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Bioinformatics and computational biology training overview


There are a number of different sources of bioinformatics training for members of the School and other departments and institutes within the Graduate School of Life Sciences.

1. A wide range of graduate level courses in the School is organised by Dr. Gabriella Rustici in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics Institute and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. These include some programming courses aimed at biologists and include both topic-based (such as phylogeny) and resource-based (such as EBI databases) sessions.

Most of our courses are booked using the University Training Booking System (UTBS), where you can see all the dates and times we expect to run courses and the details of all courses we may run. Note the links to related courses at the bottom of each course page:

Only participants without a University Raven password and not from an exempted institution (including the EBI and Sanger Institute) will be asked to pay a modest course fee. Details are explained here.

Individual courses pages have a link to a booking form for those without a Raven password. If you are eligible to pay a course fee please make sure you have been allocated a place first.

If you do have to pay a fee this can be done via an online payment system.


2. Lectures elsewhere in the University are available in the Natural Sciences Tripos and certain graduate programmes while practical classes are held, using the School's facilities, for some specific programmes.

Please note you must always check with the course organiser before you attend lectures or classes in these programmes unless noted below. Space may be limited or there may be other reasons why you cannot be accommodated. There are relevant lectures in other programmes. There is a shared module From Genome to Proteome. Some useful links are given here. See also the Genetics and Zoology Part II web sites.


3. There are a number of online guides and resources

  • The EMBL-EBI has an elearning resource, Train online with courses on use of its most popular databases and tools.
  • See also the Bioinformatics Frequently Asked Questions: this includes information on bioinformatics education including masters courses round the world. You will find short courses at other universities nearby eg in London. Fees are generally payable. You can also find links to a range of online courses through this web site. Again, fees are usually payable.


4. There are also other practical bioinformatics training courses and sources of advice

  • There are practical bioinformatics courses at the EBI in Hinxton, Cambridge. Some of these are held jointly with EMBO or the Wellcome Trust (see below).
  • The Wellcome Trust runs a number of other advanced courses of relevance and some of these are held on the campus at Hinxton, involving local experts including our colleagues at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.
  • In addition you will find courses at other UK universities and centres. The Bioinformatics FAQ above has links to many sources of information and course providers.
  • Another venue is IGC near Lisboa in Portugal (for a full schedule of courses).
  • Wellcome Trust and CRUK institutes have core bioinformatics facilities whose staff may offer advice and some departments have bioinformatics experts attached to specific research projects.
  • See also the other research facilities listed on this web site for many other relevant sources of research support. For example Cambridge Genomics Services include bioinformatics support as does the Cambridge Centre for Proteomics.

Computing courses including scientific programming

  • The University Information Services run a wide and increasing range of short training courses all year and has a number of teach-yourself modules available. They are free to most members of the Graduate School. Where post-docs have to pay (eg if employees of affiliated institues) the charges are made clear on the web site. There is some overlap with courses such as R, which is currently a topic with high demand, but mostly the courses are complementary to those offered within the School.
  • There are academic programmes at the Centre for Scientific Computing including an MPhil and PhD in Scientific Computing. Full details of the programmes are on the web site.