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First STARS awards target vulnerable skills in the life sciences

Copyright: BBSRC

BBSRC has funded five universities across the UK to provide training programmes in strategically important and vulnerable skills for bioscientists in the first round of its Strategic Training Awards for Research Skills (STARS) scheme.

In total BBSRC will fund around £150,000 over three years to provide the postgraduate-level training, in areas of significant need for clearly defined academic and industrial sectors.

These will include bioinformatics and computational biology skills, entomology and plant pathology training and mathematical biology training for around 400 scientists.

These are the first set of awards made by the programme, which was set up following a BBSRC community consultation on vulnerable skills and capabilities in the biosciences.

Dr Clare Bhunnoo, Strategy and Policy Manager at BBSRC, said: “I’m delighted that the STARS programme has made these five awards, the first of the scheme.

“After listening to our research community’s views on what skills were vulnerable in the biological sciences we set up STARS to address these areas of concern.”

Dr David McAllister, Head of Skills and Careers at BBSRC, added: “By funding training in these areas we can help strengthen the UK research community’s abilities in this area and keep the UK as a world leader in bioscience, continuing to deliver economic and social benefits from world-leading research.”

The next funding call for STARS closes on 3 February 2016. For more information, see: Strategic Training Awards for Research Skills (STARS).

The successfully funded institutions are:

  • University of Bath – Dr Christian Yates
    Research Experience Placements in Mathematical Biology (REP-MB)
  • University of Bristol – Professor Marcus Munafo
    Advanced empirical methods for reproducible science
  • The University of Edinburgh – Dr Michael Watson
    Comprehensive training in computational biology techniques for analysing second- and third- generation sequencing data
  • Newcastle University – Dr Simon Cockell
    Newcastle University Bioinformatics Analysis Skills School (NUBASS)
  • The University of Warwick – Dr Rosemary Collier
    Research Placements in Entomology and Plant Pathology



UK Research and Innovation Media Office

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