STARBIOS2_FEATURES IMAGE education in Biosciences

Education as a key RRI issue, seen by the University of Oxford

Education STARBIOS2 Dr Maria Julia Milano Dr Pavel Ovseiko
How do you understand Education in biosciences research?  

Science education is a key element of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) framework. The aim is to better connect science and society through various educational approaches and interventions. This is particularly important in biosciences, which can help address some of the key societal challenges identified in Horizon 2020, including health, demographic change and wellbeing as well as food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, and the bioeconomy.

What are the current standards and actions to achieve better Education in your University and in your country?

NIHR Oxford BRC Research and Education Working group offers a variety of opportunities for training aimed to increase the research capacity of those working in the NHS. There are research Grand Rounds (lectures) for nurses and weekly newsletters to raise awareness of internal and external funding opportunities. The University of Oxford also hosts the Oxford University Clinical Academic Graduate School, which offers an academic foundation programme and Academic Fellowships.

What are you aiming for with the implementation of the STARBIOS2 actions towards better Education standards for your institute?

There are many educational opportunities at the University of Oxford via departmental seminars and training programmes associated with the NIHR Oxford BRC. We aim to identify the most appropriate avenues to disseminate RRI. These opportunities will fit into the delivery mechanism of the educational programmes, the local entrepreneurial milieu, and focus on the work of the NIHR Oxford BRC.

What kind of actions are you going to establish to fulfil your objectives?

Two main actions will be implemented. First, given the depth and breadth of research and innovation within the NIHR Oxford BRC and the University of Oxford, a brief scoping exercise will be done to find out what the learning priorities are, based on the experience of those having gone through the process in Oxford. Second, once opportunities to disseminate RRI have been identified, we will offer talks, lectures, seminars, and workshops. In doing so, we will learn from the training modules designed by our partner from University Tor Vergata.

Who is involved, from your University, in the AP in order to complete your final objective?

Our work requires a close collaboration between STARBIOS2 team, Dr Lorna Henderson (Oxford BRC Clinical Research Manager), Dr Vasiliki Kiparoglou (Oxford BRC Head of operations), and Dr Denise Best (University of Oxford Academic Clinical Careers Manager and NIHR Oxford BRC training lead). Dr Denise Best presented her work to the evaluation team at Oxford in October, and we are excited to build on this collaboration to make further structural changes.

Read our previous Q&A on “Open Access” with Dr Maria Milano and Dr Laurel Edmunds from the University of Oxford.