Year 1: Foundation training

Year 1 comprises the following training elements:


***EASTBIO NPIF cohort 2018/19 (Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning)
In autumn 2018, five new PhD students will begin their PhD on projects aligned primarily with the NPIF thematic area of Artifificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning, plus one of the existing priority areas of AFS, BfH, IBB, WCUB. We will, therefore, run an additional thematic group to cater for the training needs of this cohort, and we will confirm details of an additional (8th) Foundation Masterclass shortly.

In addition, we have made arrangments for a twinning initiative with the University of Edinburgh-based Data Science CDT. According to this, the EASTBIO NPIF students (both Aberdeen- and Edinburgh-based) will become CDT-aligned students and receive notifications of training events and opportunities of relevance to Data Science, as laid out below:

The EPSRC CDT in Data Science maintains a list of aligned PhD students - that is, students who are not on the CDT Data Science programme but who are working in the same areas as the CDT DS students. This enables aligned students to receive notification of relevant CDT-organised events, such as Seminars, Distinguished Lectures, etc., that may be of interest to the broader University Data Science community.

For our Privacy Notice, see our homepage, here.


Click on each heading above to see more details about each training component.
2018-2019 calendar of all EASTBIO training activities.

All Year 1 students are expected to finalise their training plans by filling in the EASTBIO Training Plan & Record form by the 22 October 2018. Further details were provided at the Induction Day (3 October 2018).

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, 3 October 2018); more information here.

The EASTBIO Foundation Masterclasses are tailored-made for EASTBIO students and all take place in Dundee, usually a Monday or a Friday (venue details TBC) - please save the dates in your diary. These include:

Statistics and Experimental Design (4 October 2018, 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. If for any reason, you cannot attend this training, please notify EASTBIO asap.

Introduction to Matlab (23 November 2018);

Imaging Workshop (11 January 2019);

Dynamic Modelling for Systems Biology (14 January 2019);

Genomic approaches (8 March 2019);

Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry (24 May 2019);

Primer for Synthetic Biology (details TBC).

Artifical Intelligence in the Life/Biomedical Sciences (NEW masterclass - details TBC)


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 2018-2019, EASTBIO will offer a total of 6 funded spaces worth £800 each to first-year students on a competitive basis. A call for applications will be circulated after the Induction Day. Applicants are usually notified of the outcome of their application by the end of October 2018.

For more information, please click here.

Presentation Skills Workshop for EASTBIO students (Transferable skills training)

The workshop is scheduled for 3 May 2019, 10:15-12:15 (Room 7.15, Swann Building, King's Buildings, Edinburgh). Coffees/teas served on arrival.

Poster session - Dundee, EASTBIO Annual Symposium 2019

For a summary, please see here.

This workshop is open to first-year students and carries 10 training points. The interactive workshop, which is designed and 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 a short video presentation they should submit to the training leader in advance. Upload your videos to this link, by the 2nd of May.

For guidance on video presentations, see here.

Research Skills Training

Subject-specific theoretical training - All Thematic Schedules 2018-2019
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)
  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML)

Details of which research theme you belong to and how the thematic discussion groups will operate is given at Induction on 3 October 2018. 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; second-year students, who will be attending a minimum of one out of the 4 meetings, will be making a significant contribution to this training.

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:
2017-18 Training here;
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 was held in Dundee (Wellcome Trust seminar rooms, University of Dundee), on Friday 12 February 2019, 10:00-16:00.

Attendance is mandatory for first-year students (and carries 10 training points for first-year students alone), including CASE students. Students will not be able to start their PIPS before attending this event and PIPS still need to be completed before the month 36 deadline.

For enquiries about this event, please email the PIPS administrator.

Annual Symposium (Dundee, 13-14 June 2019)

The EASTBIO Symposium 2019, on Bioscience Research, to be attended by all four EASTBIO student cohorts, was held in Dundee, Dalhousie Building, on 13-14 June. Further details are published 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.