Policies, Benefits and Change

Policies, Benefits and Change

lake02_wtsi_865x472_72.jpgSanger Institute, Genome Research Limited

The Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI both value the diversity of employees, students, visitors and collaborators on our shared campus. Both Institutes have in place a range of policies and benefits to provide a supportive environment that aims to help members balance their home lives with their work and career.

The Sex in Science programme is a joint initiative of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI).


flexible.jpgSanger Institute, Genome Research Limited

Both the Sanger Institute and the EMBL-EBI have a number of family friendly policies in place which support:

  • Flexible Working
  • Maternity, Adoption, shared parental leave and Paternity
  • Parental Leave
  • Time Off (e.g. for Dependants and Domestic Emergencies)
  • Equality & Diversity
  • Dignity at Work (Prevention of Bullying and Harassment)
  • Homeworking
  • Working Time

We are also working to ensure that we have a family-friendly environment that permeates the fabric of our campus. For example, we have high chairs in the cafes, priority bus boarding for parents travelling with their children on the Campus buses, baby changing facilities, priority parking for pregnant employees and New and Expectant Mother (NEM) rooms.


Both Institutes have generous benefits packages which include support with childcare costs (e.g. Childcare Voucher Schemes) and access to the on-site nursery and Campus summer holiday club.

The Campus also has an active Sports and Social Club that organises a range of events throughout the year, including an annual on-site Fireworks display that is open to all on campus and their families.

Influencing change

The Sex in Science Programme seeks to identify policies, benefits and provisions that may unintentionally disadvantage a higher portion of people of either gender and to explore ways in which to influence change in those areas. Initiatives include:

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute - Morgan Building
Wellcome Sanger Institute:
  • A Carers' Grant to cover the cost of additional care when travelling for work
  • Paid leave for carers, which allows staff to take up to an additional 10 days paid leave/year to deal with extraordinary caring situations
  • Enhanced maternity, adoption and shared parental leave policies
  • A review of recruitment processes encouraging positive consideration of career breaks and periods of part-time working and to state that roles can be carried out on a part-time/flexible basis
  • Implementation of a workplace nursery to achieve significant cost savings for staff using the facility
  • A summer holiday club for children between the ages of 4 -14 years
  • the Janet Thornton Fellowship, providing the opportunity for those who have been out of scientific research for one year or more to return to high-quality postdoctoral research
  • Campus-wide talks and training on unconscious bias and eqaulity, diversity and inclusion
  • Equality and Diversity training
  • Unconscious bias in recruitment and selection training
  • Exploring ways to increase opportunity for women to gain membership of decision making committees at the Institute
  • Highlighting the importance of mentoring for career development
  • Implementing regular on-site Careers Days (with invited talks from funders and those in a range of scientific careers)
  • Regular monitoring of the diversity profile of the Institute at different levels
  • Establishing links to work on gender-related issues with the Wellcome Trust and other funders and Institutes.

We are continuing to work hard to innovate with policies and initiatives to benefit staff.

European Bioinformatics Institute - EBI South Building
  • At least one woman to be included in the shortlist for faculty positions
  • New recruitment and selection training introduced, which addresses the issue of unconscious bias
  • Implementing regular on-site Careers Days (with invited talks from funders and those in a range of scientific careers)
  • An EMBL-wide review of child-care provision and access has been carried out by the Staff Association, and is being reviewed by the Director General
  • Reviewing EMBL policies and practices against the European Commission (EC) Human Resources (HR) Strategy for Researchers Charter and Code, which includes measures to support gender balance in recruitment and professional development. Aiming for the EC HR Excellence in Research accreditation.


For further information contact Dr Saher Ahmed: saher.ahmed@sanger.ac.uk