The Training Programme 2015-2018

The MELGEN European Training Network (ETN) programme encompasses individual projects that incorporate training-through-research, personal career development plans and a research/training multidisciplinary supervisory team. The early stage researchers (ESRs) will also benefit from secondments, ETN-wide complementary skills training and specific skills training.

The MELGEN training programme will:

  • Deliver comprehensive, high quality training, which is both interdisciplinary and inter-sectorial to the benefit of the students and companies involved.
  • Use the expertise within the research consortium, including the world leading Sanger Institute, to deliver superior training in cancer research involving human genetics.
  • Provide exceptional genomics expertise strongly coupled with training in statistics and bioinformatics.
  • Train in the use of large-scale genetics to understand the genetic determinants underlying immunological processes.
  • Demonstrate the value of open collaboration and effective team working across Europe, establishing this as the norm for trainees in the future.
  • Improve the career prospects of all MELGEN ESRs via training designed to promote an entrepreneurial mind-set, thereby improving competitiveness of European industry and academia.
  • Complement scientific education with appropriate skills for public engagement and working in an increasingly digital world.
  • Teach approaches to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) management.
  • Support acquisition of scientific knowledge with transferable and complementary skills.
  • Establish structured training programmes as the model for the future.

The MELGEN ETN training is designed to give each student a comprehensive baseline level of training that can be extended and further supplemented by additional individualised training and career development plans. The central training programme will contain the following:

Training Course
Residential Introduction to Genomics Course for Early Stage Researchers:

Module 1 – Key Aspects of Melanoma: germline susceptibility, the role of the tumour, and emerging treatments

  • The Methodology of Determining Melanoma Susceptibility
  • Somatic Genomics: The Importance of the Tumour
  • Melanoma treatment: the way forward

Module 2 – Exploring State of The Art Genomic Technologies

  • Introduction to the Laboratory
  • Next Generation Sequencing: From Theory to Data Analysis
  • Other Technologies incl. Microfluidics and melting curve analysis

Module 3 – Statistics and Bioinformatics Training Course 1

  • Study design (including sample size and power, bias, confounding)
  • Quality control
  • Probability and random variation
  • Probability distributions and data transformation
  • Exploratory data analysis (Data visualization, types of variable)
  • Hypothesis testing incl. most common tests, parametric and non-parametric tests, multiple testing, examples of differential gene expression/genetic association
  • Unsupervised learning (e.g. cluster analysis of gene expression levels)
  • Prediction modelling incl. regression (including linear, logistic), multivariable analysis, survival analysis, over-fitting, classification methods such as Random Forest
GenoMEL/BioGenoMEL Conference (Leeds)

  • Presentations delivered by melanoma experts from renowned experts in the field of melanoma research
  • Opportunity for ESR presentations within context of main conference
  • Poster presentation from all students
Residential Complementary Skills Training Course 1.

  • CST 1. Successfully starting a research project (3 hrs)
  • CST 2. How to be an effective researcher and project planning  (6 hrs)
  • CST 3. Effective poster presentations workshop (3 hrs)
  • CST 4. Giving effective seminar and conference presentations (3 hrs)
  •  CST 6. Data protection and working with human subjects (3 hrs)
  • DN 1. Creating and managing a digital profile (6 hrs)
GenoMEL/BioGenoMEL Conference (Genoa)

  • Presentations delivered by melanoma experts from renowned experts in the field of melanoma research
  • Opportunity for ESR presentations within context of main conference
Research Workshop 1 linked to GenoMEL/BioGenoMEL conference

  • Intended to train ESRs in presentation skills, the value of collaboration, and to promote the exchange of information both resulting from overview talks given by senior researchers and in terms of facilitating constructive comment on ESRs’ work.
  • There will be at least three presentations from senior BioGenoMEL members.
  • Presentations from ESRs, with prizes for the best presentation and the best poster presentation.
Statistics and Bioinformatics Training Course 2

  • Designed to support PhD students to become competent in analysis of their own data using statistics and bioinformatics.
  • The course will comprise a mixture of lectures, interactive seminars and computer practical sessions.
  • The course will focus on the analysis of gene expression, copy number and deep sequencing data and tumour biology, and their application to studies of prognosis and response to therapy.
  • There will be lectures and practical sessions covering statistical techniques relevant to these analyses, including generalised linear modelling, cluster analysis, classification algorithms (e.g. Random Forest), and the development of risk prediction models.
  • Hands-on data analysis exercises based on DNA copy number and gene expression data as well as next generation sequencing data will be included.
Residential Complementary Skills Training Course 2

  • CST 7. Poster in progress – ‘clinic’ feedback session with opportunity to improve poster for poster session during residential with further feedback (3 hrs)
  • CST 9. PowerPoint techniques (3 hrs)
  • CST 11. Introduction to Effective Research Writing (3 hrs)
  •  CST 13. MS Word for Thesis and other long documents (3 hrs)
  • CST 15. Ownership, Confidentiality and Secrecy in Research (3 hrs)
  • DN 2. How to make friends and influence people via the web (3 hrs)
  • Additional content addressed to developing project needs (6 hrs)
GenoMEL/BioGenoMEL Conference (Essen)

  • Presentations delivered by melanoma experts from renowned experts in the field of melanoma research
  • Opportunity for ESR presentations within context of main conference
Research Workshop 2 linked to GenoMEL/BioGenoMEL conference

  • At least two presentations from senior GenoMEL members.
  • Presentations from ESRs, with prizes for the best presentation and the best poster presentation.
Residential Complementary Skills Training Course 3

  • CST 16. Writing-up Your Research for Publication and being interviewed by the media. To include advice on interacting with journal editors and responding to reviewers. (6 hrs)
  • CST 17. Career planning: know yourself. Interviews technique, mock Interviews, skill recognition and articulation, CVs and applications. (6 hrs)
  • CV Surgery – one to one (included in CST17 time allocation)
  • DN 3. IT skills for the future (3 hrs)