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Teesside's role in training future researchers

Teesside University is involved in a major initiative to launch a new kind of doctoral programme which will help to shape future research into health.

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Thirteen universities have been brought together to collaborate on designing and delivering the Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA), a new kind of postgraduate doctoral training programme in response to industry needs.

The first (DTA) which is in Applied Biosciences for Health begins in October across the universities with fully funded postgraduate programmes, an expert network of support and improved employment opportunities for PhD researchers.

Professor Alan Batterham, Teesside’s representative on the DTA Management Group, said: 'It's exciting to be part of this initiative from the beginning. We look forward to welcoming our first two DTA PhD students next month and to working with colleagues from partner institutions.

'Our substantial expertise in physiology, biomechanics, measurement and biostatistics leaves us ideally placed to contribute to the success of the Applied Biosciences for Health doctoral training plan.'

The DTA PhD students will form a cohort of 26 in the first year, 52 in the second year and grow to 78 over the three-year programme. The DTA builds on the research strengths and industry-focused ethos of Alliance universities. It aims to produce independent, highly-employable researchers with the expertise and skills in strategically-important research areas.

Maddalaine Ansell, Chief Executive of University Alliance, said: 'Bioscience is a growing industry where the UK has a competitive advantage. The recent Research Excellence Framework results demonstrated that Alliance universities have real strength in bioscience and healthcare research.

'We hope our new DTA, the largest multi-partner and only nationwide, doctoral training initiative of its kind, will give PhD students the expertise and skills that industry needs and contribute to the productivity of this sector.'

DTA National Director, Professor Paul Harrison, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Sheffield Hallam University, said: 'Alliance universities have always risen to the challenge of meeting industry needs. We've built this into the core of the DTA, by designing a training programme which responds to the demands of modern industry.

'It aims to produce postgraduate researchers who are job-ready and can apply the results of their excellent research to deliver real world impact.'

Alliance universities educate 23 percent of all health undergraduates in the country and returned strong performances in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) accounting for 15 percent of the UK’s Allied Health research power.

The PhD students involved in the DTA will be encouraged to share knowledge and collaborate via a new website www.unialliance.ac.uk/dta

25 September 2015