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First ‘results’ of partnership

The first “results” of the newly forged partnership between the Universities of St Andrews and Dundee graduated with a postgraduate research degree in environmental biology today.

The thirteen students were the first graduates to receive a parchment bearing the crests of both Universities side by side.

The graduates were the first cohort of students to complete a joint course under the partnership initiative which has seen the universities combine their expertise to create new and cutting edge undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The students took a one year postgraduate research degree in environmental biology.

Allyson Ritchie, who has now secured a PhD place at the University of Dundee explained, “Having lecturers from both universities gave us a fantastic breadth of experience to learn from.”

Another of the students Iain McWilliam said, “It was the most wide-ranging course available. It covered every aspect of environmental biology and has equipped me with many research skills.”

Bringing together the next generation of environmental biologists with diverse scientific perspectives was a goal of NERC, which awarded over £400K in fellowships to the partnership programme.

The partnership between the Universities has seen further development this week with the announcement of a new interdisciplinary research institute to tackle health problems. The Universities are combining their complementary strengths across a wide range of disciplines in the bold venture to create the Social Dimensions of Health Institute (SDHI).

The venture is the latest – and the most ambitious so far – to come out of the Promoting Partnership Initiative agreed between the two universities and launched with a grant from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council in 2000. Through the SDHI, over 50 researchers across the social sciences, medical research and practice will work together to tackle issues of widespread public and political concern.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS

“Promoting Partnership: An Evolving Collaboration” is an ambitious venture fostering institutional change within higher education. The initiative aims to draw upon strengths and interests in both the University of Dundee and the University of St Andrews to:

… expand both teaching and research in important emerging areas;
… experiment with innovation;
… build significant relationships with the private sector;
… significantly contribute to the social and economic well-being of Scotland.

For further information, please contact Carol Pope, University of Dundee Press Office on telephone (01382) 345108 or Claire Grainger, University of St Andrews Press Office on telephone 01334 462530/07730 415 015.

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