Nagoya, 5 October 2016 - The Universities of Edinburgh and Nagoya have launched a new Joint Degree Programme to foster international collaboration and to enhance the personal and career development of PhD students in the life sciences. A formal opening symposium was held at Nagoya University in Japan where representatives of both universities outlined the programme and how it will benefit PhD students. Participants are expected to gain significantly enhanced career and personal development skills as well as lasting international connections.
The University of Edinburgh was represented by Dr. Steven Spoel (Postgraduate Advisor, School of Biological Sciences), Prof. Eleanor Campbell (School of Chemistry) and Prof. Steve Playfer (School of Physics), each outlining the current and future activities of their respective Schools. Speakers from Nagoya University included University President Seiichi Matsuo, Prof. Matsumoto (Dean of Graduate School of Science) and Trustee Dr. Kunieda. The symposium also featured speeches by representatives of the British Council and the Japanese Ministry of Education (Mext).
A Joint PhD Degree Programme was already established in October of last year between the Biological Sciences departments of both universities when a dedicated symposium was held at the University of Edinburgh. The current symposium in Nagoya therefore expands this opportunity across the sciences.
PhD students participating in the programme can take advantage of existing and newly formed collaborative efforts between both universities. To qualify for the joint PhD degree students are expected to spend a minimum of 6-12 months away from their home university. Students will have both a Edinburgh- and Nagoya-based supervisor, providing them with access to interdisciplinary and varied expertise as well as technologies not available at their home university.
The first PhD student to join the programme is Ms. Cao Yuan who is currently in the laboratory of Prof. Yasuomi Tada at Nagoya University. Ms. Cao will spend time in the Edinburgh-based laboratory of Dr. Steven Spoel to understand the effect of immune responses on arresting growth and development in plants. Prof. Tada and Dr. Spoel already have a bilateral travel collaboration in place funded by an International Exchanges grant from The Royal Society.