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Sainsbury Laboratory

View of the Sainsbury Laboratory building from the Cambridge University Botanic Garden

Professional career opportunities at the Sainsbury Laboratory


What is it like to work in a research institute?

We are a friendly community of professionals and researchers working together to uncover the complex dynamic and self-organising properties of plants. There are approximately 160 people at the Sainsbury Laboratory, including 85 research scientists, 30 professional staff, 25 PhD candidates and 20 visiting students.

You will be joining a welcoming, diverse and lively community with people from more than 25 countries. You will be part of a professional services team, which includes colleagues from accounts, finance, purchasing, stores, facilities, horticulture, microscopy, human resources, communications, public engagement, science education and administration together with research technicians.

Our professional staff are part of the wider university network and communities of practice where they share knowledge and collaborate with colleagues across the University who work in similar roles or have similar professional interests and responsibilities.


Benefits of joining us

We are located in the heart of Cambridge, a 6-minute walk from the Train Station, in a modern building set within the beautiful University Botanic Garden, which you will have free access to.

We have change rooms and showers, a dedicated social room to chill-out, and a reflection/prayer room. We organise a number of social activities, including, among other things morning teas, a monthly happy hour and a summer family BBQ.

We also like to have fun! We organise activities (climbing, crafting, yoga, running, movies) for people to get together.

  • Job security
  • Generous pension
  • Automatic annual salary increments
  • Annual cost of living adjustment
  • Reward schemes
  • Excellent professional development opportunities
  • Flexible working hours
  • Wide-range of family-friendly benefits 
  • Wellbeing activities and resources


Career development and training

The University of Cambridge provides an extensive programme of personal and professional development learning. Staff also have free access to LinkedIn Learning, digital workplace skills programme, Lean training and Cambridge Works programme to support managers and staff with new ways of working. The University also runs a self-match mentoring scheme which supports professional services staff to find themselves a mentor.


Professional network

ourcambridge is a staff-centric cultural change programme developed in response to staff feedback. A grassroots project, it is designed to support professional services staff to achieve their potential in support of the University’s academic mission and has brought together professional staff from across departments and colleges to contribute to the programme.

As a result, the University has a major focus on supporting and recognising professional staff by working to progress an inclusive and open working culture, establishing staff wellbeing initiatives, and hosting an annual Professional Services Recognition Awards, which is a major event in the University calendar that recognises the contribution of professional services staff.