Advanced Research Assistant in DNA Pipelines
Great Campus, great benefits/pension, pay could be better for Cambs expenses
The area is stunning, especially in the summer. Huge back fields and wetlands to wonder/ jog around and escape the lab for an hour. There's an onsite gym and sports hall and huge canteen that serves international food at "reasonable" prices, (can become quite expensive if you buy food every day at work). Three onsite coffee shops (cheap coffee) and an Amazon Locker onsite. There can be a university campus vibe to the site sometimes, with regular research presentations and a Sanger Day each year where there's lots of activities and many labs stop work. There is world leading tech in most labs, but especially in downstream applications labs such as DNA pipelines, which house row after row of cutting-edge short and long read sequencers. I have worked in two teams during my time here and had radically different experiences in both. My first line manager was a great scientist, but never present, so I felt like there was nobody to guide me in my first team as they were the expert in my field, which was frustrating. When I transferred to downstream applications, my manager is honestly one of the best I have ever experienced in my work career. Very caring, supportive and encouraging and there is a brilliant team dynamic where I am; in no short part because of my line manager. There is an unusually large number of employees here that have been at Sanger for 20+ years, which I have never seen in any other place I've worked. So take from that what you will.The benefits at Sanger are just about as good as they get and with a 15% contribution from sanger to match your pension contribution is unbeatable. However, the pay could be better for the important work we do here. It is not the most competitive on salaries, especially for RA and ARAs. It is becoming the trend that ARAs are educated to PhD level or at a minimum MSc, although these are not essential, I am noticing more and more RAs/ARAs with research degrees. I think this makes it more difficult for those applying with lesser quals and means you have a workforce that are overqualified for their positions. Cambridge is one of the most expensive cities to live in (more so than London) and property here is horrendously pricey, meaning it is hard to save any meaningful amount of money on a Sanger salary while living something resembling a life outside work.
Animal Technician in Headington
Great team, odd hierarchies
I was a temporary worker, I've worked at many other facilties so I feel I can provide a good insight. The work place is excellent, I loved working with the team of animal technicians at Sanger. They were all very kind and enthusiastic about their work. As a trainee you will be expected to complete an IAT level 2 course within 1 Yr of employment although I will point out that there were lots of older animal care technicians still without a license and still completing low level IAT courses despite having years of industry experience, with that being said, the company needs to encourage it's care technicians to upskill as a natural progression for an animal care technician is to go on to be a licensee. You will work directly in tandem with researchers and students working on their PhDs, so it is important to maintain a high level of professionalism. Animal Technicians are divided by a grading system (level 1-7) if you are a 1-3 your job will consist of husbandry and assisting licensees while completing the IAT courses that are on offer.Due to the lack of availability to become a licensed tech, an air of self-importance has been bred among the senior licensed animal technicians, if you are a level 1-3 you are seen as an assistant. You will be working with mice in IVCs.
Research Assistant in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire
Good place to learn technologies, though treated like a student in primary school at times. Appraisal reflects this and resembles more like a school report rather than being conducted in the correct way.
Research Assistant in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire
Good place to gain experience
Working for Sanger as a whole was a enjoyable experience. New skills are taught rigorously and the management is supportive of developing skills in line with the role.
Research Assistant in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Relaxed and positive work environment
Workplace was very relaxed. My line manager was very understanding in helping me learn the daily flow of experiments and getting used to lab work. Excellent place to work (on-site gym & good social activities).