What to expect…
Expand the boxes for an outline of SoCoBio’s 4-year doctoral training programme.
The induction is a three-day event designed to bond students into a cohesive cohort as well as providing students with information about the programme and support services available to them during their PhD journey. It is held at the University of Southampton prior to first year students commencing their programme. Students from all years of the programme, from across the partners, are expected to attend the induction event. Students hosted at partner institutions will have their travel and accommodation supported by the DTP during the induction period to aid their participation in the event.
During the first year of the studentship, students will undertake two 4-month rotation projects with different supervisors before selecting and commencing their substantive doctoral project. These rotations are usually but not exclusively at the same Institution, and take place from October – January and from February – May. If the second rotation project is at a different partner the DTP will provide financial support to help with additional costs and caring responsibilities.
Rotations are considered a strength of the SoCoBio DTP because they encourage students to develop their interdisciplinary skills as well as ensuring that project and supervisory team are well matched. Rotations benefits both student and supervisor: they expand and develop student’s skill sets; they broaden their scientific network; students get the opportunity to observe and develop best practice; and it strengthens collaborations between groups.
Students who have chosen Industry co-funded studentships will embark on their research project with the partner from the beginning, rather than after the two rotations.
A key feature of the programme is the cohort training. During the first year students undertake two compulsory modules on Data Management and Business and Entrepreneurship. Throughout the programme students will have access to cutting-edge bioscience training workshops in disciplines aligned to their chosen research project; the breadth of expertise across the consortium themes will provide exceptional choice and subject coverage for our students. Students also have access to an extensive range of bioscience-related Masters-Level modules provided by the four university partners.
The Data Management module takes advantage of the University of Southampton’s leading position in data science. It comprises of a mix of workshops and presentations delivered via infrastructure available through the Data Science Acadamy which is part of the Web Science Institute at the University. A unique feature of the module is students will have access to Iridis, the University of Southampton’s high-performance computer cluster and the largest HEI computing facility in the UK.
The Business and Entrepreneurship module, developed by the University of Sussex Business School, is delivered by an online distance learning platform together with teamwork and a summer school. Students will develop an understanding of business functions, activities and objectives through critical application to biotech and related enterprises.
The annual research conference will be held in March/April each year for the whole cohort. Typically, a two-day event, it provides the entire cohort with opportunities to communicate their science, exchange research ideas, and share their training experience.
There are three summers schools during the programme:
- Business and Entrepreneurship (Year 1)
- Industrial Biotechnology (Year 2)
- Science Communication Training (Year 3)
These summer schools are designed to draw upon the cross-institutional research strengths of the DTPs partners and deliver high-quality, interdisciplinary and industry-facing training experience for students; underpinning their bioscience knowledge with advanced skills training.
Professional internship for PhD students (PIPS)
Professional Internships for PhD students (PIPS) take place during years 2 or 3 for a period of 3 months and is unrelated to student’s SoCoBio DTP research project. This experience is important both to help early career researchers understand the wider context of their research, and to expose them to the range of opportunities in which they can apply their PhD skills and training after they graduate.
Information about PIPS will be provided during induction and students are advised to plan their PIPs a year in advance and talk to their supervisor about the likely timing of the PIP early in their PhD, in order to plan the internship around their research project.
CASE & Industrial co-funded studentships
SoCoBio DTP has a number of PhD studentships which are developed as partnerships between academia and industry. These are known as Industrial CASE Studentships or CASE (Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering). This type of studentship includes a placement with a non-academic partner (who may be from industry, business, public or third sector organisations) doing high quality collaborative research work in one of the SoCoBio themes.