Government money will help Norwich Research Park train next generation of scientists

Norwich Research Park has been announced as one of 14 new national 'doctoral training partnerships' to benefit from millions of pounds of government funding.

The Colney site will receive �4m from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to train 39 PhD students in Norfolk.

The research park and its institutes will contribute a further �2m allowing it to create a further 20 PhD studentships.

The scheme will be a collaboration between the John Innes Centre, the University of East Anglia, the Sainsbury Laboratory, the Institute of Food Research (IFR) and the Genome Analysis Centre.

David Willetts, minister for universities and science, yesterday announced a total funding pot worth �67m. It will support 660 four-year PhD students at 14 doctoral training partnerships – or DTPs.

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Mr Willetts said the funding would create a generation of highly-trained scientists to work in the academic world, on policy and in industry.

It is hoped the students will play a major role in the BBSRC's mission to further scientific knowledge in order to stimulate economic growth, wealth and job creation.

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The DTP in Norfolk is set to be co-ordinated by the John Innes Centre with students working across the institutes based at the research park.

Dale Sanders, John Innes Centre director, said: 'JIC is delighted to be leading the consortium of NRP institutions that have been awarded a doctoral training partnership.

'This new PhD studentship programme provides an exciting opportunity for research training and development in a framework of inter-institutional and inter-disciplinary collaboration.'

South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon, whose constituency includes the Colney research park, last night welcomed news of the investment.

Yesterday's announcement by Mr Willetts follows a �26m funding announcement for the NRP through the BBSRC in last year's budget.

For more, see tomorrow's paper.

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