Career progression and personal development


All of our employees are encouraged to upgrade and update their skills for their current role, enhance their transferable skills, and develop their careers through learning and development opportunities.

A wide range of technical, personal and professional development initiatives are available to support career development at all levels.

All of our staff have an annual performance review, an opportunity to reflect on progress, discuss opportunities for reward and promotion, and consider future development and training needs.

We also offer a range of courses designed to develop technical scientific skills, including bioinformatics, statistical analysis, biophysical analysis, and image processing.

For management and leadership skills, we offer courses that include training in career planning, networking, recruiting and screening. There are courses for presentation skills, teaching and project management, and we offer mentoring and coaching opportunities that complement a wide range of activities to support well-being and personal resilience in the workplace.

Mandatory training includes health and safety, equality and diversity, and bullying and harassment awareness. Our development programs include:

  • Direction and management
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Development of technical skills
  • Professional orientation

Direction and management

Our focus on identifying, training and nurturing future research leaders is one of the main drivers of our scientific effectiveness.

The experience acquired at the John Innes Center is highly valued and constitutes a springboard for career development in the scientific community both nationally and internationally.

We offer management and leadership development programs supporting the experience and skills needed at different stages of a career – from essential management skills for those entering their first supervisory or management role, to programs EMBO approved “Hfp Leadership and Management Skills” for postdoctoral scientists and group leaders.

Tailor-made events and programs are tailored according to need. A recent example is a “Women in Wheat” mentoring program.

Mentoring and coaching

Mentoring and coaching is available at the John Innes Center and is designed to meet your professional and personal development needs.

You have access to the trained internal mentoring and coaching pool. This can take the form of one-off sessions or longer mentoring / coaching support.

The Mentorship and Coaching Pool is a diverse group with roles and experience ranging from Executive and Group Leaders to Research and Support Specialists.

Tenure Track Group Leader / Independent Fellow Mentorship: If you are a 5 year Tenure Track Group Leader or Independent Fellow, you are automatically assigned a mentor to provide independent advice and insight into your work plan and progress. Your mentor provides advice on the challenges faced by the individual during their tenure track or fellowship, and offers support for personal and professional development. If you are a tenure track group leader or 5 year freelance fellow, you are also mentored as a group by experienced group leaders.

Development of professional skills

Personal and professional skills development programs are delivered in our seminar rooms, our training room and online. These cover a wide range of topics including communication skills, time management, project management, ethics, effective presentation skills, and are often led by experts from the John Innes Center.

You can also request tailor-made training to meet continuing professional development (CPD) needs.

Personal resilience and mental health awareness classes are included in the curriculum to meet the growing need for support in these areas.

Development of technical skills

Our training facilities include a computer theater where the latest training courses in bioinformatics, statistical analysis and research design are conducted. These are designed, delivered and supported by experts from the John Innes Center and visiting international specialists.

One-on-one support is provided through ‘walk-in’ clinical sessions for applied computing and statistics.

Tailored learning opportunities in the latest crystallography and imaging techniques are available from our specialists upon request.

Professional orientation

Everyone has access to the UEA careers service through the Career Central walk-in sessions. One-on-one appointments and one-on-one career clinics are held at the John Innes Center.

John Innes Center Community Voices also host career talks with internal and external guest speakers.


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