University of York
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Despite its small size (the 6th smallest in the UK) the University of York tops national leagues tables for research-efficiency, per-capita income and the quality of its teaching provision. In recognition of its unique strengths it was identified by the Financial Times (April 2002) as 'the outstanding performer amongst UK Universities' and was named The Sunday Times University of the Year, 2003/04. The Biology Department has a major postgraduate teaching program and is unusual in being selected to develop three prestigious MRes (Masters in Research) postgraduate degrees, from which much good practice has been copied into the training program of the EST. The University is a key player in Biosci-ence York, with a critical mass of some 3,100 life scientists. Its success in knowledge transfer was high-lighted in the latest Government White paper.

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The University of Oxford is globally renowned for the quality and diversity of its research, while the Department of Zoology and Ancient Biomolecules Centre are recognised as world leaders in both evo-lutionary research and teaching. Zoology achieved a perfect score in the government teaching assess-ment exercise, while the ABC is the centre of ancient DNA research for the UK. The Department in-cludes expert groups on theoretical and computational evolution, as well as empirical research on evo-lutionary behaviour, and ecology. Teaching and research are closely integrated at both the under-graduate and postgraduate levels, and current training schemes include very successful MSc multi-disciplinary courses where students participate in 2 research projects per year, assessed externally by written theses. Zoology researchers regularly feature in top scientific journals, both in publications and opinions or commentary. Since 2001 the ABC itself has had 9 papers in Science or Nature, and has raised 5M Euro in competitive grant competitions.

Zoology, Oxford


Trinity College Dublin is the top research University in the Republic of Ireland; it has a strong interna-tional reputation and has a substantial overseas student cohort. The Department of Genetics, Smurfit Institute is a leading biology department and was described in a recent review of the department's international standing by Prof. Arnold Levine, Princeton, as "first rate" and able to "compete with any in the U.S., or elsewhere". Entry to the Department of Genetics is the most competitive of any science course in Ireland. The department has a consistent record in attracting substantial research funding by competitive grant application (standing currently at several million euro per annum). The Bradley Lab is housed in the recently built Smurfit institute with excellent workspace and facilities:

Smurfit, Dublin


With almost 35,000 students and more than 7,000 employees, the University of Copenhagen is the largest institution of research and education in Denmark. Most research carried out at the University is basic research, but applied studies are increasingly undertaken. The Faculty of Science is comprised of 11 departments, including the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the Arctic Station and field stations located in Greenland. The Biological Institute covers all major biological disciplines: The department has a very strong publication record in the top scientific journals, including ancient DNA research with publications in journals such as Nature, Science, PNAS.

Smurfit, Dublin