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Department of Genetics


The Department of Genetics is a world-class research and teaching environment with particular strengths in quantitative approaches to genomics, epigenetics, population and evolutionary genetics, cell and developmental biology, and microbial genetics. There are 26 different research groups led by Principal Investigators (PIs) in academic or senior research roles. It has multiple collaborative links with other local institutes, particularly the Gurdon Institute, the Sainsbury lab, and the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute as well as with colleagues at the Biomedical Campus, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute. It participates in a range of University Strategic Research Initiatives including Cambridge Neuroscience, Infection and Immunity, and Reproduction. Members of the Department contribute to several of the School of Biological Sciences Research Themes. The Department is fully committed to the University Open Research agenda and strongly supports efforts to increase research reproducibility and transparency


The Department is located on the Downing Site in the centre of Cambridge, with an Evolutionary Genetics Laboratory 3 miles to the west of the city centre. The Department prides itself on the excellence of its research and teaching and has recently undergone major refurbishment providing state-of-the-art analytical and experimental research space, with additional community areas. There is a substantial research programme supported by external funding and a teaching programme covering a wide variety of courses ranging from small group tuition to lectures for 300-400 students.


The Department offers a stimulating, friendly and supportive work environment, we encourage innovation in research, teaching and the way we work. All staff are encouraged to play a full part in the life of the Department through teaching, research, participation in a range of seminars, regular staff meetings and social gatherings and activities. We also have an active social media presence and encourage all staff to share their achievements.


We have a number of Departmental committees (Strategy, Infrastructure, Safety, Postgraduate Education, Teaching and Equality & Wellbeing) with representatives from different staff groups helping to develop and improve our policies and ways of working. These are supported by smaller working groups such as the Library and IT Working Group and the Professional Support Staff Forum.


When possible, the Department encourages a vibrant social life which includes regular happy hours, various get-togethers throughout the year, and a variety of wellbeing activities. The Department values interactions with the wider community and there are opportunities to contribute to outreach through for example the Annual Science Festival, Library activities, interactions with local schools and many others.


The Athena SWAN Charter was launched in June 2005 to recognise and reward commitment to advancing the careers of women working in higher education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM). Although developed to address the lack of female representation in these subjects, the activities that support the Charter contribute towards a more positive working environment for all.


The Department currently holds Athena Swan Bronze Award status, attained in October 2018. This is supported by ongoing activities; actively encouraging female research staff into group leader positions, instigating dignity at work seminars for all staff, publicising and promoting our outreach and public engagement and promoting equality and wellbeing and family friendly policies (amongst others). The Department is committed to building a respectful working environment and fully supports the University Research Culture Action Plan.