The John Innes Centre is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics and microbiology.

Plant research

The research we do makes use of a wide range of disciplines in biological and chemical sciences, including microbiology, cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics, molecular biology, computational and mathematical biology.

We receive funding from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for four Institute Strategic Programs (ISPs) that directly address BBSRC strategic objectives in food security, human health and industrial biotechnology:

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, John Innes Centre.


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.

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.

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