Our approach to science


We’re conducting research at the forefront of biomedical research. We combine this rigour with an open and interactive culture, bringing together people with varied research interests and expertise, including clinicians, physical scientists and applied scientists from our pharmaceutical partners.

We have a wide research portfolio, with no divisions or departments, and our research groups have the freedom to establish research programmes within broad areas. This approach allows us to respond rapidly to new opportunities.

We are collaborative and outward-looking, reflecting our status as a partnership of six organisations aiming to pool knowledge, ideas and resources.

Our approach to science is summarised by the four principles set out in our strategy, Discovery Without Boundaries.


We conduct research of the highest quality

We’re conducting high-quality research at the forefront of biomedical research. The Crick operates under a single roof, with research as our core purpose.

Our research portfolio is regularly renewed through new appointments, with an emphasis on work at the leading edge of biomedical research.

Our core funding enables us to provide stable, long-term support for ambitious science and promotes agile ways of working. We share resources across laboratories, with an open laboratory environment and access to an extensive range of science technology platforms.

Our centralised approach is cost-effective and allows researchers to be bolder in their ambitions, while ensuring research groups remain small, manageable and productive.

We maintain a broad scientific portfolio, embracing interdisciplinarity and translation

Our open and interactive culture brings together people with a wide range of research interests and expertise, including clinicians and physical scientists from our three partner universities, and applied scientists from our partners in the pharmaceutical industry.

We have no divisions or departments and our research groups have the freedom to devise and set specific research programmes within broad areas, which reflect the thematic interests of our major funders.

We take a wide and inclusive view of biomedicine, integrating insights from the biological, medical, physical and information sciences, and pursuing translation opportunities whenever they arise.

Our size, scientific breadth and research-active leadership enables the institute to respond rapidly to new research opportunities and priorities.

We act as an incubator of early career talent

We aim for most group leaders at the Crick to be early career researchers at highly creative stages in their career. We recruit mostly through open searches, allowing us access to a large pool of candidates, with the ambition to create new fields driven by original and inventive scientists, rather than follow trends.

We employ our early career group leaders for a 12-year (‘six plus six’) career term, designed to enable them to rapidly build an innovative independent research programme. During their time at the Crick they benefit from focused support, advice and mentoring, with access to core-funded lab posts and excellent technical research facilities.

When their term finishes they will be well prepared to take on leadership roles at other institutions. In this way, the Crick acts as a conduit for exceptional researchers from around the world, invigorating the biomedical research endeavour across the UK. Over time our researchers will form an influential network of UK and international alumni.

We are permeable and outward-looking

The Crick has a collaborative ethos, reflecting our origins as a partnership of six organisations seeking to pool knowledge, ideas and resources. We engage with a range of other research institutions across the world. Our scientific seminars, interest groups and conferences bring together researchers from across the Crick partnership, and in many cases from further afield.

We pursue a dynamic public engagement programme focused on our unique selling points: the presence of active research scientists, the institute’s close connections to local communities, and the provision of science teaching support for local schools, including an in-house teaching laboratory for primary school children.

We engage with national and international policymakers on scientific issues and use digital and media communications to interact with national and international public audiences.