Our mission and funding



Our six departments work together collaboratively on four cross-departmental strategic programmes. Everyone contributes to our success.

We value the diversity of our staff, and are committed to the creation of a positive environment which is fair, welcoming and inclusive and where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

We believe that equality of opportunity is key in achieving our mission and are committed to the positive promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion of all members of our Institute.

We offer an exciting, stimulating, diverse research environment and actively promote a family-friendly workplace.

Our mission is:

  • To generate knowledge of plants and microbes through innovative research
  • To apply our knowledge of nature’s diversity to benefit agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being
  • To train scientists for the future
  • To engage with policy makers and the public 

“It is only through combining scientific excellence with strategic relevance that we can address the major societal and environmental challenges that lie ahead"

Prof Dale Sanders – Director


The majority of our funding is won in open competition from funding agencies worldwide, with more than 50% coming from UK government sources.

BBSRC provide a large proportion of our funding, in the form of responsive mode and strategic funding for four Institute Strategic Programs (ISPs) that directly address BBSRC strategic objectives in food security, human health and industrial biotechnology:

We also hold grants from European Research Council and charitable sources.

As a registered charity we gratefully receive donations to support scientific research and education.

The John Innes Foundation

The John Innes Foundation is an independent charity formed in 1910 following a bequest from John Innes, a landowner in the City of London.

John Innes Foundation trustees play an active part in the management of the John Innes Centre and have the right to appoint members of its Governing Council.

The trustees also provide direct support for the John Innes Centre’s research and training, principally through sponsorship of several graduate studentships each year, and by their support for educational programmes and the infrastructure of the site.

The trustees also support the study of the history of genetics and plant science; and the Foundation owns a very significant collection of archive material, the History of Genetics Libraryand the ‘Special Collection’ of rare botanical books.

Several of the images across this website are provided by the John Innes Foundation, via these historical collections.