Britain's largest ever single-shot investment in doctoral student training will be rolled out today (Dec. 5th) by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), with goodies in store for prospective applied biology PhD students. The £250 ($370) million initiative will create 44 centers across the UK that will train more than 2000 PhD students across five yearly cohorts starting in fall 2009. Most of the multidisciplinary centers -- which provide funding for three and a half to four years, instead of the usual three -- are focused on energy production and materials sciences, but a handful of the new centers have a life sciences component, too. Why is the EPSRC funding biology student training? "I think it has to do with the way we're trying to do systems biology here," linkurl:Charlotte Deane,; director of the University of Oxford's systems biology center, which will accept students with both biochemical and...

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