The University of Manchester and Tsinghua University to launch a jointly awarded dual degree PhD programme

The University of Manchester and Tsinghua University, Beijing, have launched a new dual degree PhD programme in Synthetic and Systems Biology.

Tsinghua University visit

The programme builds on the collaborative agreement signed between the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and Tsinghua University’s Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology in 2016.

Students will benefit from the world-class academic supervision, facilities and research infrastructure of these two globally renowned universities.

Professor George Guoqiang Chen, the Programme Director of Tsinghua University, said: “This Tsinghua-Manchester dual degree PhD programme will provide unique opportunities for students to experience various research environments of both Universities, to learn great sciences across national borders and to become more culturally open. More importantly, the students will exploit complementary strengths of both sites. We expect students graduating from this programme to be much more competitive in the global market.”

The University of Manchester and Tsinghua University have had an ongoing relationship for many years, established initially in 2007 during the tenures of Professor Alan Gilbert and Professor Gu Binglin and formalised in January 2018 when the presidents of the two universities, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell and Professor Yong Qiu, signed a Memorandum of Understanding.

Dr Neil Dixon, from Manchester’s Department of Chemistry has been appointed Programme Director and will provide the academic leadership for its implementation and development. Speaking at the launch of the programme, Dr Dixon said: “This promises to be a fantastic programme and will provide a unique educational experience for the next generation of scientists. The strengths of Manchester and Tsinghua together will provide an excellent environment for PhD students to grow and blossom. The international outlook of the programme will provide the students with the skill set to address current and future global challenges.”

For more than ten years numerous research collaborations have been initiated, especially in Science and Engineering. The launch of this initiative represents a significant milestone in the development of the broader relationship between The University of Manchester and Tsinghua University.

Professor Martin Schröder, Vice President of The University of Manchester and Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering states: “The area of biotechnology, embracing synthetic and systems biology, is a research beacon for The University of Manchester, representing a world-leading interdisciplinary activity with major funding and outstanding outputs and impact. This new collaboration with Tsinghua University will enable new routes to translation of research discoveries to the market-place to the benefit of all, and will also forge an important new relationship between the two Universities.”

The recruitment process is now underway and the first cohort of students will commence their studies from September 2020.