Within the School of Life Sciences we are fortunate to have access to a number of high-end technological platforms. These include:
- Advanced Imaging
- Mass Spectrometry
- Structural Biology
- Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting
- X-ray Crystallography
- Use of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
In order to fully exploit these platforms, students on this programme have the opportunity to receive training in the use of these facilities. Many of these platforms generate complex datasets that are in themselves a challenge to analyse and interpret. Often the analysis tools to be used, challenge the range of skills typically acquired by life science researchers. For this reason, students on this programme will receive training in statistics and, data and computational skills (see below for more information).
Research integrity and good research practice
All students must complete our ‘Responsible and Ethical Practice in Research and Publication’ course to qualify for their MSc to PhD transition. Students will also participate in annual research integrity workshops, led by our Associate Dean for Professional Culture, which will examine case-studies in-depth to ensure continued awareness in this area.
Statistics and Data & Computational Skills
A key aim of this programme is to have graduates who are data literate and skilled in the quantitative aspects of biological research. The first-year of this programme will feature two mandatory and complementary statistics courses – ‘Introduction to Statistics for Biosciences’ and ‘Error Analysis and p-values’. Interested students may progress to Intermediate Statistics for Biosciences. Our Data Analysis Group also run a series of half-day Bioinformatics modules which students are encouraged to participate in.
Bespoke coaching and mentorship
Students will participate in a bespoke coaching programme led by an experienced external consultant. This programme will enhance students’ resilience and foster skills to enable individuals the capacity to ‘manage-up’. Students will also form action learning sets. Students will receive mentorship from the expertise of diverse groups – this will include peer-to-peer mentorship by 4th year students, as well as each student being assigned a designated academic mentor.
Our students come together annually at the student–led Wellcome Summer School and give oral or poster presentations. There will be a wellbeing focused session, plus informal presentations from former students or staff on career pathways. Students can also join the ‘PhDs in College of Life Sciences’ (PiCLS) association who organise monthly socials, an Annual ceilidh, themed invited seminars and the PiCLS symposium showcasing the excellent science of our PhD students and promoting their interactions with world-renowned scientists.
Our Organisational and Professional Development (OPD) department offer a range of transferable skills training for postgraduate students.
Some popular choice amongst students include:
- grant writing
- ‘Endnote’ training
- ‘Advanced Word’ for thesis writing
- supervisor/student relationships
- time management
- intellectual property and patents
- presentation skills