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Our Vision and Mission

Decoding Living Systems - we are the Earlham Institute

Our Vision

We are building a future where the biology of any organism can be understood by analysing its genome.

Our Mission

The Earlham Institute’s mission is to decode the scale and complexity of living systems so we can understand, benefit from, and protect life on Earth.

Bringing together multi-disciplinary expertise in the life sciences with engineering, computational science, and biotechnology, we are:

  • Answering fundamental and important biological questions
  • Pioneering the development of new technology and enabling resources
  • Using our unique skills, knowledge, and infrastructure to address global challenges
  • Training the next generation of scientists and upskilling the community
  • Collaborating with academia and industry to realise the impact of our science
  • Engaging with policy makers, the public, and stakeholders about our science
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From our Director.

Everyone working for and with the Earlham Institute is helping us to create a world where you can understand - and even predict - the biology of any organism simply by reading its genome.

A genome is the complete set of genetic material found in any living thing, whether that’s a virus, oak tree, or an elephant. Sequencing the genome produces a vast dataset containing the specific order of every molecule of DNA, which is the instruction manual for building and maintaining that organism.

The first genomes took decades to sequence at an astronomical cost. Storing all of the genetic data relied on access to some of the most advanced computers of the day. But a series of technological advances have dramatically cut the cost and time it takes to sequence a genome.

Our ability to store, label, and share big data with researchers around the world improves every year. This has ushered in a new era of research where we can use this information to answer completely new research questions across the biological sciences.

The Earlham Institute was established as a national facility to promote the use of genomics to advance bioscience research and innovation in the UK, supporting academic and industrial investigators. Through our research, collaborations, training, and scientific services, we are leading a revolution in data-intensive bioscience.


Prof Neil Hall, Director of the Earlham Institute

About the Earlham Institute

The Earlham Institute is a hub of life science research, training, and innovation focused on understanding the natural world through the lens of genomics.

Embracing the full breadth of life on Earth, our scientists specialise in developing and testing the latest tools and approaches needed to decode living systems and make predictions about biology.

The Earlham Institute is based within the Norwich Research Park and is one of eight institutes that receive strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UKRI, as well as support from other research funders.

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Discover more

To achieve our mission, we have set out strategic research themes to accelerate life science research, deliver global societal impact, and put the Earlham Institute at the forefront of advancing knowledge in the era of data-intensive biological research.

Our success relies on each individual experiencing an environment where they feel able to meaningfully contribute and connect to their work, colleagues, and the wider mission of the Institute.

Our projects span the breadth of life sciences, as well as technology development, data infrastructure and knowledge exchange. We have a focus on genomics and bioinformatics, applied to plants, animals and microbes.

We work with organisations and partners to translate our knowledge and expertise, provide access to our technology platforms, and realise the impact of public investment in the Earlham Institute.

Earlham Institute is led by a Board of Trustee Directors with backgrounds in science, finance, legal and commercial areas relevant to the Institute's work. The Board is supported by the Director, Executive and Senior Management Teams