Early Careers

Early Careers


We want to inspire future leaders who thrive on continual learning and rapid change

When you join the Wellcome Sanger Institute early in your career, we will provide you with guidance from our senior leaders, and give you a voice in helping to shape our future.

Our Institute is an ideas factory that imagines, and delivers, scientific discovery at a scale and boldness that leads the world. Everyone who works at the Sanger Institute is a part of our team, helping to make our science possible. We value the contribution that all our staff make, at every level, and in every area, to make our research a reality. 

By nurturing your talent, creativity and skills, we will equip you to make a real contribution to the work of the Sanger Institute and its discoveries that also benefit the world.

A message from our Director

Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute

‘‘Apprenticeships are highly valued and are a successful way of attracting talent, developing skills and knowledge, and investing in individuals to help us to reach our goals and objectives.

‘‘The Institute is investing significantly into apprenticeship schemes and throughout your employment, we will strive to support you to ensure that you are successful.

‘‘I look forward to working with you and would like to wish you the very best of luck with your journey.’’

Professor Sir Mike Stratton, Director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute

Why choose an apprenticeship?

We have a range of apprenticeships at Sanger Institute from scientific research, scientific operations and management operations roles:

  • Non-Scientific Operations: HR, Finance, IT, Procurement, Engineering, administration and more
  • Scientists and Scientific Operations: Laboratory roles, bioinformatics, administration and more
  • Faculty: Administration, support and more

Apprenticeships are a great way of earning and learning; with a starting salary of £17,489, far beyond the apprenticeship minimum wage. On top of your salary, Sanger will pay for your professional qualification. This is yours when you complete the course, and there is NO claw-back of cost if you leave Sanger.

You will also gain valuable on-the-job experience in both hard and soft skills. You will learn from experienced colleagues who will support you throughout your apprenticeship.

Fancy a careers in Bioinformatics? A new and exciting career path. See what our Degree Apprenticeship can do for you:


What levels of apprenticeships do we offer?

NameLevelEquivalent education level
Intermediate2GCSE grades A* - C or 9 - 4
Advanced  3A levels or advanced Apprenticeship

4, 5, 6 and 7

Level 4 award/certificate/diploma or higher apprenticeship

Level 5 – Foundation degree or diploma of higher education

Level 6 – Degree with Honours

Degree6 and 7

Degree with Honours and Master’s degree

Who are apprenticeships for?

Beth Sampher (right), Bioinformatics Apprentice and Bioinformaticians
Beth Sampher (right), Bioinformatics Apprentice and Bioinformaticians

Almost anyone! 

Once you have finished your GCSEs, A-levels, BTEC or equivalent qualifications. If you want a change of career, but are struggling to find the opportunity to make it happen. If you have an Undergraduate or Masters degree but want to further your skills and knowledge.

Like most qualifications, apprenticeships have minimum entry requirements. These requirements are made very clear on the job advert. It is important that you check you hold the stated entry requirements before you apply for the apprenticeship. If you do not hold the required qualifications at the required grade levels, please check the training provider’s website for more detailed information about entry requirement rules. There may be caveats that work experience or other qualities can be suitable alternatives, which may involve an interview with the training provider.

Life as an apprentice

To gain your professional qualification, you are guaranteed 20% protected time for study (off-the-job training). This allotted time will be dispersed depending on the training provider requirements and what is right for you, i.e. one day per week release or 1-2 week blocks at a time.

Your Manager will support you throughout your apprenticeship and will help you to develop your skills and develop professionally. You will also be provided with a Mentor, who will be someone you can go to for support at a personal and developmental level. You will be assigned a Buddy to help you settle in and introduce you to colleagues, to make the transition to our organisation as smooth as possible.

We also recognise that our apprentices work hard and study hard. We want our apprentices to have a work life balance. We ensure that all apprentices, especially those studing towards more demanding degree qualifications that they are supported the whole way through their apprenticeship.

There are various networking and professional development events on throughout the year, and you will have ample opportunity to attend many of them. 

Ed Cannon, Early Careers Manager, Wellcome Sanger Institute

‘‘I manage the apprenticeship scheme at the Sanger Institute, so there will be regular contact between us if you choose to join Sanger.

‘‘I lead Sanger’s ‘Grow your own’ strategy to cultivate great talent, and apprenticeships are a key part of this strategy.

‘‘It is our aim to retain our apprentices here at the Institute and create a fantastic career path for you.’’

Ed Cannon, Early Careers Manager, Wellcome Sanger Institute

More information

Mark Rose, Trainee Project Engineer
Mark Rose, Trainee Project Engineer

The UK Government has published a two-page summary guide to apprenticeships - ‘A guide to apprenticeships’

Useful links:

Key facts

There are many rules about apprenticeships, but we have summarised the most important parts for apprentices below:

Apprenticeships in England are open to all European Economic Area (EEA) residents, or those with the right of abode in the UK, that are 16 years old or older. Non-EEA citizens can enrol onto an apprenticeship if they have permission from the UK government to live in the UK (not for educational purposes), and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years before the apprenticeship start date.

You cannot enrol onto an apprenticeship if you already hold the same qualification level or higher of the same subject field. For example:

  • If you hold a Bachelor’s degree (level 6) in Bioscience, you cannot study the same subject at level 6 or below. However, you can apply for a Bioscience apprenticeship at level 7 (Masters), as this is a higher level.
  • If you hold a Bachelor’s degree (level 6) in Chemistry or Physics, you can enrol in a Bachelor’s degree in Bioscience as this is a different field of study.

In summary, you can study a currently held qualification type if it is at a higher level or if the subject field is different.

If you are not sure if you are eligible for an apprenticeship with Sanger Institute, please do not hesitate to contact this email address for general enquiries apprenticeships@sanger.ac.uk 

You can also follow the Sanger Institute's official social media for all sorts of news including posts about apprenticeships: LinkedInTwitterFacebook