A very warm welcome to the Newcastle, Liverpool, Durham Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (NLD BBSRC DTP). The 2018 intake to the Partnership is the fourth cohort of 'DTP2', the second round of funding from BBSRC, and the seventh cohort overall of BBSRC DTP1 and DTP2 students. The staff involved are all very excited that DTP2 continues to enable new opportunities in cross-institutional training and we are delighted that you are part of this initiative.
The NLD DTP2 partnership involves an investment of more than £8m from BBSRC, the three universities and other sponsors, supporting the training of 5 cohorts of approximately 22 students per annum from 2015 to 2019. In 2018, a total of 30 students will be starting their PhD (Newcastle 12, Liverpool 10 and Durham 8). Of the 30 students starting in 2018, 11 are CASE students (studentships with an industrial partner) and 19 are non-CASE. You will join a total of 138 DTP1 and DTP2 students who were recruited between 2012 and 2017, along with a number of other students at each partner institution studying under alternative BBSRC funding schemes.
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with some basic information. More details will be available through your institutional DTP contacts (listed at the end of this letter), at the various events you will be attending, and on our website: http://nld-dtp.org.uk
NLD BBSRC DTP Training and Events
The NLD DTP training events that all students can be found here. PLEASE MAKE A NOTE OF THESE DATES IN YOUR DIARY.
A BBSRC DTP Induction event has been scheduled for Friday 19 October in Liverpool (further details to follow). Briefly, students arrive in Liverpool for lunch on the 19 October. After lunch there will be four talks, from the DTP Leads from Newcastle, Liverpool and Durham and from the course lead from SysMIC, the online course in systems biology (see below). A small group of existing DTP students will be invited to talk about their research or internships. As a new student, you will be invited to introduce yourself and to talk for 1 minute about your PhD project. The day will end with dinner and networking. All students will be provided with overnight accommodation (including those based in Liverpool), together with travel expenses for those travelling from Newcastle or Durham.
On Friday 9 November in Newcastle you will attend the North East Postgraduate Conference, an annual event organised by students for students. Further details will follow however it is essential that you register (for free) for the Conference: http://ne-pg.co.uk/ . All students will be provided with overnight accommodation (including those based in Newcastle), together with travel expenses for those travelling from Liverpool or Durham.
A key priority set out in BBSRC’s Strategic Plan is to expand training provision in mathematical, computational and systems biology for bioscience researchers. To fulfil this requirement all BBSRC DTP students have been enrolled on a SysMIC course (Systems training in Maths, Informatics and Computational Biology) delivered by University College London (http://sysmic.ac.uk/home.html). There will be a talk about SysMIC by the course lead and a joint talk from two NLD DTP students who have completed the course, at Induction in Liverpool on 19 October. Your local SysMIC support officer will contact you to provide detail of local support.
In addition to the above training, students will attend generic and specialised training courses in their host institution in, for example, bioimaging, bioinformatics and modelling. Students will be able to bid for financial support from a central DTP fund for additional training that may be remote from the host institution. Details on the mechanism for bidding can be found at http://www.nld-dtp.org.uk/for-current-students/dtp-grants . Further training (for example in business and entrepreneurial skills) will be provided through cohort events which all DTP2 students will attend.
Another innovation of the BBSRC DTP scheme is that all students are required to undertake a training placement during their PhD. CASE students undertake a placement at their CASE partner whilst non-CASE students undertake an external internship (PIPS: Professional Internship for PhD Students). To assist with your thinking around placements, a training event for the cohort will be held on 22 March 2019. Travel and accommodation arrangements will be similar to those for the October and November events.
A two-day research conference involving all cohorts of DTP2 students will take place in Durham on 15-16 July 2019.
A student representative from each institution will be invited to be a member of the DTP2 Management Committee. Representatives will serve on the Committee for a period of two years, overlapping with student representatives from neighbouring cohorts.
I hope this provides some information to allow you to begin to understand the opportunities being made available to all students who are part of the NLD BBSRC DTP. We will be looking for your input in shaping how it develops.
I have provided information below on the key DTP contacts at each University.
Professor Keith Lindsey
NLD BBSRC DTP Lead
Head of Department
Department of Biosciences