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New funding for future bio-scientists

The new funding award will provide an additional 190 PhD studentships across the LIDo Partnership over the next five years, at least 55 of which will be for collaborative research with industry.

The London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Training Partnership, known as LIDo, has been awarded over £20 million by the UKRI Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to train future bio-science researchers.

The LIDo partnership, of which Birkbeck was a founder member, has been a major provider of PhD training in fundamental bio-sciences since 2011. To date, 17 students in Birkbeck's departments of Biological Sciences and Psychological Sciences have been part of LIDo. The new funding award will provide an additional 190 PhD studentships across the Partnership over the next five years. At least 55 of these studentships will be for collaborative research with industry.

Alongside Birkbeck, the LIDo partners are University College London, King's College London, Queen Mary University of London, the Royal Veterinary College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, plus new members Royal Holloway University of London and the University of Greenwich's Natural Resources Institute.

LIDo also welcomes four new Associate Partners: Unilever, the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, the Food Standards Agency and the Animal and Plant Health Agency. Each Associate Partner will be contributing joint projects with the University Partners and funding additional studentships.

Announcing the DTP award, Professor Melanie Welham, BBSRC’s Executive Chair, said: “The success of the UK’s science sector and the consequent benefits to society and the economy relies on great researchers doing great work. Our Doctoral Training Partnerships have already supported the training of hundreds of early career scientists working at the cutting edge of biology and biotechnology.

“By continuing to fund, through this significant £170 million investment, vital training of the next generation of researchers we will help ensure that the UK consolidates its position as world-leader in this crucial sector.”

LIDo student research projects cross traditional academic disciplines and institutional boundaries. Most LIDo research projects involve researchers from departments in two of the Partners. LIDo has a particular emphasis on combining biology, psychology and neuroscience with computational, materials and physical sciences. To enable this Interdisciplinary activity, LIDo provides intensive training in coding for biologists and in biology for students with a physical/computational sciences background.

LIDo emphasises equality and diversity through outreach activities and coaching for minority applicants as well as summer undergraduate placements for students studying at less research-intensive institutions across London and the South East region.

LIDo is now accepting applications for a September 2020 start.  

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