Sanger Careers

Affiliate Jobs

Apprentice Jobs

Janet Thornton Postdoctoral Fellowship

At the Wellcome Sanger Institute we are committed to enabling and opening routes back into science for those who have had a break from scientific research - for any reason

We understand that even a short time out of research can have an impact on your career, which is why we have created a postdoctoral fellowship providing an additional opportunity specifically for those who have been out of scientific research for 12 months or more to return to high-quality postdoctoral training. One Fellowship will be awarded each year. Each Fellowship will last for three years and can be worked full time, part time or flexibly.

Fellowships will be awarded after a competitive selection process, with applicants applying to one of the broad projects outlines listed below. Applicants are encouraged to make contact with the named supervisor.

While the Sanger Institute provides the opportunity in its recruitment processes for job applicants to declare career breaks (taken for any reason) so that they can be taken into account when assessing applications for all roles, particularly in relation to the potential impact of time out on individuals' scientific and career outputs, this fellowship will be open exclusively to those who have taken a career break of 12 months or more.

What's included?

This postdoctoral Fellowship is for a duration of three years, can be worked full time, part time or flexibly at the Sanger Institute on the Wellcome Genome Campus in Hinxton near Cambridge and includes:

  • Salary band: £31,897 - £39,986
  • Research expenses, including generous consumables and travel costs for conferences and training courses
  • Access to training and support resources from across the organisation
  • Access to the University of Cambridge Careers Service
  • Generous and flexible benefits

 One Janet Thornton Fellowship is awarded each year following a competitive selection process.

If you have questions about what is included in the Fellowship or about your eligibility please email


The Janet Thornton Fellowship is open to scientists who: 

  • have had a break from scientific research, of 12 continuous months or more, for any reason
  • are not currently working in scientific research
  • have at least one years' postdoctoral experience

Application Process

Eligible candidates are invited to apply to work on one of a range of projects put forward by the Institute.

Applications are to be made online. Candidates will be asked to provide: 

  • a covering letter
  • a current CV
  • the names of two referees
  • an indication of the project they are applying for
  • the reason(s) for their break from scientific research.

The deadline for initial applications is 12 July 2019; and then the PI will select the preferred candidate and submit the developed project application by September 2019. The final step, the face-to-face interviews and presentation  will be in November 2019.

Job Reference

Essential Skills

  • PhD in a relevant subject area 
  • Knowledge of a range of research techniques and methodologies in experimental/computational areas 
  • Research expertise in an area that will complement and enhance the Institute’s research strategy and goals 
  • Ability to develop research objectives, projects and proposals for own and joint research, with the assistance of a mentor if required 
  • Experience of carrying out both independent and collaborative research 
  • Ability to plan and prioritise own work in order to meet deadlines, including using initiative to plan research programmes 
  • Highly developed communication skills to engage effectively with a wide-ranging audience, both orally and in writing, using a range of media 
  • Interest in and enthusiasm for the subject matter of the project 
  • Commitment to personal development and updating of knowledge and skills 

Other information

Our Campus provides a unique and beautiful working environment with an impressive range of services and facilities and we pride ourselves on taking care of all our staff and provide a competitive and comprehensive range of benefits for you and your family, to compliment your lifestyle.

We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family-friendly policies and benefits including a flexible working policy for those who may wish to apply to amend their working pattern or arrangement

Genome Research Limited hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and will consider all individuals without discrimination and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees, where everyone can thrive.

First Stage Closing date: 12 July 2019