Year 1: Foundation training

Year 1 comprises the following training elements:


Click on each heading above to see more details about each training component.
2017-2018 calendar of all EASTBIO training activities.

All Year 1 students finalise their training plans by filling in the online EASTBIO Training Plan & Record form by the 16 October 2017. Further details and clarifications are provided at the Induction Day (5 October 2017).

The online Training Plan should be updated throughout the first year of studies and a Record of it submitted in the summer of Year 1. Information and reminders will be circulated by EASTBIO.

Core Bioscience Skills Training
Conducting cutting-edge bioscience research in the 21st century requires you to develop a broad
understanding of multidisciplinary approaches that are used for addressing complex biological
problems, as well as strong quantitative skills to analyse the vast datasets that are the output of
contemporary bioscience research. The EASTBIO training will enable you to build the foundation of your multidisciplinary and quantitative skillset in Year 1 and develop it further in subsequent years.

Induction Day (Dundee, West Park Conference Centre, 5 October 2017); more information here.

The EASTBIO Foundation Masterclasses take place in Dundee (venue details TBC ad hoc) and are tailored-made for EASTBIO students. These include:

Statistics and Experimental Design (Friday 6 October 2017, 9:00-13:00; West Park Conference Centre, Dundee) - Please note: first year students attending the Induction Day are expected to attend this masterclass. Students do not need to register separately but please keep a record of your attendance on your training plan.

Dynamic Modelling for Systems Biology (3 November 2017);

Imaging Workshop (11 January 2018);

Introduction to Matlab (12 January 2018);

Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry (23 March 2018);

Genomic approaches (7 May 2018);

Primer for Synthetic Biology (18 May 2018).


SysMIC course

SysMIC is an outstanding online course, which provides extensive training in mathematics, statistics and computational methods used in life sciences. The course is put together and delivered by scientists from University College London, The Open University and the University of Edinburgh.

In 2017-2018, EASTBIO offered a total of 6 funded spaces worth £800 each to first-year students on a competitive basis. Applicants are usually notified of the outcome of their application by the end of October 2017.

For more information, please click here.


Presentation Skills Workshop for EASTBIO students (Transferable skills training)

The workshop was partly affected by the UCU Industrial Action; students were notified of the changes by EASTBIO directly.

This workshop is open to first-year students and carries 10 training points. The interactive workshop, which is run by Dr Jo Young, provides guidance, feedback and sustained support for scientific presentations to interdisciplinary audiences. The first stage of the training includes individual feedback to students on their short video presentations (deadline for video uploads end of January 2018), followed by a face-to-face training workshop in St Andrews.

For guidance on video presentations, see here.

The workshop took place on 8 March 2018, approximate times 9:30-14:00 (St Andrews, School of Biology, Dyers Brae House). For a summary of this training, please see here.

Research Skills Training

Subject-specific theoretical training
EASTBIO student projects starting in 2016 are designed around four key research themes:

  • Agriculture and Food Security (AFS)
  • Bioscience for Health (BfH)
  • Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy IBB)
  • World Class Underpinning Bioscience (WCUB)

Details of which research theme you belong to and how the thematic discussion groups will operate is given at Induction on 5 October 2017. During this training, you will take part in 4 face-to-face meetings taking place every two months at different locations across the partnership starting from December 2017). These meetings will be based on group discussions, presentations, visits to facilities, and literature review, aiming to introduce challenges, questions and tools that are key in your theme-specific research area and to develop your critical reading skills. The thematic groups will also provide you with an excellent opportunity to get to know other EASTBIO students and supervisors working in complementary research areas, to share expertise and establish collaborations. Students and supervisors are asked individually or as a group to host at least one meeting at their university/department. Attendance of these meetings are mandatory for all first year students and there is significant contribution by second-year students too who are asked to attend at least one out of the four meetings.

Details about the schedule, hosts and content of each thematic meeting will be published on our website following the Induction Day. EASTBIO will notify students via email about upcoming meetings and issue reminders.

Past thematic group training:
2016-17 training here;
2015-2016 training here;
2014-2015 training here.

Advanced technology training

Most courses offered by the partner universities are available to EASTBIO students across the partnership. These include, but are not limited to:

Microscopy: Locations - UoE, UoD and UoA.
Proteomics and protein purification: Locations – UoE.
Protein crystallography: Location - UoStA.
Mass spectrometry: Location - UoE.
Flow cytometry: Location - UoA, UoD, UoE.

Professional Skills Training - Professional Internships for PhD Students (PIPS)

The EASTBIO PIPS Q&A Event will be held in Dundee (Discovery Centre for Translational and Interdisciplinary Research [CTIR], room 2.84, University of Dundee), on Friday 9th February 2018, 10:00-16:00. The event schedule can be found here.

Please note that lunch and coffees/teas will be served in the Wellcome Trust Building Atrium; attendees will need to go through the CTIR building to get into the Atrium.
Attendance is mandatory for first-year students (and carries 10 training points for first-year students), including CASE students (PIPS students can arrive after the CASE session, at 11:15 (consult the schedule, above). Contact the PIPS administrator if you are unable to attend and make sure to check your training plan for your total training credit points.

Annual Symposium (Edinburgh, 11-12 June 2018)

The EASTBIO Symposium 2018, attended by all four EASTBIO student cohorts, will be held in Edinburgh, 50 George Square (and Pollock Halls) on 11-12 June. Further details can be found here.

The event is student-led and organised by second- and first-year student reps with support from the host university and the EASTBIO admin team. We ask all our students to input their opinions by contacting their local student reps.