Janet Thornton Postdoctoral Fellowship

Are you looking to get back in to science after a career break?

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.

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. 

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

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 currently  - £32,780– £41,093
  • 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


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
  • will be able to start within 6 months of being offered the role

 Application Process

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

Please provide: 

  • a covering letter
  • a current CV
  • the names of two referees
  • the project you are applying for
  • the reason(s) for your break from scientific research.
  • A career development plan

 For full details and role criteria please download the job description.

Our open approach

We are an Equal Opportunity employer. We aim to attract, recruit, retain and develop talent from the widest possible talent pool, thereby gaining insight and access to different markets to generate a greater impact on the world. We positively encourage applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity status.

We are open to a range of UK-based flexible working options including part-time or full-time employment as well as flexible hours due to caring or other commitments.

Please visit meet our people for more details on what it is like to work with us.

Job Logo
Athena Swan
Salary per annum
32,780 - 41,093
Full Time, Part Time, Flexible Working
Full Time/ Part Time/Flexible Working
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Contract Length
3 years
Closing Date
8 August 2021
Job Reference

Other information

The deadline for initial applications to the project outline is Sunday 8 August 2021. The project Faculty lead will then work with one selected candidate to further develop the proposal, with a deadline of Thursday 30 September 2021 for final submission.


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

We are committed to creating an environment where everyone can fulfil their potential and thrive. We welcome and encourage applications from all parts of the community. If you require reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process, please contact the recruitment team.