Future Innovators Mentorships – Biodata Developers Network

Applications are now CLOSED and we are currently processing applications.

The closing date was Monday 15 April 2024 (16:00 BST / 17:00 GMT)


Note to Applicants

Added on 23 April 2024

Thank you so much for your interest and your application to our Mentorship Programme. We really appreciate it.

Due to an overwhelming response, it is taking us longer than we originally anticipated to process everyone’s applications. Because of this our original timings need to move so that we can give your application the time and attention it deserves.

We promise to get back to everyone who applied by email to let you know whether or not we are inviting you to the second stage of the selection process – a short technical Zoom interview.

We will now be holding the Zoom interviews later than anticipated and will let successful applicants know the date and time by email.

Thank you so much for your application, we appreciate your patience with us.

The Biodata Developers Network team


The Biodata Developers Network Future Innovators Mentorships provide a unique range of opportunities for graduate (and final year undergraduates) from the global south to take the first steps to a successful career in computation or bioinformatics in life sciences research.

The mentorship programme gives successful applicants the opportunity to build a portfolio of skills and experience in areas such as genomics, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, software development, digital security or related fields.

Over the course of their eight-month mentorship, successful candidates will benefit from:

  • access to world-class training and resources
  • hands-on projects with computational teams based at UK research institutions
  • an in-person two-week immersive period at the Sanger Institute and EMBL-EBI, with the opportunity to present their work at an international genomics conference.

All essential expenses during the two-week immersive period will be paid for – including travel costs, visa costs, accommodation and reasonable food costs.

The Sanger Institute will fully support successful candidates with visa applications, travel bookings and finding accommodation. They will be allocated a mentor within the host team they are working in and will be supported during their work and given opportunities to network with other staff during the mentorship programme.

How the mentorship programme works

The Biodata Developers Network Future Innovators Mentorship programme is supported by the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), with additional funding from the UK Medical Research Council (MRC).

Virtual Launch and project planning

The programme begins with a virtual launch, where mentees connect with mentors and develop project plans. They participate in technical learning with host teams and engage in roundtable discussions and expert sessions covering topics from high performance computing to agile development. Mentees are also exposed to current communities focused on machine learning, bioinformatics, and digital security.

Hands on projects with guidance from UK-based research teams

The core of the programme involves mentees working on research projects within informatics teams at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Beyond the project, they gain insights through discussions and virtual meetups with experts. After completing their projects, mentees undergo a “Train the Trainer” course to share their knowledge within their others at their organisations and in their community.

UK-based experience within a UK institute research team

The programme concludes with an on-campus immersive experience, including team meetings, cultural discussions, and coaching in professional development skills. Social events and tours foster a sense of community. The experience culminates in a genome informatics conference, where mentees showcase their work and network with leaders in research and industry.


Application process

To be eligible to apply for the mentorship programme applicants must meet all of the criteria below:

  • Be from a low or middle income country (a full list of eligible countries is available below).
  • Have completed or be in final year of an undergraduate degree at a University/Institute in a low/middle income country.
  • Demonstrate an active interest in research in the genomics, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, software development, digital security or related field.
  • Have a good command of English (demonstrated by the clear writing within the application form, no certificate of English is required).
  • Be over 18 at the time of applying.
  • Be able to commit at least 10 hours per week from May to November
  • Be able to travel to UK for 2 weeks in November. We will cover the costs and help organise your visa.

Applicants who do not meet all of the above criteria will not be considered for the second stage of the competition.

You can apply by sending an email to Future Innovators Team with your expression of interest, CV, and details of referees.

You can alternatively apply by completing the application form via LinkedIn.

Please ensure you read all the information given below before submitting your application.

Applications for the Future Innovators Mentorship 2024 are now closed.

The closing date for applications was Monday 15 April 2024 (16:00 BST / 17:00 GMT). The application need to be completed and submitted by this date, there were no exceptions and no late applications were accepted.

The Sanger Institute and the BioDev Network are not responsible for applications which are not received in time due to last minute technical issues. We advise everyone to submit their application well before this date in case of any problems.

Only applications which met the criteria listed above and were submitted by the deadline were accepted and reviewed.

Our aim was to contact successful applicants with the results of this stage during April 2024 and be invited to take part in the second stage of the application. However, due to the overwhelming number of applications we have received, processing is taking longer than anticipated.

We will get back to everyone who applied as soon as possible

First stage applicants were asked to complete an application either by email or LinkedIn.

Completing the form:

In the application, please include the following:

  • personal details – your name, email and phone number
  • resume – a single PDF with an expression of interest, CV and details of two references
  • screening questions.

The expression of interest should demonstrate your interest in pursuing a career in computational sciences to answer biological questions. We are especially interested in artificial intelligence, bioinformatics, software development and digital security. The maximum word count for the expression of interest is 500 words. This is the most important part of your application.

Your CV should be no longer than two pages long and detail relevant courses and work experience as well as university education.

The details of two academic referees including name, affiliation, relationship to you and professional email address. References can be your direct line manager, a client or a professor who can speak to your abilities. References cannot be friends, family or peers. Further details below.

Submitting the form:

Once you have checked all the details, submit the application.

The Mentorship Admin Team are unable to release the application back to the applicant for amendment once it has been submitted so it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the details are correct before they submit. If you need to make any changes you will need to submit another version as the application cannot be amended. 

Successful candidates will then be asked to take part in stage two of the process, which is a short technical interview via Zoom.

Our original aim was to email details of this stage to successful candidates by 19th April 2024. However, due to the volume of applications, our timeline has needed to move and we will contact successful candidates within the next few weeks.

Contacted candidates will be invited to a Zoom interview.

We will contact successful candidates’ references directly by email. It is your responsibility to make sure we receive your references rapidly when we request them. Without complete references, your application cannot proceed forward.

The review panel decision will be communicated by the end of May 2024 (this date may be subject to change), the decision is final and no further review is possible.

All essential expenses will be paid for including travel costs, visa costs, accommodation and reasonable food costs during the two week visit.

The Sanger Institute will fully support the successful applicants with visa applications, booking travel and finding accommodation for their stay. They will be allocated a mentor within the host team they are working in and will be supported during their work and given opportunities to network with other staff during the mentorship programme.

For Mentors and Host Teams

Participating as a mentor or as part of a host team in the Future Innovators Mentorships programme is a highly rewarding experience. You can submit your project by completing a short Google form.

Mentors will benefit from:

  • Professional Growth: Enhancing leadership, coaching, and communication skills.
  • Innovation: Gaining fresh perspectives and innovative ideas from mentees.
  • Networking: Expanding professional networks within the global scientific community.
  • Talent Development: Identifying and nurturing potential future collaborators or employees.
  • Community Contribution: Playing a pivotal role in building a diverse and inclusive scientific community.

To ensure the success of the mentorship, we ask mentors to commit to 1-2 hours per week to supporting their mentees in a range of areas that will help the mentees grow in experience and confidence.

Commitment Requirements for Mentors:

  • Time Investment: Engaging in regular meetings and check-ins with the mentee to monitor their progress and provide support.
  • Project Oversight: Supervising mentees’ projects, including planning, resource allocation, and ensuring a productive learning experience.
  • Feedback: Offering constructive feedback and evaluation to guide the mentee’s development.
  • Professional Exposure: Facilitating networking and professional development opportunities for the mentee.


If you have any questions, which are not answered within the information above please contact Future Innovators Team.

We will endeavour to give a response to email queries within five working days. We are sorry, but we cannot help with drafting your CV or Expression of Interests.

Only complete applications submitted via email or LinkedIn listed above will be accepted.

All applications must be completed in English.

Once the form has been submitted errors can not be amended so please ensure that all the information on the application form is correct before submission. If you have made any errors, including to referees email addresses then please resubmit your application form with the correct information.

Eligible Countries

Afghanistan Albania Algeria
Angola Argentina Armenia
Azerbaijan Bangladesh Belarus
Belize Benin Bhutan
Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana
Brazil Bulgaria Burkina Faso
Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia
Cameroon Central African Republic Chad
China Colombia Comoros
Congo, Dem. Rep. Congo, Rep. Costa Rica
Côte d’Ivoire Cuba Djibouti
Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador
Egypt, Arab Rep. El Salvador Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea Eswatini Ethiopia
Fiji Gabon Gambia, The
Georgia Ghana Grenada
Guatemala Guinea Guinea-Bissau
Haiti Honduras India
Indonesia Iran, Islamic Rep. Iraq
Jamaica Jordan Kazakhstan
Kenya Kiribati Korea, Dem. People’s Rep.
Kosovo Kyrgyz Republic Lao PDR
Lebanon Lesotho Liberia
Libya Madagascar Malawi
Malaysia Maldives Mali
Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius
Mexico Micronesia, Fed. Sts. Moldova
Mongolia Montenegro Morocco
Mozambique Myanmar Namibia
Nepal Nicaragua Niger
Nigeria North Macedonia Pakistan
Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay
Peru Philippines Romania
Russian Federation Rwanda Samoa
São Tomé and Principe Senegal Serbia
Sierra Leone Solomon Islands Somalia
South Africa South Sudan Sri Lanka
St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines Sudan
Suriname Syrian Arab Republic Tajikistan
Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste
Togo Tonga Tunisia
Turkey Turkmenistan Tuvalu
Uganda Ukraine Uzbekistan
Vanuatu Venezuela, RB Vietnam
West Bank and Gaza Yemen, Rep. Zambia

The BioDev Network

The Biodata Developers’ (BioDev) Network fosters new technology capabilities, promotes knowledge sharing, and enhances thought leadership within the life sciences, clinical, and health tech sectors around the world.

Our key initiatives are:

Communities of practice

to cultivate best practice and provide on-demand training in critical areas such as machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), web development, digital security, and bioinformatics.

Fellowships, Mentorships, Training, and Networking

to support open and accessible learning in science and technology, especially for under-represented groups in the global south.