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Major funding announced for GW4 bioscience students

6 October 2014

researcher investigates vegitation

The GW4 Alliance's South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) is set to benefit from a major investment by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Vince Cable announced an investment of £125 million 'for the next generation of scientists to drive the economy of the future'. This will fund the training of 1,250 bioscience students at 12 doctoral training centres in the UK, including the GW4 Alliance's partnership.

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University and Chair of the GW4 Council said, "This is excellent news for the GW4 and is another key milestone for the Alliance. It demonstrates how well all four universities are working together to bring increased funding to the region, as well as enhancing research capacity.

By providing 114 PhD studentships over five years we are developing the next generation of biotechnologists and bioscientists, whose work will contribute to GW4 Alliance's commitment to tackling global grand challenges, such as food security."

The SWDTP comprising the GW4 universities Cardiff, Bath, Bristol,Exeter and the world renown agricultural institute Rothamstead Research, will receive £8 million from the BBSRC for specialised training. The new programme, to be called 'South West Bioscience' (SWBio), will focus training in two high-priority areas: 'Agriculture and Food Security' and 'World-Class Underpinning Biosciences'.

Professor Leo Brady, Director of SWBio, said: "Funding of this new doctoral training programme reflects the internationally renowned strength of biosciences research within the GW4 Alliance Our students will benefit immensely from the expertise and superb facilities available across GW4."

 Dr Andy Bailey, SWBio's Academic Co-ordinator, added: "Traditional doctoral research training will be enhanced through joint training courses and regular cohort activities across the entire consortium. The inclusion of Cardiff in this new consortium opens up new research opportunities for our students, and allows the implementation of a common course structure made possible by the GW4 Alliance."

Students will enrol on a structured training programme that includes common taught course units and lab rotations in Year One, a research project in Years Two to Four, and extended skills training throughout all four years, There is also a compulsory three-month professional placement (internship) outside of their area of academic expertise in Years Two or Three.

Further details can be found at