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New Aquaculture PhDs under major new partnership

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The University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture (IoA) will benefit from a number of new PhD studentships after joining a major partnership funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The IoA has received the funding from the UKRI’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), under its third phase of Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs).

Stirling joins the existing East of Scotland Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (EASTBIO) – led by the University of Edinburgh – and brings expertise in the field of aquaculture, given its strong research focus and international leadership in the area.

EASTBIO aims to link doctoral researchers working on dynamic challenges around food production with cutting-edge expertise and training in other novel and exciting areas of bioscience. It provides new opportunities for training and development around bioscience, renewable resources and clean growth. Across the partnership, 32 PhD students will be funded annually, over a period of five years.

Professor Dave Little, of the IoA, said: “We are excited to join the EASTBIO partnership and look forward to contributing to this important area of work while developing the next generation of bioscientists.”

The EASTBIO partnership spans three thematic areas: aquaculture; bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food: livestock biology and health; and crop and soil science. It funds and trains PhD students across the whole spectrum of BBSRC research – tackling some of the major challenges facing our plant, including food security, clean growth and health’ and developing our fundamental understanding of biology and new approaches and technologies.

It will drive improvements in how partners support students’ wellbeing and enable students to join programmes from a diverse range of backgrounds. It also involves the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews; as well as Scotland’s Rural College, the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, James Hutton Institute and the Moredun Research Institute. Associate partners include the Scottish Life Sciences Alliance and the Cool Farms Alliance.

A total of £170 million will be invested in DTPs across the UK during this phase of UKRI-BBSRC funding –resulting in the appointment of 1,700 PhD researchers, over five years.

Professor Melanie Welham, UKRI-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.”

The DTPs provide PhD training in areas of bioscience relevant to the remit and strategic research priority areas of BBSRC. They also provide a breadth of professional development training opportunities to enhance the capabilities of doctoral candidates and develop a world-class, highly skilled workforce the UK needs for its future.

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