Backing the scientists of the future: Nottingham receives £15 million investment in bioscience

The next generation of Nottingham bioscientists have received a £15million boost from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The next generation of Nottingham bioscientists have received a £15million boost from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The award was part of a UK-wide £170million investment announced today (24 October).

The investment will secure 47 four-year PhD studentships over five cohorts in the biological sciences under the third phase of BBSRC’s Doctoral training Partnerships (DTP).

The programme, which starts in October 2020, will run across nine Schools in three Faculties (Science, Engineering and Medicine) at the University of Nottingham and two Schools at Nottingham Trent University.

UKRI-BBSRC DTPs provide PhD training in areas of bioscience relevant to the remit and strategic research priority areas of BBSRC. They also provide a breadth of professional development training opportunities to enhance the capabilities of doctoral candidates and develop a world-class, highly skilled workforce the UK needs for its future.

During the DTP each student will also undertake a three-month Professional Internship for PhD Students (PIPS) placement to develop their skills further and to explore possible future career directions.

Professor Zoe Wilson, Director of the BBSRC Nottingham-Rothamsted DTP, said: “We are delighted by the UKRI-BBSRC funding of our Nottingham DTP3, which will enable us to continue to deliver high-quality, student-centric training and research excellence, to generate the highly-skilled, innovative leaders of the future that will benefit the UK Bioeconomy.”

Professor Dame Jessica Corner, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research & Knowledge Exchange at the University of Nottingham added: "This funding builds on eight years of successful DTP at the University of Nottingham and I am thrilled that we can continue with this successful programme. We are extremely proud of the breadth of high quality research delivered by the University and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences research portfolio is no exception to this.

"PhD students are integral to the delivery of research and innovation at Nottingham and this kind of funding is essential for the continuation of their high-quality training."

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Professor Nigel Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Research and Innovation at Nottingham Trent University

Professor Nigel Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor - Research and Innovation at Nottingham Trent University said: “We are thrilled to have received confirmation of funding for the third phase of the DTP programme, and are excited to be able to able to continue the research and training in partnership with the University of Nottingham. NTU brings a wealth of unique skills and insights to the programme and we look forward to the opportunities this collaboration will bring.”

The UKRI-BBSRC DTP scheme is just one element of UKRI’s commitment to support future talent in research and innovation. UKRI as a whole supports around 15,000 doctoral students in UK universities, research institutes and businesses. As part of the National Productivity Investment Fund, a further 1300 students were supported in industrially-relevant research topics, and in projects utilising artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data.

Announcing the award, Professor Melanie Welham, UKRI-BBSRC’s Executive Chair said: “The success of the UK’s science sector and the consequent benefits to society and the economy relies on great researchers doing great work. Our Doctoral Training Partnerships have already supported the training of hundreds of early career scientists working at the cutting edge of biology and biotechnology. By continuing to fund, through this significant £170 million investment, vital training of the next generation of researchers we will help ensure that the UK consolidates its position as world-leader in this crucial sector.”

The Nottingham DTP3 programme brings together a partnership of the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, National Biofilm Innovation Centre, Rothamsted Research, Research Complex at Harwell, Diamond Light Source, ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, NIAB-EMR, Centre for Process Innovation Limited and SME BioIndustry Partners, to deliver interdisciplinary training opportunities across the remit of biosciences and biotechnology research.

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students. NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience. The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook. The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility.

    NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 87% satisfaction score in the 2019 National Student Survey.

    NTU is also one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    It is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

Backing the scientists of the future: Nottingham receives £15 million investment in bioscience

Published on 31 October 2019
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