Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - SABRETRAIN (Cutting edge early stage training in genomics, genetics and epigenetics for sustainable animal breeding)

The objective of the SABRETRAIN project was to provide young scientists with high quality MSc and PhD training by utilising and combining the resources of international partners with world renowned expertise in livestock genetics.

This early stage research training programme prepared young researchers with the knowledge and skills to expand and enhance the fundamental knowledge of genetics and genomics of animal health, food safety and food quality traits of livestock species. The training aimed to provide scientists with skills to develop and re-focus animal breeding and production towards more sustainable, environmentally and welfare friendly, low input systems that delivered safe and high quality foods in line with consumer expectations.

SABRETRAIN was originally planned to comprise three one year MSc studentships and nine three year PhD studentships. The MSc provided a structured training course via lectures and also provided a research project. The PhD students benefited from a variety of training methods, which could be split into 4 areas:

1. PhD research training
2. core complementary skills
3. industrially relevant training
4. specialist scientific courses.

The recruitment of the early stage researchers (ESRs) was completed successfully in terms of the indicative number of researchers to be recruited and the number of full time person months in each of the participants in the full four year lifetime of the project. Within the United Kingdom, Roslin Institute (RI) planned to recruit two PhD students; however only one of these two 36 month ESRs was recruited. RI then took up the option in which a single PhD could be split to provide three one year mobility placements for PhD students currently studying at the end of their PhDs and three ESRs were recruited. The Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) recruited one PhD student as planned. Within Wageningen University (WUR), two PhD students were recruited by WU and one PhD student was to be recruited by DLO (formerly ID-Lelystad). Unfortunately the PhD recruited by DLO was unable to complete their training. The remaining funds were then used to fund short term fellowships and three additional ESRs were recruited. The University of Aarhus, formerly DIAS, recruited three PhD students as was initially planned. The University of Edinburgh recruited three MSc students as planned.

Working within leading international research centres enhanced the ESRs career prospects by providing access to cutting edge facilities, supervision and stimulating multidisciplinary environments with a good track record in training ESRs. In addition to the training provided within partners all ESRs had the opportunity to attend industrially relevant training courses provided by the Biosciences KTN (formerly Genesis Faraday). All ESRs attended a minimum of 2 one day modules and had the opportunity to network with other United Kingdom PhD students working on similar projects as well as with external service providers from the industry who delivered some of the training modules.

All ESRs recruited for longer than 12 months spent time training at sites other than their hosts. All seven PhD students moved to a SABRETRAIN partner in another country accessing the complementary specialist expertise and resources provided by the second host. The students gained improved industrial links with commercial companies through various activities and their research was also aligned to larger European projects linking them to a wider cohort of contemporaries. All ESRs had the opportunity to attend and present their work at SABRETRAIN project meetings held at international conferences where they disseminated their results via invited oral and poster presentations.

The improved interaction resulting from the SABRETRAIN project assisted in improving coordination and reduce fragmentation and thus helped to accelerate European scientific progress ensuring that the European Union remained internationally competitive within agriculture.

Reported by

University of Edinburgh
Old College South Bridge
EH1 1HN Edinburgh
United Kingdom
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