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Summer School in Bioinformatics (Virtual)

28 June - 02 July 2021Virtual course
Deadlines (at 23:59 UTC):
  • Application and bursary deadline 06 April 2021

Registration opens soon.
email for updates.

Jointly run with EMBL-EBI

  • Summary

    This event will be organised as a virtual course.  It is hoped that it will return to an in-person course in 2022.

    This popular computational course, run jointly with EMBL-EBI, provides an introduction to the use of bioinformatics in biological research, giving participants guidance for using bioinformatics in their work whilst also providing hands-on training in tools and resources appropriate to their research.

    Participants will initially be introduced to bioinformatics theory and practice, including best practices for undertaking bioinformatics analysis, data management and reproducibility. To enable specific exploration of resources in their particular field of interest, participants will be divided into focused groups to work on a small project set by EMBL-EBI resource and research staff, ending in a presentation from each group on the final day of the course to bring together learnings from all participants.

    This course is aimed at individuals working across life sciences who have little or no experience in bioinformatics. Applicants are expected to be at an early stage of using bioinformatics in their research with the need to develop their knowledge and skills further. No previous knowledge of programming is required for this course; group projects may give you the opportunity to learn basic programming, but participants will be supported in this by their mentors. Depending on your chosen project, an introductory programming tutorial may be given as homework prior to attending the course.

    The course includes training and mentoring by experts from EMBL-EBI and external institutes.

  • Programme

    The course will start at approximately 10.00 on Monday, 28 June and close at approximately 15.30 on Friday, 2 July 2021.

    This is a virtual course. All students are requested to attend the full duration to benefit fully from discussions and interactions with the faculty and other students.

    During this course you will learn about:

    • Bioinformatics as a science
    • Designing bioinformatics studies
    • Data management and reproducibility
    • Basic tools and resources for bioinformatics

    The exact range of resources and tools covered will vary depending on the group project undertaken; there will be no opportunity for you to analyse your own data during this course.

    Group projects
    A major element of this course is a group project, where participants will be placed in small groups to work together on a challenge set by trainers from EMBL-EBI. This allows people to explore the bioinformatics tools and resources available in their area of interest and apply them to a set problem, providing participants with hands-on experience relevant to their own research. The group work will culminate in a presentation session involving all participants on the final day of the course, giving an opportunity for wider discussion on the benefits and challenges of working with biological data.

    Groups are mentored and supported by the trainers who set the initial challenge, but the groups will be responsible for driving their projects forward, with all members expected to take an active role. Groups are pre-organised before the course, and all group members will be sent some short “homework” in preparation for their project work prior to the start of the course.

    Basic outlines of the projects on offer this year are given below. In your application you must indicate your first and second choice of project, based on which you think would benefit your research most. Not all projects may be offered, and final decisions on which projects will be run during the course will be made based on the number of applicants per project.

    Details of this year’s projects will follow soon.

  • Learning outcomes

    Learning outcomes
    Following course completion participants should be able to:

    • Discuss applications of bioinformatics in biological research
    • Browse, search, and retrieve biological data from public repositories
    • Use appropriate bioinformatics tools to explore biological data
    • Comprehend ways biological data can be stored, organised and integrated
  • Instructors and speakers

    Scientific Programme Committee

    Sarah Morgan

    Sarah Morgan

    Alexandra Holinski

    Alexandra Holinski

    Anna Swan

    Anna Swan

    Lee Larcombe

    Lee Larcombe
    applied exomics, UK

    Hedi Peterson

    Hedi Peterson
    Tartu University, Estonia

    Keynote speakers

    Keynotes will be confirmed soon.

    Confirmed speakers

    A list of confirmed speakers will be announced shortly

    Conference organiser

    Lucy Criddle, Conference and Event Organiser
    Jane Murphy, Scientific Programme Officer


  • Cost and bursaries

    Course fee will be confirmed shortly.


    A limited number of registration bursaries are available to attend this course (up to 50% of the standard registration fee) from Wellcome Genome Campus Scientific Conferences.
    The following documents will need to be provided:

    • CV
    • A justification letter (explain how you will benefit from attending the course)
    • A supporting letter from supervisor stating financial need

    To apply, please send the above documents to the event organiser by the bursary deadline. Please ensure you have completed the online application before applying for a bursary.
    Bursary deadline will be confirmed shortly.

    Additional funding opportunities
    Visit our support page for additional financial support currently available.


  • How to apply

    No previous knowledge of programming is required for this course; group projects may give you the opportunity to learn basic programming, but participants will be supported in this by their mentors. Depending on your chosen project, an introductory programming tutorial may be given as homework prior to attending the course.

    How to Apply
    Please complete the online application form. Places are limited and will be awarded on merit. If you have any problems with the online application process, please contact us.

    Please note: Applications must be supported by a recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor (e.g. supervisor, line manager or head of department). A request for a supporting statement will be sent to your nominated sponsor automatically during the application process. Applicants must ensure that their sponsor provides this supporting statement by the application deadline. Applications without a supporting statement cannot be considered.

    Travel visas
    Successful applicants will be provided with a support letter for their visa application, if required.

    Please visit the following websites for further information on visiting the UK: