Quid pro PhD

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 ha

Elie Dolgin
Dec 4, 2008
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,;http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~deane/ director of the University of Oxford's systems biology center, which will accept students with both biochemical and...
s 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,;http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~deane/ director of the University of Oxford's systems biology center, which will accept students with both biochemical and mathematical backgrounds, told __The Scientist__. "Our students in general tackle problems using mathematical engineering techniques." 17 of the new centers will be linked with industrial partners, including the University of Newcastle's biopharmaceutical process development center, which will host 12 industry-based PhD students each year. "It's about bringing the multidisciplinary requirements that industry needs to the students, and then sending them out to tackle whatever problems are most relevant," linkurl:Gary Montague,;http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ceam/staff/profile/gary.montague co-director of the new center, told __The Scientist__. Unlike many British PhD programs, which can be largely unstructured, "there's more coherence in the [new doctoral training] program," said linkurl:Nora De Leeuw,;http://www.chem.ucl.ac.uk/people/leeuw/index.html director of University College London's new biomaterials center. "That way they get a more technical program? which has been lacking in the UK as part of doctorate training."
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:British science saved;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15387/
[11th April 2005]*linkurl:British research funding;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13027/
[29th April 2002]*linkurl:UK schools compete for new centers;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/7845/
[7th September 1987]

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