Your research training
In the first few weeks the priority will be to discuss the overall aim of your project with your supervisor who will also provide you with starter references and arrange for you to receive training in experimental and practical techniques relevant to your studies.
Your supervisor and other experienced staff will be able to offer guidance to overcome any problems you may have. All students in the Centre should be assigned a supervisory team with whom you and your primary supervisor can discuss the direction of the research. It is often common to spend the first few weeks learning generic skills such as tissue culture, RNA extraction, Western blotting and reading a lot of papers – this may all seem a bit overwhelming! University regulations require that a brief research plan is written after about 10 weeks – this is an excellent way to focus on the key questions to be addressed in the first year and your supervisor/s should help you in preparing this document. It is common for further refinement of the study design to take place during the first year as the project develops. Your supervisors and other experienced staff will be able to offer guidance to overcome any problems you may have. The University of Edinburgh runs a wide range of courses teaching key skills such as presentation, speed reading etc. and you will be encouraged to attend these as well as all local Centre seminars, journal clubs and research talks as available.
Details of the availability of courses on offer from the Institute of Academic Development can be found at the website below or by searching IAD on the University website.