popular.

The annual Sex in Science Debate is always very popular. [Genome Research Limited]


Sex in Science 'Past, Present and Future' - a seminar outlining the Sex in Science programme to date and plans for the future.

Work-life balance workshop - as part of the 2013 activities our programme of events included a workshop that addressed the issue of Work-Life balance. Hosted by an external facilitator, the session focused on 'The Juggling Act: What to Keep and What to Give Up for Balance'.

Hidden Glory - a one-woman play giving an insight into the life of the great female scientist and Nobel Prize winner Dorothy Hodgkin.


As well as developing the programme on campus, we are nurturing connections with external groups. Partnering with funders, policy makers, scientific societies and research institutions is a valuable opportunity to influence the wider scientific community about issues relating to gender in science.

Calendar of upcoming events

The programme is ongoing with a number of talks, seminars and workshops in 2014 including a talk by Professor Dame Athene Donald in April, an update on our Athena SWAN action plan in September, Professor Dame Anne Johnson, Governor of the Wellcome Trust, in October and a workshop on Unconscious Bias for all staff in November.

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