The MX-group of MAX IV has been successfully to be a partner in a large UK doctoral training programme. The funding was announced last month by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in the UK which will invest £446 million in skill development as well as partnering with industry for an additional £386 million in cash or in-kind contributions.
MAX IV will partner with the Universities of Newcastle and Durham to establish a Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Sciences for Medicine. The centre will be based in the UK with students travelling to MAX IV for hands on training in synchrotron techniques for structural biology.
The training plan aims to address a number of issues currently facing the UK but also Europe as a whole. The contraction of large pharmaceutical companies and the explosion of small biotech start-ups has created a huge demand for highly skilled recruits which is difficult to meet. The economic demand created by the pharmaceutical industry coupled with a training gap and a skill shortage means that the training program comes at the right time.
While this is a great training opportunity for PhD students, it is also a great opportunity for the host institutes to forge new links. Collaboration is the life-blood of scientific research and sharing expertise and knowledge helps researchers to find answers to scientific problems more quickly. This is an opportunity for MAX IV to create highly valuable international and long term collaborations with Newcastle and Durham.
Now funding has been approved, the partners are working hard to establish the projects that will see 40 PhD students complete projects over 5 years.