Thematic training


EASTBIO student projects are designed around five key research themes:

  1. Understanding the rules of life
  2. Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food – Crops and soil
  3. Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food – Terrestrial and aquatic animals (this encompasses Livestock, Production Biology, and Health and aquaculture)
  4. Bioscience for renewable resources and clean growth
  5. Bioscience for an integrated understanding of health


Meetings among the members of a thematic group are a mandatory element of the training programme, which primarily aims at cohort-building throughout the first year. These meetings are student-led and should take place at different partner institutions 4 times over the course of the year, ideally in alternate months – December, February, April, June. The final thematic meeting may be planned to take place following the EASTBIO symposium (5th June), to reduce travel for attendees. This may be a joint meeting across groups if there is shared interest in a topic such as industry-collaboration, science communication or big data in life sciences.

Second-year students are expected to attend at least one of these sessions.

2023/24 Thematic Programme

Clean Growth

  • Session 1 - Circular Economy, Friday 15th December, Edinburgh
  • Session 2 - Computational Methods in Biology and Chemistry, Friday 8th March, Edinburgh King's Buildings
  • Session 3 - Industry Day, Thursday 21st March, IBioIC FlexBio facility
  • Session 4 -

Crops and Soil

  • Session 1 - Translational Science, Friday 15th December, JHI, Invergowrie/Dundee.
  • Session 2 - Lab to Field, Wednesday 14th February, JHI, Invergowrie
  • Session 3 - Land Sparing vs Land Sharing, Monday 8th April, SRUC Peter Wilson Building – Collaboratorium
  • Session 4 - 

Integrated Understanding of Health

  • Session 1 - Sex Differences in Medical Research, Friday 8th December, Institute of Medical Sciences, Aberdeen. Please contact to register.
  • Session 2 - Industry and Biotechnology, Monday 12th February, Institute for Regeneration and Repair (Edinburgh BioQuarter Campus), South Building, Seminar Room 1.05.
  • Session 3 - 
  • Session 4 - 

Livestock and Aquaculture

  • Session 1 - Impact and Policy, Wednesday 6th December, 50 George Square, Edinburgh.
  • Session 2 - Climate Change and Sustainability, Wednesday 7th February, Room G27, Cruickshank Building, University of Aberdeen
  • Session 3 - Gene Editing and Ethics, Friday 5th April, Room CC.3.12 University of Stirling
  • Session 4 - 

Understanding the Rules of Life

  • Session 1 - Model Organisms to Model Decisions. Monday 11th December, Swann Building, Edinburgh.
  • Session 2 - Dealing with (cellular) Stress, Tuesday 20th February. Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation, Dundee
  • Session 3 - 
  • Session 4 -