Policies, benefits and change

The Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI both value the diversity of employees, students, visitors and collaborators on our shared campus. Both Institutes have in place a range of policies and benefits to provide a supportive environment that aims to help members balance their home lives with their work and career.

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]


Both the Sanger Institute and the EMBL-EBI have a number of policies in place to promote flexible and balanced working, including:

  • Flexible Working
  • Maternity, Adoption and Paternity
  • Parental Leave
  • Time Off (e.g. for Dependants and Domestic Emergencies)
  • Further Education
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Dignity at Work (Prevention of Bullying and Harassment)
  • Homeworking
  • Working Time


Both Institutes have generous benefits packages which include support with childcare costs (e.g. Childcare Voucher Schemes) and access to the on-site nursery.

The Campus also has an active Sports and Social Club that organises a range of events throughout the year, including an annual on-site Fireworks display that is open to all on campus and their families.

Influencing change

The Sex in Science Programme seeks to identify, explore and influence change in policies, benefits and other provisions that may unintentionally disadvantage a higher proportion of people of either gender. These have included:

At the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute:

  • reviewing our Faculty, Postdoctoral Fellow and PhD student models to encourage positive consideration of career breaks and periods of part-time working and to state that roles can be carried out on a part-time/flexible basis
  • implementing regular on-site Careers Days (with invited talks from funders and those in a range of scientific careers)
  • regular monitoring of the gender profile of the Institute at different levels
  • monitoring the gender profile of job applicants and their progress, particularly at Faculty level
  • looking at ways to make nursery service provision more affordable
  • establishing links to work on gender-related issues with the Wellcome Trust and other funders and Institutes.

And at EMBL-EBI:

  • at least one woman to be included in the shortlist for faculty positions
  • new recruitment and selection training introduced, which addresses the issue of unconscious bias and how to avoid it
  • implementing regular on-site Careers Days (with invited talks from funders and those in a range of scientific careers)
  • an EMBL-wide review of child-care provision and access has been carried out by the Staff Association, and is being reviewed by the Director General
  • reviewing EMBL policies and practices against the European Commission (EC) Human Resources (HR) Strategy for Researchers Charter and Code, which includes measures to support gender balance in recruitment and professional development. Aiming for the EC HR Excellence in Research accreditation.
* quick link - http://q.sanger.ac.uk/yiptcaux