Sarah obtained her first degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Edinburgh in 2000. She then went to UCL for her PhD, studying on the MRC LMCB four-year PhD programme and carrying out her thesis work in the laboratory of Paul Martin. Sarah moved to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006 for her first postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Bill Bement. In 2008, Sarah was awarded a Beit Memorial Fellowship to undertake a postdoctoral project in the laboratory of Nancy Papalopulu at the University of Manchester. To develop her own independent research project, Sarah was awarded a Stepping Stones Fellowship by the University of Manchester in March 2012. In July 2012, Sarah was awarded a Wellcome Trust/Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellowship to establish her own lab in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Matrix Research at the University of Manchester.