The Sanger Prize Competition 2023

The prize

The winner of the Sanger Institute Prize will be offered a three-month internship with a research group at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Travel, living and research expenses are all covered by the award.


To be eligible to apply for the Sanger Prize 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).
  • Be studying an undergraduate degree relevant to genomics at a University/Institute in a low/middle income country at the time of the first stage application. This could include any biological science degree, bioinformatics or any degree which includes genomics as a large part of the content. (please note that if you have completed the your course but are awaiting graduation then you are eligible to apply)
  • Demonstrate an active interest in research in the genomics 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

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

Please note that no exceptions can be made to the above criteria, we do not offer the prize to any one who is doing any post graduate course, whatever the circumstances may be. 

Application process

Applications for the 2023 competition have now closed, please check back here in the autumn to apply for the 2024 competition.

If you applied for the 2023 competition and have not received an email inviting you to submit an essay then I am sorry to say that you have not been accepted on this occasion. We thank you for your interest in the Sanger Prize. 

Stage one - Expression of interest

Submissions for the Sanger Prize Competition 2023 opened in Mid November and closed on Friday 6th January 2023 (all forms must be completed and submitted by this date).

First stage applicants are asked to complete a short application form. This includes an expression of interest detailing their scientific interests, their interest and knowledge in genomics and why they want to come to the Sanger Institute. The maximum word count for the expression of interest is 500 words and applicants should write close to this amount in order to fully demonstrate their interest and suitability in the prize. Any applications with a word count of less than 250 will not be reviewed.

Applicants are also asked to submit their CV at this stage. The CV should be no longer than two pages long and detail genomics related courses and work experience as well as education.

The details of two academic references are also required at this stage. Academic references should ideally be from the University or Institute which the applicant is currently studying at and at least one of them should include the university tutor or supervisor from the genomics degree course. Contact details for the referees will be required when completing the form and the referees will then be emailed directly with a form for them to complete which will then be emailed directly to the Sanger Prize Committee. Applications will not be accepted without two complete references so applicants should chose references who are available to supply a reference and ensure, to the best of their ability that the reference is submitted on time. Due to the large number of applications received we cannot review any applications which do not have the full set of references.

The referees will be sent an email request directly. It is the applicants responsibility to ensure that the referees have received the email. if the email has not been received then please ask the referee to check their junk mail inbox. if they still cant find it then they should email directly to receive a form to complete.

The Institute is not responsible for applications which are not received in time due to last minute technical issues. There will be no technical support available on the 6th January 2023, you are advised to submit your application well before this date in case of any problems.

The deadline by which the referee must submit the reference is Friday 13th January 2023 at 5pm UK time.

Only applications which meet the criteria listed above and have two references submitted by the deadline will be accepted and reviewed.

Successful applicants will be informed of the results of this stage at the beginning of March 2023 and be invited to take part in the second stage of the competition.

If you have not received an email please assume that your application has been unsuccessful this time. Due to the high number of applications received we do not contact unsuccessful applicants to inform them of the decision.

Stage two - Essay

Successful candidates will then be asked to take part in stage two of the process, which is to write an essay with a given title. Details of this stage will be emailed to the successful candidates by the middle of March 2023 and they will be given one month to complete the essay.

The judges’ decision will be communicated by the end of May 2023 (this date may be subject to change), the decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.

Stage two participants who have not won will be informed by email and offered a Certificate of Participation. No further feedback on applications will be available.

Information about the internship

All essential expenses will be paid for by the prize fund including travel costs, visa costs, accommodation and reasonable food costs during the three month internship.

The winner will be able to choose the lab and faculty host they work with, subject to the availability of the host. A list of faculty hosts is available on the Sanger website (

The winner will be able to choose the timing of their internship which should be taken within a year of being awarded (travel restrictions due to Covid -19 or other unexpected events will be taken into consideration and exceptions made).


If you have any questions, which are not answered within the information above please contact:

We will endeavour to give a response to email queries within five working days (between 19th December 2022 and 2nd January 2023 there will be no one available to answer queries, please send any queries after the 3rd January and they will be answered as soon as possible.)

Help with CV’s and Expressions of Interests cannot be given by the Sanger Prize Committee, please seek this help from your University tutors or mentors.

Only applications submitted via the form linked above will be accepted. Please do not email CV’s and reference letters directly to the Sanger Prize Committee unless you have been requested to do so by the Sanger Prize Administrator as they will not 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 the referee has not received the link to the reference form, having checked their junk mail box aswell, then they should email the Sanger Prize Administrator for help.


Eligible countries

Afghanistan Albania Algeria
American Samoa 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 Guyana 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 Zimbabwe