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Leeds Liverpool Newcastle Sheffield

MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership

Discovery Medicine North

Programme details

Student Training and Development

All throughout their PhD, all DTP DiMeN students participate in a series of events and activities especially designed to develop their full potential as researchers in academia and beyond.

Year 1

  • Induction:

This event takes place at the start of year 1 to introduce the students to each other and the management team, encouraging networking across the partnership. The day incorporates information sessions and the opportunity to meet students from across all cohort years.

Our students said:

“Everyone was really enthusiastic, helpful, and honest about the good and bad bits of PhD life. Lots of opportunities to ask questions without pressure.”

“The best part of the event was the opportunity to interact with students from other years. It's useful to know what to expect but also to expect the unexpected.”

“Getting to meet cohort members from other universities and hearing about specific opportunities (e.g. flexible funding).”


  • Bench to Bedside:

This event introduces students to the principles of translating basic science discoveries into therapies, services and products for patient benefit. Training is also provided in commercialisation and enterprise with the aim of entering teams in the BioYES competition later in the year.

Our students said:

“A great opportunity to learn about the processes downstream of our basic research and how findings at the bench can be translated into clinical/business world.”

“The variety of talks. There was so much science that I've never been exposed to, and found so interesting. Really opened my eyes to other career opportunities.”

“Speaking to experts in the fields of marketing and drug development, learnt a lot from them.”


  • Path to Personalised Medicine:

Students are introduced to stratified medicine, health economics and the importance of statistics and reproducibility in scientific research.

Our students said:

“I particularly enjoyed the Health Economics and how it related to our team projects, it helped to clarify considerations by health economists.”

“I will now re-look over my statistics work and try apply this more extensively in planning for experiments.”

“Learning more about personalised medicine and understanding more about the influences external to science.”


Year 2

  • Media and Impact:

Students learn the importance of being able to communicate their research to a wider audience and how to plan and evaluate its impact. The training is lead by Dr Jon Copley, an associate Professor in Ocean Exploration and Public Engagement, and an award-winning science communicator with years of experience (including contributions to Blue Planet II).

Our students said:

“Finding out about the best ways to share your research with the public and to hear it from a journalist's perspective. It was also a good opportunity to think about the wider impacts of my research.”

“The workshop was very engaging, enjoyed hearing from people working outside academia.”

“Advice and tips on how to manage my own impact and media profile.”


  • GRAD School:

This three day residential retreat in a beautiful location emphasises employability skills, personal effectiveness to achieve progress and preparation for careers both within and outside academia.

Our students said:

“I found it really useful to evaluate which values are most important to me. This is something I feel I need to see reflected in my job, and so will definitely influence my career after my PhD.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed the course. It was good to see everyone. The venue was in a lovely setting which was appreciated.”

“It was a really fantastic few days from which I learnt a lot! Both about myself and how I can apply my skills. A much needed break from the lab - we need more events like this!”


Year 3

  • Meet the Editors:

In this event, the students will discuss ethical issues relating to publication, data integrity and reproducibility. This will prepare students for publishing their work and writing their theses.

Our students said:

“The debate - opens up the talk about publishing, different perspectives on publishing models and learnt a lot.”

“Careers and talking to professionals about how they got into their careers.”

“It's been a great day! Very informative, great opportunities to network with publishing editors and other DTP students.”


  • Writing Retreat:

Designed to help the students write up their dissertations in a relaxed environment with minimum distractions, to achieve optimal concentration and productivity.



In addition to the above activities, DTP students are encouraged to use social media (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn) to share ideas and develop professional networks. They are also encouraged to participate in events that foster a spirit of community across the cohort, e.g. participation in the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) note competition, introducing them to science policy. All students also have an opportunity to design their own training activities, supported by the DiMeN team.

Programme benefits

  • A breadth of training opportunities from single molecules to the patient
  • 30 fully funded studentships each year
  • Cutting edge technologies and state-of the-art facilities to deliver world-class results