Statement from GRL Board accepting the findings of the independent investigation into a whistleblowing claim

Genome Research Limited Chair and Director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute outline steps the Institute will put in place to improve its processes

In April 2018 allegations were made against the Sanger Institute Director and other senior members of the Institute in a whistleblowing claim. An independent investigation into the allegations, commissioned by the Board of Directors (the charity’s trustees), was carried out by a barrister, and delivered in October. The allegations were not upheld. The Board of Directors has carefully considered the investigation report and has accepted its findings.

The investigation highlighted areas in which the Institute could improve, which the Board and the leadership are committed to addressing. It identified a need for more work to be done on the gender imbalance in our Faculty, and made specific recommendations about determining whether the Institute’s Faculty model might indirectly discriminate against women. It also suggested creating an appeal procedure when Faculty members are asked to leave the Institute.

We are acting on these important questions. We have appointed a Steering Group with broad representation across Sanger to consider the questions relating to the Faculty model over the next few months. It will listen to opinions from Institute members and externally and make recommendations to the leadership of Sanger and the Board. In addition, we will use our existing Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme to reflect further on gender imbalance in Faculty, its potential causes and further actions that can be taken to mitigate it.The Sanger Institute and the Board are committed to improving our culture and the way in which the organisation works. This means addressing the issues highlighted by the investigation report and more widely across the full range of the Institute’s activities. Continuing, thoughtful and clear-eyed scrutiny of how we operate, our culture and values, and acting to improve in all areas, constitutes an essential element of our aspiration to lead globally in genome science. We look forward to working with everyone at the Institute to achieve our collective goals.

Mike Stratton

David Willetts
Chair, GRL Board

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