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Sanger Institute Reviews

Updated February 21, 2018
59 reviews

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4.2
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Mike Stratton
15 Ratings

59 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Poor career progression and communication (in 5 reviews)

  • far away from cambridge city centre (30 mins bus, free shuttle) (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "working as RA"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sanger Institute full-time

    Pros

    Great environment to work , knowledgeable

    Cons

    nothing much really as usual

    Advice to Management

    nope


  2. "Good benefits, and grounds location not ideal"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sanger Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Most groups are friendly and happy to help or collaborate.
    Lots of benefits like cheap on-site gym, on-site nursery and a sports and social club.
    Free bus to site

    Cons

    Location is not great as its about 25 min drive from Cambridge, but there is a free bus service provided.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Rewards equality, not performance!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Scientist in Cambridge, South West England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Scientist in Cambridge, South West England, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sanger Institute full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place to engage in world-class genomic research. Very few places have the resources to perform sequencing at such scale. However, there are clear signs that the institute's golden age is likely over.

    Cons

    Its values are centred around equality, diversity and inclusivity, but nothing about meritocracy. In less than five years, its highly vocal equality preachers have transformed the campus into a second-rate mediocre place, by promoting inclusivity at the cost of reduced performance. Definitely no longer a place for ambitious high performing individuals.


  4. "Excellent facilities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Student in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Graduate Student in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sanger Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    If you want a really large scale genomic project then this is the right place to be. You have many support team working together to take care of the lab side so you only need to focus on the project analysis

    Cons

    Free bus but the campus is far away and it takes at least 30 minutes to get there


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to work for a few yrs to launch career, terrible for long term prospects"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Hinxton, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Hinxton, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sanger Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    1) Work life balance is for the most part good, but it does depend on which team you are in. Talk to the team members during your interview.

    2) Free bus service (mainly from Cambridge only)

    3) On-site gym/social activities

    4) Promotes diversity, Women in Science/LGBT etc.

    5) Science at scale!!! There are very few other places that have the capability to do this.

    6) Amazing support and social retreats/activities for graduate students and postdocs. Not so much for general staff.

    Cons

    1) Career progression is non-existent (A good place to be for 2-3 yrs only, publish then leave and leverage the "Sanger brand" elsewhere).

    2) Cambridge is a very expensive place to live, and places that are cheaper like Royston or Haverhill, are not serviced by the campus bus service. There is also poor public transit links to the site.

    3) Salaries are great for those starting a phd or postdocs, probably one of the best in the region, but for everyone else it is simply not competitive enough. Bioinformaticians & software developers simply walk across the pavement to the neighboring institute, EBI or to the many new startup companies setting up on site, where salaries and benefits are significantly better. This sometimes feels like the norm. Sanger simply has no real plan for retention, especially for high performers (seems to apply to senior employees as well) and appears to have accepted this fact.

    If you are a manager, having high staff turnover is horrible and very disruptive to work timelines and team morale.
    However if you are staff, as long as you accept that working at Sanger is a short term endeavor with the goal of name dropping it on to your CV, then its not a bad place to be, otherwise the life science/tech landscape in Cambridge area is very strong, and there are many better places to build a long term career at, that is both mentally stimulating and financially rewarding.

    Advice to Management

    Increase salaries and have better personal development plans.

    Have HR conduct exit interviews on a more regular basis, and try to understand why people are leaving, is it simply because of money? the end of the year employee survey is not enough.

    But will give credit where credit is due, upper management knows it can do a lot more and is trying to implement new ideas such as facilitating better communication across the institute via town hall like meetings.


  6. "Bioinformatician"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sanger Institute full-time

    Pros

    Good pay, flexible time, relaxed atmosphere, beautiful campus

    Cons

    Out of town, some groups are less relaxed than others


  7. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Hinxton, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Hinxton, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Sanger Institute full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Excellent research community and opportunity for collaboration

    Cons

    low starting salary for PostDocs

    Advice to Management

    Better career progression for scientists

  8. "A great place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advanced Research Assistant in Hinxton, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Advanced Research Assistant in Hinxton, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Sanger Institute full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Highly collaborative and friendly atmosphere, several opportunities for personal and professional development, well served with daycare, ATM, gym facilities, several extracurricular activities, clean, beautiful campus, very efficient and productive environment.

    Cons

    The site is out of town; not very accessible other than by the shuttle bus or by personal car, working hours less flexible, food on site is quite expensive!


  9. "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advanced Research Assistant in Hinxton, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Advanced Research Assistant in Hinxton, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Sanger Institute full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Good work ethic, teams are often diverse in experience so you can easily troubleshoot experiments.

    Cons

    Sandwiches and food is a bit expensive. Around £3.80 for any meal.

    Advice to Management

    Management is good as it is


  10. "Senior Staff Scientist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Sanger Institute full-time

    Pros

    Excellent people, science, benefits and values

    Cons

    Poor career progression and communication.
    Little real emphasis on personal development.


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