The last two decades have brought fundamental changes in the nature of scientific research. Facilitated by technological innovation and the increasing application of computational tools and models, research areas such as crop science, animal health, aging, novel biotherapeutics and bioenergy are being tackled by multi- and interdisciplinary teams of researchers, addressing grand challenges that require the integration of data across multiple scales. This requires a new generation of bioscientists who can not only understand the underlying science, but also have the technical, quantitative and computational skills and understanding needed to lead and work within these teams.
All the members of our partnership have excellent track records in the development and use of interdisciplinary approaches to address important research problems. Together, we provide a world-leading graduate programme that aims to train a generation of researchers who are equipped to work in and lead the interdisciplinary teams that will develop quantitative, predictive, multi-scale approaches to address the most important challenges of 21st Century bioscience research. Our training programme is based around four guiding principles:
- Foundation. Research is the pursuit of knowledge and new understanding. However, to succeed research must build on a strong foundation of existing knowledge. Students undertake a structured training programme that supports the development of core skills and knowledge. We provide training in the skills needed to acquire, understand and make use of specialist information and to exploit and interrogate diverse data sources.
- Exploration. Innovation arises at the intersection of information, technologies and disciplines, and is driven by the desire to solve problems and overcome challenges. Students are empowered to explore new research areas, develop new skills and use new technologies, and to acquire the skills needed to work in multi-disciplinary teams.
- Excellence. Students are fully supported to carry out excellent research into important bioscience research questions using state-of-the-art technology. They develop a clear understanding of best practice in experimental design, data analysis and data curation, and the ability to critically evaluate their findings in the context of existing knowledge.
- Engagement. An understanding of the social, ethical and economic context of scientific research and the ability to engage with different communities and sectors are essential skills for modern researchers. Students have the opportunity to develop and practise the skills needed to communicate effectively with diverse audiences using a range of media. They also benefit from the opportunity to undertake a 12-week professional internship to gain hands-on work experience and deepen their understanding of the role of science in society.