Sanger Institute Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Sanger Institute Reviews

Updated 8 May 2018
62 reviews

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3.9
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Mike Stratton
16 Ratings

62 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great campus atmosphere and work-life balance" (in 7 reviews)

  • "Good pay, flexible time, relaxed atmosphere, beautiful campus" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "Lmited opportunities for career progression for staff and low number of independent fellowships for non-faculty members" (in 5 reviews)

  • "Competitive, poorly paid reflecting Cambridge rates, high cost of living in Cambridge, located far away from city facilities, commuting" (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Excellent facilities"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Student in Cambridge, East of England, England
    Former Employee - Graduate Student in Cambridge, East of England, England
    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


  2. "Great exposure to genomics"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Sanger Institute full-time

    Pros

    Got world class exposure and training in NGS and genomics analysis. Learnt how to work with big data and cloud environment

    Cons

    Its pretty far from the town centre but I hear they have introduced a shuttle.
    Limited dining options

  3. "Great place to work but no career opportunities for software developers"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer
    Current Employee - Senior Software Developer
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Sanger Institute full-time

    Pros

    - Good working atmosphere.
    - Interesting and meaningful projects.
    - OpenSource software development.

    Cons

    - No career opportunities for software developers.
    - Flexi-time is almost pointless if you don't have a car.
    - Fairly long bus commute (+ queueing).


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Could do better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    The campus is beautiful and there are lots of perks to benefit from working here. Flexible working is encouraged (in some areas of the business).

    Cons

    Staff turnover is high, particularly at Director level and it's worrying that it seems to be one particular gender at the most senior level, they struggle to retain. They show great initiative for equality, diversity and inclusion but don't seem to have addressed the issues on their own doorstep. It's okay in the short-term but there are plenty of other opportunities in Cambridge, in this industry for long-term careers where staff will be valued. All the facilities are there to make this a great place to work and there are people trying to make it better, but perhaps their ideas are too radical or it's simple not a priority on the top table. Evident blame culture.

    Advice to Management

    Of course the science is important, but don't forget the people that make it happen. Improve top down communication - most of the staff know when they're being fed a story, credit them with some intelligence.


  5. "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
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Cambridge, East of England, England
    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.


  6. Helpful (2)

    "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
    Current Employee - Senior Staff Scientist in Cambridge, South West England, England
    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.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "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
    Current Employee - Software Developer in Hinxton, England
    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.

  8. "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


  9. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Hinxton, England
    Current Employee - Postdoctoral Fellow in Hinxton, England
    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


  10. "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
    Former Employee - Advanced Research Assistant in Hinxton, England
    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!


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