School of Biological Sciences
From the tiniest molecular scales through to whole organisms and populations of species, the School of Biological Sciences is engaged in world-class teaching and research across the spectrum of living systems. This diverse approach encompasses a wide range of subject areas and institutes. The close links between research themes and strong ties to other Schools continually spark new ideas that are advancing the frontiers of understanding.
Here are some of the ways in which your support can make a difference at the cutting-edge of the life sciences.
Graduate research in the School enables outstanding students to channel their talents into areas of study that excite them, and make a real contribution to advancements in the field. Funding is required for studentships in all departments, and particularly to support students from less developed countries. Studentships are needed, too, in ground-breaking cross-Schools initiatives including Neuroscience, Infectious Animal Diseases, Computational Biology, and the pioneering Cambridge Conservation Initiative.
From early-career academics to distinguished professorships, opportunities exist to support some of the most exceptional biological scientists in research and teaching today. Such support will enable Cambridge to continue to nurture the talent of tomorrow, and forge new paths in discovery. These opportunities cover the gamut of the biological sciences, ranging from renowned positions such as the Hodgkin Huxley Professorship of Physiology to a major new post in Crop Sciences.
Opportunities exist to invest in visionary and exciting new research programmes at the forefront of the life sciences. Priority requirements include support for research funds, posts and facilities for several of the University’s recently designated Strategic Initiatives in which biological sciences play a key role. Created to encourage collaboration across schools and departments in order to accelerate progress in finding solutions to pressing global challenges, these Initiatives include Cancer, Conservation, Global Food Security, Infectious Diseases, Neuroscience and Stem Cells.
Cambridge is home to two specialist life sciences collections of outstanding international significance. The Museum of Zoology has extraordinarily rich and important holdings covering the diversity of animal life on Earth. Amongst the birds are some of Charles Darwin’s Galapagos finches collected during his Beagle Voyage, and exceptional fossil dodo bones from Mauritius. In recent times important new collections have been added to the Museum, such as early tetrapod fossils from Scotland that are of central importance for understanding the origin of land vertebrates. The University Herbarium is a treasure trove of the history and diversity of plants initiated by Professor John Henslow, Darwin’s mentor, and is one of the nation’s most comprehensive and definitive working collections of plants. Both of these collections has a number of vibrant projects in development for which philanthropic support is required, to foster scientific and public understanding of life on earth.
The visionary Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) is a strategic collaboration between the University and the cluster of leading internationally-focused biodiversity conservation organisations around the city. Funding is sought to support posts, students, research, and the development of a proposed International Biodiversity Conservation Campus, nucleated by the University, which will physically integrate the staff and individual strengths of each CCI partner, driving debate, collaboration, and the generation of innovative ideas. The vision in creating this unique centre of excellence is to integrate research and practice, in order to deliver a sustainable future for biodiversity and humanity.
With the establishment of the Cambridge Infectious Disease Consortium (CIDC), Cambridge is harnessing its extensive expertise to meet a great challenge facing humanity today. The CIDC brings together the University’s many research groups in the vanguard of teaching and research in infectious disease, and affiliated institutes including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Its postgraduate programme is the only scheme in the UK to offer integrated training in infectious disease dynamics, with particular focus on diseases spread between animals and humans. Funding is required to support trained veterinarians to undertake this training, who ultimately will enable the impact of future infectious disease outbreaks to be minimised.
With over 1.1 million specimens, some collected in the Galapagos by Darwin himself, the University Herbarium is a testament to our evolutionary past, and an invaluable resource in informing the emerging molecular science of the future. Including the nation’s most comprehensive and definitive collection of British plants, it is an indispensable resource for scholars and the wider public. Funding is now required for curatorial posts at the Herbarium in its purpose-built space within the exciting new Sainsbury Laboratory in the Botanic Garden, where it will be both digitally catalogued and carefully preserved under controlled conditions for use by future generations.
Cambridge Neuroscience encapsulates the importance of a robust inter-disciplinary approach to increasing our understanding of brain function and enhancing quality of life. A global centre of excellence, CN draws together research and galvanises collaborations across the University’s numerous participating departments and institutes, harnessing the world-leading expertise that has existed at Cambridge for over a century. Funding is currently sought to support PhD studentships, senior research fellowships, lectureships and professorships in this vital and flourishing area of scientific enquiry, at a time when there has never been greater promise for the clinical application of neuroscientific knowledge.
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