The Sanger Prize Competition 2024

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 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. 

If you are a graduate and are looking for an opportunity to study at the Sanger Institute please visit the study at Sanger pages of this website:

Application process

The application form for the 2024 competition is available here: Sanger Prize Application Form

Please ensure you read all the information given below before clicking on the link and completing the form. 


Stage 1a - Application Form 

Applications for the Sanger Prize Competition 2024 are now open.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 5th January 2024 (this is UK time so please check the time difference in your own countries and submit in plenty of time) The application form must be completed and submitted by this date, there are no exceptions and no late applications will be accepted.

The Sanger 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 5th January 2024, you are advised to submit your application well before this date in case of any problems.

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 during March 2024 and be invited to take part in the second stage of the competition.

If you have not received an email by end of March 2024 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.

First stage applicants are asked to complete a short application form (available here).

Completing the form:

The application form is in four parts:

  • personal details
  • expression of interest
  • referees details
  • your curriculum vitae (CV)

You must complete each part before moving on to the next part, mandatory sections are marked and you wont be allowed to proceed to the next part of the form until you have completed these sections.

The expression of interest should demonstrate the applicants 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.

Your CV should be no longer than two pages long and detail genomics related courses and work experience as well as university education. it can be in either word or pdf format (pdf preferred).

The details of two academic referees are also required at this stage within the application form (further details about the referees is available below).

After you have completed the form as detailed above, and added your CV a page confirming all the details your have inputted will appear. Please check this page carefully as this is your last chance to go back and make any changes before submitting the form.

Submitting the form:

Once you have checked all the details click the button next to the data protection statement, this will turn the confirm button green and allow you to submit the form. You will then receive an email from the Sanger Prize confirming your submission.

The Sanger Prize Administrator is unable to release a form 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 to the form you will need to submit another version as it can not be amended. 

You are advised to keep a copy of your Expression of Interest, separate from the application form, in case of problems with submission or a need to resubmit the form for any reason.


Stage 1b - Academic References

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 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 referees 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 the same day that the application form is submitted. 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 the referee should email directly to receive a form to complete.

The deadline by which the referee must submit the reference is Friday 12th January 2024 at 5pm UK time, however there will be no support available from the Sanger Prize Administrator on the 12th January and so it is recommended that the references are submitted well before this date. 

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

Stage 2 - 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 during March 2024 and they will be given approximately one month to complete the essay.

The judges’ decision will be communicated by the end of May 2024 (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 Sanger Institute will fully support the winner with visa applications, booking travel and finding accommodation for their stay. They will be allocated a mentor within the lab they are working in and will be supported during their work and given opportunities to network with other staff during the 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 5pm on the 19th December 2023 and 8am on the 2nd January 2024 there will be no one available to answer queries, please send any queries after the 2nd 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 CVs 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 you have made any errors, including to referees email addresses then please resubmit your application form with the correct information.

If the referee has not received the email requesting a reference, having checked their junk mail box as well, then they should email the Sanger Prize Administrator for a form to complete


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