Early career scientists working at the University of Aberdeen are set to benefit from £170m of funding following an announcement by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
The East of Scotland BioScience (EASTBIO) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), which includes the University of Aberdeen, is one of 12 UK partnerships to be awarded funds by BBSRC to support the next generation of UK bioscientists.
DTPs provide vital training to early career scientists working at the cutting edge of biology and biotechnology. They also provide professional development training opportunities to enhance the skills of PhD students and develop the world-class, highly skilled workforce the UK needs for its future.
The EASTBIO partnership, one of the three largest UKRI-BBSRC DTPs, provides training for PhD students at the universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and St Andrews. Initially funded in 2012, it is now expanding to include the University of Stirling, Scotland’s Rural College, the James Hutton Institute, the Moredun Research Institute, the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA) and the Cool Farm Alliance.
The University of Aberdeen’s Professor Bernadette Connolly, Deputy Lead of the EASTBIO-BBSRC DTP, said: “We will use this new partnership as a way to drive improvements in how we support our students’ wellbeing and enable students to join our programme from a diverse range of backgrounds.”
EASTBIO will fund and train PhD students across the spectrum of BBSRC research, tackling major challenges facing the planet – food security, the need for renewable resources and clean growth and improving health.
Each of the successful DTPs will also receive Flexible Support Funding, to provide additional opportunities for students within and across cohorts. The funding will be used to encourage under-represented groups of undergraduates to experience research through summer placements, an important step on the pathway to a research career.
Professor Clare Blackburn, Director of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with BBSRC. With this new funding we will develop our state-of-the-art training programme even further, equipping our bioscience PhD students to compete with the best in the world in their future careers.”