Equality and Diversity

The Wellcome Sanger Institute values the diversity of its employees, students, visitors and collaborators. The diversity of our workforce is of critical importance in drawing together the broad range of skills and experience we depend on to conduct world-class science and support biomedical discovery.

We, therefore, believe that it is in the best interests of the Institute and those that benefit from its work to attract, retain and develop a diverse pool of talent and to provide a working environment that encourages and supports excellent performance from all who work here. We aim to achieve this by:

  • Providing equality of opportunity in recruitment, selection, training, promotion and career management;
  • The elimination of unlawful discrimination;
  • The promotion of diversity and equality;
  • Stimulating interest in scientific careers through our Communication and Public Engagement Programme; and
  • Developing an Action Plan to provide a framework for further embedding the principles of Equality & Diversity into the work and people of the Institute and monitoring the outcome of this work.

Selection of PhD Students

The Institute’s PhD programmes aspire to be equally accessible to all applicants irrespective of age, gender or country of origin. Applications are welcomed from candidates worldwide and will be considered exclusively on merit. To reduce financial and geographic barriers to admission, we provide payment of all University fees along with a generous stipend/salary. Indeed many of our students come from low and middle income countries such as Nigeria, The Gambia, Mauritius, Cuba, Mexico, India, China, Malaysia and Thailand. Also, our typical annual intake of students is roughly half male, half female.

Wherever practical the Institute will adopt a flexible approach to prevent any disadvantage that could arise for prospective PhD students from career and/or study gaps that may be due to maternity, paternity, adoption and other caring responsibilities or periods of illness or disability.

Balancing PhD studies with family life

We recognise that for some PhD students, there will be a need to allow time and flexibility to deal with caring responsibilities (e.g. for children and/or relatives) and we want to provide a PhD programme that is supportive of these needs, whilst not compromising on giving you an excellent start to your scientific career. This includes provisions to pause studies for maternity, paternity or adoption leave, access to our onsite nursery facilities and a flexible approach to work.

Since Sanger Institute PhD students are registered at the University of Cambridge, they are also able to access childcare services provided by the University.

If you have any queries about balancing PhD studies with family life, please contact the Graduate Programme Office.

Equality in Science

The Sanger Institute and its campus neighbour, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), run an active Equality in Science Programme aimed at highlighting and addressing issues affecting the gender imbalance that occurs in the senior ranks of science. This includes consideration of work-life balance issues that affect both male and female scientists and a regular Careers Day for everyone on campus with a chance to speak with funders and learn about a range of scientific careers.

In April 2014, we became one of the first research institutes to achieve the Athena SWAN Bronze award.