Workshop Title: Bioinformatics and Wheat Genomics

Coordinators: Dr Diane Saunders (John Innes Centre UK) and Dr Renée Prins (University of Free-State)

Discipline: Bioinformatics

Dates and venue: 26 - 28 June 2017, Worcester, South Africa

British Council Researcher Links provides opportunities for early career researchers from the UK and internationally to interact, learn from each other and explore opportunities for building long-lasting research collaborations. As part of this programme, we are now recruiting early career researchers to participate in the above workshop.

The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for sharing research expertise and networking. During the workshop early career researchers will have the opportunity to present their research in the form of chalk board presentations and discuss this with established researchers from the UK and partner countries. There will be a focus on building links for future collaborations and participants will be selected on the basis of their research potential and ability to build longer term links.

The British Council and South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) will cover costs related to the participation to the workshop including: travel (both international and local), accommodation and meals. Costs for a visa may be covered (where necessary); however participants will be responsible for making all the necessary arrangements. Although this cost will not be covered by the British Council, participants are encouraged to purchase adequate travel and medical insurance. The British Council accepts no responsibility for any problems which may occur when the participants are in-country.

Workshop Theme:

With advancements in wheat genomics such as the availability of the first draft wheat genome sequence from the International Wheat Genome Consortium (available in 2016), an array of possibilities are opening up for scientists working with wheat and its pathogens. This workshop aims to alleviate the dire need for training in bioinformatics, wheat genomics and sequencing technologies through using leading UK researchers that are highly competent in these fields as mentors. This will in particular assist early career researchers in both SA and the UK to incorporate these approaches in their scientific thinking and open up new bioinformatics capacity building and collaboration opportunities, especially for those working in with the complex genomes of wheat and its pathogens. An overview on the research base and funding opportunities in the UK and SA will be presented and attention will also be given to career development opportunities during the course of the workshop.

Application and Deadline:

To apply, please completed the application form below and email it by (12h00 UK time) Wednesday 15th March 2017 to 

You can also contact with any queries regarding the workshop.

Eligibility Criteria: 

We are now inviting Early Career Researchers (see application form for eligibility criteria) from the UK and South Africa to apply to attend this workshop.

  • Applications must be submitted using the Researcher Links application form
  •  Applications must be submitted before the above deadline
  • Participants MUST BE Early Career Researchers: Early Career Researchers are defined as holding a PhD [or having equivalent research experience as R1: First Stage Researcher (up to the point of PhD)]
  • or having up to 10 years post-PhD research experience. They are equivalent to a ‘Recognised Researcher’ (R2: PhD holders or equivalent who are not yet fully independent) and sometimes ‘Experienced/Established Researcher’ (R3: Researchers who have developed a level of independence).
  • R4 (Leading Researcher: researchers leading their research area of field) falls outside the eligibility category.
  • Participants must have a research or academic position (a permanent post, research contract, or fellowship etc.) at a recognised research institution either in the UK or in South Africa. A limited number of non-funded places in particular for SA researchers working in the commercial sector will also be offered. These non-funded participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodations arrangements and costs.
  • All participants are required to bring a laptop with a Wi-Fi card to enable participation in hands-on tutorials.
  • Please note, participants are expected to attend all sessions of the workshop.

Quality Assessment:

  • Experience and relevance of the applicant’s research area to the workshop
  • Motivation and contribution to the aims of the workshop
  • Description of the long term impact expected through the participation in the workshop
  • Ability to disseminate workshop’s outcomes

Selection Procedure:

  • Eligibility check
  • Quality assessment
  • The application forms will be scored independently by the two coordinators and four mentors (UK and SA).

Notification of results:

Applicants will be notified by email on the 31 March 2017.

Equal Opportunities:

Equal opportunities and diversity are at the heart of the British Council’s cultural relations ambitions. While recognising that some research fields are dominated by one particular gender, co-ordinators are encouraged to work towards an equal gender balance and promote diversity.


Please contact for more information.