Welcome to the Graduate School

We are here to support current students within the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Graduate School News

PIPS Opportunity: Learning from Good Practice in Impact

BBSRC Innovation and Skills Group is looking for a PIPS intern to conduct an analysis of the recent Excellent with Impact programme with the aim of producing internal and external guidance to inform Good Practice for managing and achieving Impact from investments in Research. This might also lead to a potential high level paper, as well as the opportunity to enhance a range of professional skills. 

Role of the PIPS intern 

Based in BBSRC’s Swindon office, the project will require the design and iteration of an appropriate methodology, literature review and contextualisation, analysis of existing evidence and information (potentially using text mining software), as well as collaborative writing of the proposed guidance documents. The intern will work independently within the team, and will get the chance to interact with people across the BBSRC office as well as external stakeholders who took part in the programme.

The applicant should have an interest in the delivery of impact from bioscience research, the development and application of data analysis methodology, and the writing of policy and/or guidance documentation. The benefits to the PIPS intern will include an increased knowledge of impact activities carried out by researchers and research organisations, the development of an understanding of how impact might be measured, experience of how a major bioscience funding body operates, exploring alternative scientific career options, and development of networking and communication skills. 

Background to the project 

At the conclusion of EwI, BBSRC is keen to build on the data and resources invested in the programme in order to identify good practice in achieving and managing impact. We intend to produce a good practice guide for institutional impact, as well as other internal and external publications. Leveraging the unique experience of the competition, BBSRC hopes to disseminate emergent good practice for the benefit of organisations across the UK and internationally, including ROs, partner organisations, and others. 

Background to Excellence with Impact 

The Excellence with Impact (EwI) competition recognised institutions that developed and successfully delivered a vision for maximising impact, alongside a relevant institution-wide culture change. There were 30 participating Research Organisations (‘Participants’) who engaged with the competition for three years. Throughout the competition Participants submitted various documents, hosted visits from BBSRC staff and Assessors, and participated in assessment interviews.

EwI formed part of the Fostering Innovation suite of competitions. These competitions recognise the commitment by BBSRC-supported researchers to facilitate and deliver economic and/or social impact from their research, and the efforts of knowledge exchange practitioners, research organisations, and BBSRC strategically-funded institutes in supporting and encouraging this process. The Fostering Innovation competitions aim to promote excellence amongst researchers, knowledge exchange practitioners, departments, and institutions by recognising successful approaches to innovation and impact in the biosciences.

Questions on Excellence with Impact and on this placement can be directed to James Sundquist: james.sundquist@bbsrc.ac.uk

Download an application form 

PIPS Project Opportunity - Entomics @ National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB)

Internship opportunity for BBSRC DTP students investigating biological post-processing methods for transforming insects into sustainable animal feeds

Project title: 
Investigating biological post-processing methods for transforming insects into sustainable animal feeds

Summary of the project aims, objectives and anticipated outcomes:
The project is aimed at investigating different biological methods for extracting and optimising insect-derived meal for a range of animal feed applications.
The objectives will be lab-scale proof-of-concept studies to assess various methods of processing. Will involve screening of multiple processing conditions and catalysts, rapid iteration of experimental variables and analysing the end-products using molecular biology techniques. Will also include preparation of samples for outsourced analysis.
The outcomes will include a dataset describing the advantages and disadvantages of the optimal process relative to existing techniques in the industry (e.g. mechanical and chemical).

Skills sought in applicant:
Preferably pursuing PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or similar field
Strong understanding of nutrition in the food and/or feed industries
Independent worker with significant wet lab experience working with enzymatic digestion, microbiology and protein gels
Personal interest in the field of circular economy, sustainable feeds and insects

Skills the applicant will develop:
The student will get insight and experience with an early-stage applied R&D program within a fast-paced startup environment. They will be able to apply their skills to real problems being faced by this hugely exciting industry, with 'insects for food and feed' a current topic of significant interest to both the academic and private sectors. They will run projects with a high degree of independence, with oversight from experts in the field. They will also get a broad understanding of the other challenges involved with running a startup by virtue of being in this unique environment, including marketing, HR, legal and sales.

Anticipated start date:
1st March 2017

Closing Date for Applications:
31st January 2017

Applicants should contact Matt McLaren at matt@entomics.com with their CV and why they are interested in the internship.

Data Science Fellowship Opportunity

The Data Incubator is an intensive 8 week fellowship that prepares masters students, PhDs, and postdocs in STEM and social science fields seeking industry careers as data scientists. The program is free for Fellows and supported by sponsorships from hundreds of employers across multiple industries.

Who Should Apply: Anyone who has already obtained a masters or PhD degree or who is within one year of graduating with a masters or PhD is welcome to apply. Applications from international students are welcome. Everyone else is encouraged to sign-up for a future session.

Locations: In addition to the below in-person locations, there will be a remote online session:

·        New York City

·        San Francisco Bay Area

·        Seattle

·        Boston

·        Washington, DC.

Dates: All sections will be from 27 March 2017 to 19 May 2017.

Application Link: https://www.thedataincubator.com/fellowship.html#apply?ref=waW9uLmV4dGVybmFsbGlhaXNvbkBuY2wuYWMudWs=

Data Science in 30 minutes: Learn how to build a data-science project in our upcoming free Data Science in 30-minutes webcast. Sign up soon as space is limited.

Learn More: You can learn about our fellows at The New York Times, LinkedIn, Amazon, Capital One, or Palantir. To read about our latest fellow alumni, check out our blog. To learn more about The Data Incubator, check us out on Venture Beat, The Next Web, or Harvard Business Review.

NEPG 2016 - Interview with Grace Laws, Conference Committee Chair


In November the North East PostGraduate Conference gave the region’s PG students the chance to share their research. Grace Laws, chair of the organising committee and PhD student (IoN), tells us more.

In November the North East PostGraduate (NEPG) Conference gave the region’s PG students the chance to share their research.  Here Grace Laws, chair of the organising committee and PhD student (IoN), tells us more about it.  

What is the NEPG conference and why is it so important?

The NEPG conference is a Biological, Medical and Health Sciences conference organised by postgraduate students for postgraduate students. The venue is always the North East but is not exclusively for local students. This year we had presenters and delegates from Leeds, Teesside, Northumbria, Durham and Liverpool. 

The conference offers postgraduate students a chance to present their work amongst peers, and encourages all postgraduate students to submit abstracts for talks and posters.  For many students, this may be their first conference attendance or first chance to showcase their work, therefore can offer a great opportunity to build upon presentation skills.

What was on offer for delegates this year?

The NEPG hosted several workshops and keynote speakers, alongside poster presentations and 10 different student sessions of talks across two days. Keynote talks were given by Prof Jenny Read and Prof Mary Herbert of Newcastle University, Prof Gary Black of Northumbria University and Prof Stephen Hart of UCL. Workshops varied from subject specific sessions such as improving the design of animal experiments to broader concepts such as scientific communication.

What was the most rewarding part of the conference for you?

The most rewarding part of the conference was being able to offer postgraduate students the opportunity to present and attend a free conference. Having a conference that is solely for postgraduate students helps students to build up their confidence in presenting and academic discussion. For masters students, the NEPG offers an opportunity to attend a conference and see the research projects within their field of interest that are ongoing across the UK.

It’s probably the first time you’ve ever done anything like this, what did you and the organising committee learn from the experience?

Having attended conferences and never organising one before, it was very interesting to see the whole process of organising a conference. From marking abstracts, to chairing sessions, and judging talks and posters the committee built upon our own skills as researchers to identify what makes a good talk or poster. It was a very valuable learning experience that I am grateful to have, and I would recommend any postgraduate students to get involved in next year’s organisation.



Our graduate school supports the NEPG conference and has been impressed by this year’s event. 

"This year's organising committee have done a fantastic job putting together a very professional conference that offered research students a perfect environment to present their work. Delegate could take part in a great variety of workshops and could hear from world leading key-note speakers covering a range of current. Grace Laws has been a wonderful lead organiser with a vision for the conference that is inclusive and supportive of her peers in the postgraduate research community. The conference was free for all delegates to attend and also raised funds for the Charity Mind. A really outstanding effort from all involved. " Dr Richy Hetherington 


Photograph of organising committee taken by Lian Maltas

Conference is kindly sponsored by: http://ne-pg.co.uk/sponsors/ 

North East Postgraduate Conference 2016 - Winners

We’re thrilled to announce the following prize winners from last week's excellent North East PostGraduate (NEPG) Conference, selected by the organisers from a very competitive field.

Oral Presentations


Felix Chan (PhD, IoN) 'A novel in vitro brain slice model of mitochondrial epilepsy: "a dual hit hypothesis"'


Ben McCullough (PhD, NICR) 'Response to MDM2-p53 binding antagonists in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia'
Sara Cuevas Ocana (PhD, ICaMB) 'Gene editing of human embryonic stem cells to generate a physiologically relevant model of cystic fibrosis airway epithelium'

Poster Presentations


Majid Althaqafy (PhD, IH&S) 'Hepatitis B, measles and varicella infections, among newly recruited military and healthcare employees in the Saudi National Guard: Associated knowledge, concerns and barriers to vaccination'


Claire Ford (PhD, Northumbria) 'Preoperative pain planning for day case surgery patients: myth or reality?'
Eleanor Klejnow (MBBS) 'Mutational profiling of hyperdiploidy acute myeloid leukaemia using next generation sequencing technology'

Warmest congratulations to all the prize winners.

rss iconwrite news icon