Sanger Excellence Fellowship 

Wellcome Sanger Institute
The three inaugural Sanger Excellence Fellows 2022/23. From left to right: Kudzai Nyamondo, Oumie Kuyatehand Ore Francis

From left to right: Kudzai Nyamondo, Oumie Kuyatehand Ore Francis (inaugural Sanger Excellence Fellows 2022/23)

Applications for our 2024 Sanger Excellence Fellowship are now open

Following the success of our Excellence Fellowship in 2022 and 2023 we are proud to be launching our Fellowship for the third time Fellowship for the third time. Our three-year Fellowship is aimed at people from Black heritage backgrounds. Meet our three Inaugural Fellows.

We are keen to enable Black early career researchers to develop their portfolio of research experience and thrive in the field of UK genomics science. Our Fellowship is designed to attract research excellence. We will provide the Fellows with training, mentorship and support to drive their careers forward and to support a more diverse pipeline of future talent.

Our Fellowship has been developed in close collaboration with internal and external experts, including senior Black academics and Black-led community groups, who have helped shape the overall approach.

Mentorship, training and sponsorship are built into the heart of the programme and all candidates, including those who are unsuccessful, will receive feedback and have the opportunity to be mentored and receive career development support.

External review of the Excellence Fellowship

The Sanger Excellence Fellowship has been created by drawing on the rich knowledge and expertise of our Advisory Group and other people across the academic eco-system, taking a people-centric approach. As we seek to continuously learn and improve on our processes and to widen the Fellowship’s impact, we commissioned Nexus evaluation to conduct an external and independent review of the Fellowship. The aim was to better understand what worked well and to identify opportunities to make improvements. The review is available below and as a downloadable PDF document.

About the Fellowship

This Fellowship is aimed at early career researchers and the general requirements are an Undergraduate degree and PhD awarded from institutions within the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (the common travel area). We pride ourselves in offering a first-class and well-resourced exceptional learning environment and our Postdoctoral Fellowship Development Programme provides a comprehensive training experience designed to equip individuals with the knowledge, training and skills they require to be successful in their future careers – whatever they may do.

This particular scheme is open to people who self-identify as being from a Black heritage background, including a mixed heritage background. For example, Black African; Black Caribbean; Black Other; Mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or other Black backgrounds).


The Fellows are part of our Postdoctoral Fellowship programme and are paid in line with this pay scale (£38,000-£49,156 in 2024), dependent on skills and experience. The Sanger Excellence Fellowship also includes research consumables of up to £18,000 per annum, dependent on the nature of the project and a budget of £1,500 per annum for the Fellow to attend conferences and training.

Start date

There is flexibility with the start date, but Fellows should be able to start by end of December 2024. The Fellowship runs for three years and can be worked full-time, part-time or flexibly.

Application process

Candidates are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to outline:

  • Eligibility
  • What area(s) of research you are interested in across Wellcome Sanger Institute’s areas of research (you can select up to three from the areas of Science below). If you are not sure which programme area to apply to, you can indicate this in the expression of interest and we can discuss options during our call.

We also offer informal discussions about the application process and what support we can provide to help with the next stages of the process. Requests for informal discussions, and the content of the calls, do not affect or influence any subsequent decision-making processes.

All eligible candidates will be sent an application form to complete, compromising of a narrative CV. Candidates will be invited to work with the Faculty to co-create research proposal projects, ensuring strong scientific fit with the science at Sanger Institute.

The application form includes elements of the Resume for Research and Innovation (R4RI), otherwise known as the Narrative CV. This is to give greater flexibility on telling us about your skills and contributions to research. There are further resources on Narrative CVs here

For more information about the process, please download: Additional-Information-2024

For help with your application, please download our Q&A with answers to questions received from candidates: Sanger-Excellence-Fellowship_QA_24

The project proposal should be a maximum of 1000 words (figures, diagrams and references are excluded from the word count), outlining the aims, background and methodology. You will get lots of support though this part of the process, you do not need to have previous experience of writing research proposals.

You will also be invited to visit the Campus, research team, and meet other people supporting the Fellowship.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview with Wellcome Sanger Institute staff and external collaborators via Zoom. Candidates will be asked to give a presentation and answer questions on their previous research and the developed project proposal. This will be followed by a Q&A-style competency-based interview with the panel.

All candidates, including those unsuccessful at this stage, will receive feedback and will have the opportunity to receive mentorship and support from members of the Advisory or Steering Group. Unsuccessful candidates will also be supported to apply again

Programme areas

Wellcome Sanger Institute research areas

Please have a look at the Institute’s research programmes below to learn more about what we do and how our research activities fit with your area of research interest.

Advisory Group

This Fellowship has been created by drawing on the knowledge and experience of our Advisory Group and we are grateful for their ongoing support and guidance. Our Advisory Group will help guide the process and further development of our new Fellowship as we seek to continuously learn and improve on our processes and to widen the Fellowship’s impact.

Members include:

  • Dr Saher Ahmed, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Wellcome Sanger Institute (Chair)
  • Dr David Adams, Senior Faculty, Wellcome Sanger Institute
  • Tomi Akingbade, founder of the Black Women in Science Network
  • Prof Jason Arday, Professor of Sociology, University of Glasgow
  • Dr Maria Augusta Arruda, Head of Researcher Development, University of Nottingham
  • Dr Paula Bailey, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, EPSRC
  • Dr Diego Baptista, Head of Research and Funding Equity, Wellcome Trust
  • Prof Dawn Edge, Professor Mental Health and Inclusivity, University of Manchester
  • Nicholas Farmer, Race Equality Lead, MRC LMB
  • Adrian Ibrahim, Founder, Mosaic TX
  • Dr Matt Kaiser, Head of Careers and Discovery Research at Cancer Research UK
  • Dr Esther Mukuka, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, NIHR
  • Prof Rachel Oliver, Professor of Material Science, University of Cambridge and leader of The Inclusion Group for Equity in Research in STEMM (TIGERS in STEMM)
  • Dame Cilla Snowball, GRL Board, Member of Wellcome Board of Governors
  • Prof Nicholas Thomson, Senior Faculty, Wellcome Sanger Institute

The Fellowship sits alongside our broader equality, diversity and inclusion activities that aim to ensure excellence, regardless of background, can be supported and nurtured at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and across the Wellcome Genome Campus.

Additional Information

For more information about the process, please download: Additional-Information-2024


For further information, please contact:


Wellcome Sanger Institute

Find out about our Postdoctoral Programme

When you join us as a Postdoctoral Fellow you will benefit from a unique learning environment. We pride ourselves in offering a first-class and well-resourced exceptional learning environment to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills they will need for a successful career in science.