Secondments, satellites and sabbaticals

One of the great strengths of the Crick is that it will bring together researchers from the institute and its partner universities to develop innovative research ideas and to undertake new, collaborative projects based on their complementary expertise.

Last year we launched a pilot exercise to identify early opportunities for researchers at the Crick and its university partners to undertake such projects. We invited Group Leaders at UCL, Imperial and King's to apply for their groups to be seconded to the Crick, or to send members of their lab to form a satellite group at the Crick, or to spend up to a year with the Crick on sabbatical.

The idea of a Secondment is that a Group Leader and his or her research group will transfer to the Crick for an agreed period (usually between 3 and 6 years). Often the Group Leaders in question will be early in their careers. Satellites will consist of smaller numbers of university researchers (usually one to three) who will be embedded in a Crick research group for an agreed period (typically between 3 months and 3 years) to undertake specific collaborative projects. Satellites will usually include postdocs, PhD students and/or technical staff working at the Crick, while the Group Leader remains at his or her home institution. Finally, Sabbaticals will enable a Group Leader to spend up to a year working in a Crick research group, perhaps learning new techniques or undertaking a hands-on collaboration.

University staff working at the Crick will remain full employees of their university, and will return to the university when they finish their work at the Crick.

We have now identified twenty Group Leaders (ten male and ten female, including one joint application) who will bring complementary expertise to the Crick in physical, computational, biomedical and clinical sciences.  The university staff associated with these attachments will move into the Crick during the first half of 2016 and we will actively encourage them to participate in Crick activities between now and then. Jim Smith, Director of Research at the Crick, said 'The quality of the applications was excellent and we look forward to the selected Group Leaders and their lab members joining the Crick next year. The university Group Leaders will bring skills and expertise to the Crick that will complement our researchers and their contribution will help ensure that laboratory discoveries are turned into treatments as quickly as possible.'

This first round was a pilot, intended to test the selection process and identify where we may need to refine our approach for subsequent rounds. We will start a second round of applications later this year, so that successful applicants will join the Crick in late 2016 or early 2017.

Listed below are the names of the university researchers joining us, their research area and the type of attachment.  Clicking on the names will take you to their university research page. 


Wendy Barclay* &  Peter Openshaw, Flu

Morgan Beeby*, Electron microscopy

Paul French*, Imaging

Christina Lo Celso*, Stem cells

Gunnar Pruessner***, Mathematics

Molly Stevens*, Biomedical materials

Ed  Tate*, Chemistry 


Patricia Barral**, Immunology

Jeremy Carlton**, Cancer Studies

Francesca Ciccarelli**, Cancer Studies

Shukry Habib*, Stem cells

Snezhana Oliferenko**, Cell and Molecular Biophysics 


Buzz Baum*, Microfabrication

David Jones*, Computer Science

Isabel Llorente-Garcia***, Physics of B cells

Ewa Paluch*, Biophysics

Lucia Sivilotti***, Ion channels

Gyorgy  Szabadkai*, Cancer metabolomics

Jernej Ule**, RNA biology 


Key: Satellite*, Secondment**, Sabbatical***

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