Year 2: Advanced Training

EASTBIO will not prescribe which specific training courses you should take, but we expect you to undertake at least 20 hours of core bioscience training in Year 2, plus other optional opportunities; this is to be recorded on your online Professional Development Record and submitted no later than the end of September 2023.

We also expect second-year students to attend at least one of the four thematic group meetings in their research area and interact with the first-year student and supervisor cohort. During the second year, we expect Collaborative students to engage with EASTBIO training in Enterprise Skills or recommended providers of optional industry career-related training (these are to be recorded on your Professional Development Record).

To progress to Year 3, please ensure that you complete a minimum of 200 training points by the end of Year 2.

Year 2 training comprises the following elements:

A. Mandatory training:
Research skills training (mandatory attendance of at least 1 of the 4 thematic group meetings; no points) - see here for details and updates. You will receive notifications regarding meetings of the thematic group you have been allocated to enable you to select the session most relevant to your research.

Transferable skills: Science Communication with Impact - mandatory, 10 training points (Aberdeen, 6 March 2023, 10:30-17:00 approximate times)

Presenting your research project at the Annual Symposium (Edinburgh, 12-13 June 2023).

B. Optional:

Foundation Masterclassesoptions from sets 2 & 3 are open to first- and second-year students, although there may be limited spaces for second-year students depending on the capacity of the course and the training leads (10 points/per course for the 2020 & the 2021 cohorts).
Advanced Bioscience skills: these options are open to first-, second- and third-year students but confer training points only to second-year students (10 points/course).
Enterprise Skills Development (only for students who have a Collaborative Project Studentships)

2022/23 Calendar of all EASTBIO Training activities (TBC)

Read our Training Cancellation Policy

Transferable skills - mandatory for second-year students

Science Communication with Impact - 6 March 2023

Training summary 
"Telling Tales: The Importance of Narrative in Science”

Date: 6 March 2023, 10:30–17:00 (approximate times)

Training lead: Professor Jonathan Pettitt (University of Aberdeen)

Venue: Aberdeen (TBC) - this training will be in person only


This training focuses on developing the skills you need to communicate your research effectively to scientific and non-scientific audiences. Together with other training options, it provides the opportunity to practise your transferable skills that you will continue building as part of actively participating and helping to organise the EASTBIO Annual Symposia and the Industry Skills School.

What our students said about Science Communication training (with a storytelling emphasis) in previous years...


What worked well?

I enjoyed the introduction to the concept of storytelling in science communication, and I liked that we got an opportunity to use those techniques talking about our own research and later in the afternoon with completely unrelated premises.”

Exploration, with audience's help, of what makes a good story. I felt this provided good engagement for the audience to think deeply about their own ideas of storytelling - not surprisingly all of us know what makes good stories we just need to think a little about it.”

The checklist for communication, getting an idea of an alternative structure for talks.”

What could be further improved?

More guidance on the application of storytelling to presentations. This could involve, much like in a movie, how far into your presentation you should place your problem to keep the audience engaged, how typically complication-amplification can be translated into scientific talks and, again, studying good and bad examples of talks to see storytelling in presentations in action.

2017-18 (focus of training on story-telling)

"I enjoyed the concept of "The Premise". That is my take-home message and I feel will make my presentation better."

"The take-home message from the workshop was quite good and will help me make better presentations and explain my work."

"Very interesting to see how to craft a story generally and then how this relates to telling a scientific story. Something I was already aware of, but really enjoyed it regardless. Probably my favourite and most applicable Eastbio training event."

"The energy the course was delivered with was very inspiring."

"I think the workshop gave one -good - message and the group activity was meant to re-enforce it. I think it could have been more productive if the activity had been shorter with the remaining time invested in giving more tips for science communication."


          The EASTBIO partners offer environments fostering a research culture which support students to consider opportunities for public engagement, science communication and raising the media profile of your research by providing various training and opportunities to promote your work. Students can also explore becoming a STEM Ambassador. BBSRC expects all PhD students to carry out two days of Public Engagement per year. All students will be required to submit information about their activities through UKRI's nominated online system (currently Research Fish).

          Middle-stage PhD workshops available via your local Institution. Indicative list: Presenting Made Easy, Effective Writing, Proof Reading, Personal Effectiveness, Writing and Publishing, Digital and Library Skills, Managing your Digital Footprint.

Contact EASTBIO for any questions you may have about the above training.