Sanger Excellence Fellowship


The Wellcome Sanger Institute, in partnership with Wellcome Connecting Science, is launching a new three-year Fellowship aimed at people from Black heritage backgrounds.

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. The new Fellowship is designed to attract research excellence and 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 is built into the heart for 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.

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:

  • Dr David Adams, Senior Faculty, Wellcome Sanger Institute
  • Dr Saher Ahmed, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Wellcome Sanger Institute
  • Tomi Akingbade, founder of the Black Women in Science Network
  • Prof Jason Arday, currently Associate Professor in Sociology, Durham University. Moving to 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
  • Anette Grindsted, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Wellcome Sanger Institute
  • 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.

About the Fellowship

Eligibility

This Fellowship is aimed at early career researchers and the general requirements are an Undergraduate degree and PhD awarded from institutions from 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 race background. For example, Black African; Black Caribbean; Black Other; Mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or other Black backgrounds).

Salary

The Fellows are part of our Postdoctoral Fellowship programme and are paid in line with this pay scale (£33,272 – £41,709 in 2022), 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 2022. The Fellowship runs for three years and can be worked full-time, part-time or flexibly.

Contact

For further information, please contact: sangerexcellence@sanger.ac.uk

The aim of the Fellowship

People from Black backgrounds are under-represented in Higher Education and in the Biological Sciences, compared to the wider UK population. We recognise that persistent racial inequalities disadvantage people from Black backgrounds in all walks of life, including academia and this is propagated along the academic pipeline. We have extensively examined our staff data and this pattern is reflected within our own demography. Therefore, we have designed this particular programme to support bringing in excellence that may otherwise be lost to science and stimulating and catalysing change along the academic pipeline.

Our Race Equity strategy is supported by our holistic Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy, which aims to ensure that we draw on as wide a pool of talent as possible. Scientific excellence is strengthened by the diversity of skills, knowledge and experience and we are committed to fostering an inclusive culture where all our staff and students are welcomed, feel that they belong and can thrive. Our activities include focussed interventions on all aspects of equity and inclusion.

In the video clip [right] Cordell Charles, Junior Software Developer at Sanger Institute, talks to Tobi Ogundipe from Diverse Hires about the benefits of relocating for your next Career opportunity and living in Cambridge.

How to apply

Application process

10 January – 14 February 2022 – Express your interest and receive 1-2-1 support to create your application by emailing sangerexcellence@sanger.ac.uk

Check out the resources on the webpage, a live Q&A will be held on 7 February 2022, 12-2pm.

You can submit your expression of interest here. In the form you will be asked to give us information on:

  • Why this Fellowship is important to you, and how this will help you to achieve your professional aims
  • What area(s) of research interests you, as well as how these interests intersect with Wellcome Sanger Institute’s/Wellcome Connecting Science’s areas of research (up to three from the areas of Science below and/or your interests that may span these research areas). If you are not sure which programme area to apply to, you can indicate this in your expression of interest and we can discuss this during our call.

You can also tell us if you would like an informal discussion about the application process and what support we can provide to help with the next stages of the process. Note that this will not affect or influence any subsequent decision-making processes.

Guidance is also available on, but not limited to the following:

  • Relocation
  • Accommodation
  • Family and Dependents
  • Your first day at Sanger/Connecting Science

Please see the attached Sanger Excellence Additional Information for further information on the process.

7 February 12-2pm – Live Q&A webinar

We are running a live online Q&A session in collaboration with the Black Women in Science network (BWiS) to help you. The webinar runs from 12-2pm on 7 February and you can dip in and out of it at any time. Please email us on sangerexcellence@sanger.ac.uk for event details.

We regularly update this Q&A document with answers to questions received from candidates and all the questions and answers from the session will be added here after the event.

We are running this session to give you the opportunity to ask questions and find out more information before finalising your application. We will be happy to answer all your questions about the fellowship, from how the process works and eligibility requirements through to life as a Postdoc at the Institute and our networks of support.

28 February 2022 – Deadline for submitting your full application

Once we have received your Expression of Interest form we will assess your eligibility for the Fellowship and then send you an application form. Please answer the questions as fully as you can – this is an opportunity for us to learn more about you and there are no right or wrong answer to the questions.

March – April 2022 – Shortlisted candidates will be invited to work with Wellcome Sanger Institute or Wellcome Connecting Science research lead on your project proposal

April-May 2022 – Interviews

The shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview with Wellcome Sanger Institute and Wellcome Connecting Science staff. Candidates will be asked to give a presentation and answer questions on their previous research and the developed project proposal (via Zoom). 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.

September – December 2022 – Start of Fellowship

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.

 

Wellcome Connecting Science – Engagement and Society

Wellcome Connecting Science’s mission is to enable everyone to explore genomic science and its impact on research, health and society. The work across Engagement and Society uses social science research and engagement methods to investigate the impact of genomics on people and communities. Connecting Science research is particularly interested in public attitudes, and areas such as data, gene editing, and equity in research.As part of the Sanger Fellowship scheme, Wellcome Connecting Science invites applications from social science researchers interested in exploring the societal impact of genomics and/or how publics engage with genomics. Find out more about the Society and Ethics research activities here or by downloading an Overview of Outputs: 2016-2022.
Find out more about Wellcome Connecting Science here.

Additional Information

For more information about the process, please download our Sanger Excellence Additional Information_2021 PDF document or watch our video.