Portsmouth PhD graduates to benefit from multi-million pound UK investment in bioscience

Two female students working in a laboratory.

The funding has been awarded to the Doctoral Training Partnership South Coast Biosciences.

  • 29 October 2019
  • 3 min read

The University of Portsmouth is to help train the next generation of PhD graduates in the Biosciences for the benefit of the region, the wider UK and for global society.

The University is part of a South-Coast consortium, which has successfully bid for an annual allocation of 19 studentships from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC, a part of UK Research and Innovation).

Funding for the studentships, awarded to the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), South Coast Biosciences (SoCoBio), which comprises of the universities of Portsmouth, Southampton, Kent and Sussex, and the horticultural and agricultural research institute NIAB-EMR, is part of a £170m boost to fund 1,700 PhD researchers over five annual cohorts at academic institutions nationwide. The consortium is one of just 12 successful bids across the UK.

Dr Andy Pickford, Training Manager for the SoCoBio DTP and Academic Lead for the University of Portsmouth, said: “We are passionate about delivering world-class doctoral training to our students. We will provide them with annual, cohort-wide courses in Data Carpentry, Business and Entrepreneurship, Industrial Biotechnology and Science Communication. Together with advanced technical training, these events will equip our students with the necessary skills to flourish in their future bioscience careers.

We are passionate about delivering world-class doctoral training to our students. We will equip them with the necessary skills to flourish in their future bioscience careers.

Dr Andy Pickford, Training Manager for the SoCoBio DTP and Academic Lead for the University of Portsmouth

The 19 four-year studentships, shared across the SoCoBio DTP institutions, consist of 14 standard studentships and five CASE (jointly supported by industry) studentships to be allocated initially over three years – then a further two years after review. Each studentship will pay fees, stipend and training costs for successful PhD candidates, who will undertake world-leading research work within the Biosciences.

Announcing the DTP awards nationally, Professor Melanie Welham, 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.”

Each of the 12 successful DTPs have also received some additional Flexible Support Funding, to provide additional opportunities for students within and across cohorts. This funding will also be used to encourage under-represented groups of undergraduates to experience research through summer placements, as well as provide additional funds to support high-cost research projects.

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