press release
Published: 25 October 2019

Surrey to train next generation of bioscientists

By Natasha Meredith

The next generation of bioscientists with in-depth knowledge and technical expertise of food systems will be trained at the University of Surrey, helping to address the critical skills shortage in the Agri-Food industry.

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A consortium made up of the University of Surrey, the University of Reading, Cranfield University and Queen’s University, Belfast will each receive a share of £10million from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to offer a number of bioscience PhD positions over the next five years. This is part of a wider £170million funding by the BBSRC to fund 1,700 PhD researchers at academic institutions across the country.

These new PhD positions will fulfil an urgent need to deliver graduates with specialist knowledge in food systems and will focus on food processing, storage, waste and safety, and diet and health. The new consortium, known as ‘The Food Bio Systems Partnership’ will use its expertise in research and innovation in food supply chains to train the next generation of scientists.

Dr Ruan Elliott, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition at the University of Surrey, said: “The Agri-Food sector is facing unprecedented demand to meet the needs of a growing population and to satisfy the changing demands of consumers who are much more focussed on healthy and sustainable food alternatives.

“I am delighted that Surrey has been selected to be a part of this consortium and I look forward to working with colleagues at other institutions to help deliver scientists of the future.”

Announcing the award, 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 rely 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 vital training of the next generation of researchers through this significant £170 million investment, we will help ensure that the UK consolidates its position as world leader in this crucial sector.”

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