Training and skills

Work package 8, led by Dr Antoine Harfouche of the University of  focuses on ensuring that the research in WATBIO is optimally used to support education, training and skills. The WATBIO consortium believes that our multidisciplinary approach that captures the whole value chain, from DNA sequencing to commercial deployment of new germplasm, can act as an exemplar for developing accelerated plant improvement approaches in future environments. In addition to education and training, there is also a need, particularly at the start of the project, for exchange of information and technical knowledge between experts with a very wide range of skills – for example, the breeder learning about molecular biology so as to establish a common understanding across the consortium of the range of research activities.  Researchers and technicians will be trained across the project and this work package will network this education activity to create of a community of researchers providing the foundation of continued support and the potential for collaboration into the future. We estimate that our education activities will include 20 doctoral graduates and 20 technicians trained within the project. The leader of this workpackage will work closely with the coordinator, the leaders of workpackages 9 and 10 to ensure that training experiences are as rewarding as possible to all participants and that there all staff being trained on the project benefit from the full breadth of the project’s expertise.

The provision of training workshops for WATBIO partners, which are open to participants from outside WATBIO, are at the heart of this work.  Four workshops have been completed:


  • Improving water-stress tolerance of crop plants.  Southampton University 23 November 2012.
  • Experimental design and statistical analysis.  Wageningen University 13 - 14 May 2013
  • Next generation sequencing.  IGA Technology Services, Udine, 17-30 September 2013
  • Phenomics. Aberystwyth University, 11-12 September 2014.


Hands-on learning of how to process Next Generation Sequencing Data at the IGATS NGS workshop at Udine