All students are required to undergo an annual Training Needs Analysis (TNA), in consultation with their supervisor. This clarifies what skills the student is expected to develop, provides them with an opportunity to assess what they have developed, and encourages them to plan training to fill any gaps identified. The first TNA is performed within the first 3 months of them starting.
MRC-funded students have access to an extensive range of training opportunities. These include:
- The Medical Sciences Skills Training Programme
- Researcher Skills Toolkit
- The Learning Institute
- The Careers Service
- The IT Learning Centre
- The Bodleian Library
- MRC e-Learning Resources
The University Skills Hub (requires SSO login) provides a gateway to all these training opportunities including the searchable Researcher Training site.
In addition MRC-funded students have access to programme-specific training opportunities, covering a wide range of research skills.
A wide range of courses provide training in the following strategic skill priority areas identified by the MRC.
- Quantitative skills Example courses include: Introductory mathematics and statistics; SPSS; Computer programming; R; MATLAB; Statistical genetics; Medical statistics; Image analysis; bioinformatics of mutant mouse resources.
- Interdisciplinary skills Example courses: Synthetic biology; Introductory and advanced light microscopy; Electron microscopy; NMR; X-ray crystallography; High performance computing; Medical imaging/fMRI; Epidemiology; Data management and curation.
- Whole organ/organism physiology Much of this training will be provided in the context of students performing suitable research projects. Formal introductory courses include: Introduction the use of Yeast, Xenopus, Zebrafish and Drosophila model systems; Mouse models of disease; Conditional mutagenesis; Genetics, husbandry and welfare of laboratory mice.