Graduate Scheme at Sanger Institute

Applications to our Graduate Scheme 2024 are now closed. Next round of recruitment will be announced in 2025.

Embark on a transformative career path at the forefront of genomics research with Sanger Institute. With four diverse placements over two years across our Management and Scientific Operations/Programmes, you’ll experience hands-on learning, and gain a 360-degree view of the institute from day one.

Why Choose Sanger Institute?

  • Proven Success: Launching for the 4th time, experience responsibility from day 1, hands-on experience, and develop a broad 360-degree view of Sanger Institute. 
  • Unique Work Environment: Experience life at Sanger Institute on our 130-acre campus just outside Cambridge. Join a diverse community of 1000+ employees from 70+ nationalities.
  • Work-Life Balance: We value work-life balance, offering flexible work arrangements to support your well-being.
  • Professional Development: Access a wide array of campus-run courses, networking events, and professional development opportunities. Receive mentorship and engage in regular conversations about your progress and ambitions.
  • Diverse Backgrounds Welcome: You don’t have to be a scientist to apply! Our Graduate Scheme welcomes individuals from various backgrounds and expertise with or without a degree. 

Explore the Benefits of working at Sanger Institute

Why Our Graduate Scheme?

Joining our Graduate Scheme means being a key player in supporting our ambitions for world-leading genomics research. We offer:

  • Eight Placements: Secure one of the eight placements in our next graduate scheme, starting in September 2024. The two-year programme consists of four individual six-month placements, providing a comprehensive and immersive experience.
  • Pivotal Role: Play a pivotal role in supporting the institute’s vast ambitions for world-leading genomics research.
  • We are keen to grow our own talent: all successful candidates from the scheme will be offered a permanent role at the end of the training within Sanger Institute
  • You don’t need to be a scientist to contribute to science. The work you will be doing will help support the improvement of human health and understanding of life on Earth.

Anna recently successfully completed the scheme and now works as a project manager within the Cellular Genetics programme

“The scheme has given me a unique opportunity to work within 4 different teams and see the institute from 4 different perspectives. As well as being able to experience different styles of team management, I’ve experienced different approaches to managing projects and pieces of work. My favourite part of the scheme was having so many opportunities to build a network across the institute, not only with other trainees and colleagues from previous rotations but with members of the varied project teams you could be a part of. During my time on the scheme, I had great support from my line managers, my mentor and my fellow trainees. Each of my rotations gave me the skills and confidence to now work as a project manager within the Cellular Genetics programme.”

Anna Davies, graduate scheme alumni 

About Our Graduate Scheme 

Our Graduate Scheme is designed to provide you with hands-on experience, exceptional networking opportunities, and a dynamic learning environment. 

We are offering four different placements over two years across our Management and Scientific Operations/Programmes at Sanger Institute. You will play a crucial role in supporting and managing projects within four departments, offering a diverse range of experiences. These are some of the areas you could be joining: 

  • Scientific Operations
  • Procurement
  • The Parasites and Microbes Programme
  • The Sanger Logistics Services (SLS) and Supply Chain 
  • The Director’s Office
  • Human Genetics and Generative and Synthetic Genomics programmes
  • The Genomic Surveillance Unit (GSU)
  • The Cellular Genetics Programme

What Happens After the Scheme? 

Our commitment doesn’t end with the scheme. We are keen to grow our own talent at Sanger Institute. At the end of the two-year training period, the offer of a permanent role will take place through an internal recruitment process for appropriately suited roles based on skills and organisational gaps.

Extra Perks whilst at Sanger Institute: 

  • Interest-Free Loan: successful candidates can receive an interest-free £2k loan upon scheme acceptance, aiding with relocation costs, a car or a house rental deposit.
  • Second-Year Salary Increase: A £1,500 salary increase during the second year if you have performed satisfactorily and if you can demonstrate the behaviours the organisation values. 
  • Buddy System and a Mentor: Settle in quickly with a designated buddy, guiding you through Sanger and your new role, ensuring a smooth transition.  Your mentor will provide advice, guidance and support to help you navigate your time at the Institute.

Briony Clarke, line manager and a key stakeholder for the Graduate Scheme 

“Being part of the Management Training Scheme has been a privilege.  Having such talented people in the organisation has not only delivered high-quality work for my team and delivered significant improvements for Sanger but it’s developed me as a person.  Supporting and witnessing these amazing people transform from the start of the scheme to them creating opportunities to harness their skills and knowledge to better Sanger is truly inspiring”.

Rotation Information 

Scientific Operations 

In the Scientific Operations department, responsible for generating high-quality data and resources, you will engage in ambitious experimental ideas, translating them into processes and pipelines to deliver the Institute’s scientific goals. The core areas and focuses include:

  • Cellular Operations
  • Sequencing Operations
  • Strategy and Delivery

Scientific knowledge is not required to engage with stakeholders or to have a significant positive impact on operational procedures and processes. The types of projects you will be working on:

  • Developing and delivering a dashboard of key metrics to assess the effectiveness of the operational areas
  • Designing and implementing action plans as a result of the staff Great Place To Work survey
  • Writing project briefs and business cases for varied projects across Scientific Operations
  • Leading an initiative to establish a continuous improvement culture across Scientific Operations

Procurement Team

The Procurement function works collaboratively with all groups across the Institute, the wider Campus community, and suppliers to enable the most effective provision of goods and services. The team is passionate about maximising value from third-party spend, ultimately enabling the Sanger Institute to deliver more world-class science within its budgets.

We bring together market intelligence and world-class business partnering to influence and enable informed strategic commercial decisions. Through building collaborative supplier relations, we create and enhance opportunities for improved technology adoption, maximise value for money, and reduce risk.

Projects in the Procurement Team include:

  • Working within the Procurement team to understand the market for a particular area, performing research on suppliers and their offerings, and supporting with category plans.
  • Engaging with stakeholders within the Institute at various levels to understand their scientific or business needs.
  • Leading on mini tenders and sourcing activity to support category plans.
  • Playing an active part in the Sustainable Procurement & Supply Chain working group and leading sustainable procurement projects.
  • Collaborating with colleagues to improve processes, internal communications, and value/KPI tracking.

The Parasites and Microbes Programme (PaM)

The Parasites and Microbes Programme has an ambitious and coherent scientific vision for the next decade. Our cutting-edge science is built on a platform of established long-term national and international partnerships, developing open data tools and datasets relevant to basic science and disease control, as well as close links with local and international health organisations.

As a valued member of the PaM operational group, the kind of projects you could be involved in include:

  • Streamlining sample on-boarding processes.
  • Measuring the impact of the science conducted by the programme.
  • Designing management information reports for the programme.
  • Improving the process for demand forecasting for SciOps using sample tracking/project management software.
  • Establishment of an electronic notebook system in the labs.

Sanger Logistics Services (SLS)

Join the SLS where your expertise in inventory supply and management is not just valued—it’s vital. Here, you’ll ensure that our scientific endeavours are always fueled on time because we believe in spending time making scientific breakthroughs, not waiting for supplies.

Be at the forefront of a dynamic customer service experience, offering a comprehensive suite of services to our diverse clientele. Dive into an ambitious transformation project where you’ll be pivotal in evolving our Stores support into a seamlessly integrated logistics powerhouse.

You will be instrumental in sculpting the workflow that upholds Sanger’s reputation for pioneering science in the 21st century. Your role will be critical in fine-tuning our processes, liaising with key figures, and upholding stringent compliance standards.

Potential Projects at SLS include:

  • Optimising stock distribution with cutting-edge Kanban systems.
  • Minimising waste through Six Sigma or Lean methodologies.
  • Managing product lifecycle with precision.

Supply Chain 

Supply Chain engages with key stakeholders across the organisation to establish and drive effective end-to-end value chain and planning processes – from scientific demand across the different programmes, capacity within the Scientific Operations departments, Procurement and Fulfilment Operations and Warehousing. You will work closely with the Procurement Operational team as you monitor the flow of materials inside and outside the Sanger Institute.

From strategic meetings with Heads of Operation to regular check-ins with Logistics enthusiasts and champions from each scientific corner, your network will be vast and vibrant.

In collaboration with cross-functional squads—spanning IT, from Scientific Programmes to Sequencings Operations, to Finance—your days will be rich with variety and collaboration. Under the guidance of your line manager, you’ll build a vast professional tapestry, engaging daily with a wide array of colleagues who are as passionate about our mission as you are.

Director’s Office

The Director’s Office is responsible for a portfolio of activity with cross-organisational themes, including science strategy, organisational strategy, core funding, Faculty and academic programmes, strategic partnerships, impact, policy and research culture, as well as Technology Translation and Entrepreneurship.

As a graduate in the Director’s Office, you could be involved in projects such as:

  • Building a business case for a digital preservation platform for the Sanger Institute Archive.
  • Understanding, mapping, and developing support structures to enable Sanger to work within the local Genomics Ecosystem.
  • Building a Faculty Transition and Offboarding Plan.
  • Building a Faculty Planning network across Research Institutes and benchmarking Sanger Faculty processes.
  • Reviewing the Faculty Model and supporting materials.
  • Developing an alumni network of former Sanger scientists.

Human GeneticsThe Human Genetics and Generative and Synthetic Genomics Programmes

Our Operations team is very unique, supporting two scientific programmes: Human Genetics and Generative and Synthetic Genomics.

Human Genetics Programme is the longest-standing Programme at Sanger, focusing on rare genetic disorders, population genetics, and complex diseases. It integrates population-scale genetics, longitudinal clinical data, and large-scale genetic perturbation studies in cellular model systems to transform our understanding of genetic causes and biological mechanisms of disease susceptibility.

Generative and Synthetic Genomics Programme combines large-scale data generation and artificial intelligence to lay the foundations for predictive and programmable molecular biology and the routine synthesis and engineering of genomes. The goal is to generate data and models that will allow biology to be engineered as easily as software, electronics, and cars.

Projects within the Human Genetics and Generative and Synthetic Genomics Operational team include:

  • Portfolio review of legacy projects.
  • Review, update, and develop Human Genetics programme external website.
  • Support Faculty scientific portfolio through operational support, including grant applications, management of ethics, contracts, and other documentation.
  • Mapping and understanding workflows/processes within and across the two programmes and help identify opportunities for streamlining (grants management, legal contracts management, financial monitoring and more).

The Genomic Surveillance Unit (GSU)

GSU delivers products and services that inform public health responses in near-real time. Working closely with public health partners and researchers around the world, the team integrates genomic surveillance into national and international infection control and pandemic preparedness programmes.

Projects in GSU include:

  • Financial tracking, reporting, and forecasting across funding streams.
  • HR management techniques and data as well as supporting recruitment.
  • Compliance and governance.
  • Managing the funding portfolio pre and post-award.
  • Developing and operating a customer relations database.
  • Implementing and following up on key operational and business decisions.

Wellcome Sanger Institute, Genome Research Limited

The Cellular Genetics Programme

The Cellular Genetics Programme is focused on cell-atlasing and cellular genetics. The Programme uses these approaches to map cells in the human body, combining cutting-edge methodologies and computational approaches.

As a graduate in the Cellular Genetics Programme Operations team, you could be involved in projects such as:

  • Managing the setup of scientific and operational projects to support the Programme.
  • Supporting Faculty scientific portfolio through operational support, including grant applications, management of ethics, contracts, and other documentation.
  • Collating and analysing various types of data for KPIs metrics for projects.
  • Mapping workflows within and across the Cellular Genetics programme.
  • Understanding existing workflows and processes to help identify opportunities for streamlining.