There is a need for more top-class graduates in the biological sciences to take up key posts in industry, research and teaching. But the need to educate more graduates with the right qualifications within biotechnology and biomedicine is not just a matter of matching the supply of candidates with the demand. It is also about nurturing and developing the talent that will provide the new ideas that are so important for the environment, for the economy, for health, for the future and for all of us.
A unique setup
The department focuses its recruitment activities on building bridges between different levels in the education system, giving junior and secondary schools access to the university’s knowledge and resources in a form suited to their learning needs.
And when it comes to developing talent, it is not just systems biology that gifted students need to learn more about but also organizational development, leadership and business skills. They learn this by developing new and innovative teaching methods, drawing up applications for funding for communication activities and by teaching future DTU students and by presenting ideas for CEO’s, ministers and internationally acclaimed researchers.
The most able students take on recruitment activities, while the department provides the framework. And this is a unique combination, that gives pupils in high school classes exciting and relevant teaching at their level and presents university students challenges that teach them to turn original ideas into reality.
Eduforce is the core of recruitment and talent work. A team of talented students from the Biotechnology and Human Life Science Engineering programmes teach secondary school students in a curriculum that goes far beyond what students at upper secondary education are used to. A great deal of learning takes place at DTU "Biotéket" which offers free education visits for high school and HTX-classes at A level in either biotechnology, chemistry or biology. They may, for example, get the opportunity to test their own DNA, learn about bioethanol and perform experiments in a virtual lab.
The hunt for the wild bacteria: An instructional program that starts in elementary school and ends at DTU. A science education and talent development project in which primary school, secondary school and university work together to find the "wild" type of the microorganism (Pseudomonas) that causes fatal infections in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis.
School pupils collect Pseudomonas A. around Denmark, and the results of this collection form the basis of experiments carried out at DTU by natural science high school students. Finally, we analyze samples of DTU scientists, and perhaps the students have helped scientists one step further.
Biotech Academy is an elite network of extra talented students from DTU Systems Biology. They produce educational material on biotechnology and biomedicine to colleges and HTX in cooperation with companies and they are responsible for fundraising for the many exciting projects supported by the Foundation. Biotech Academy teaches the students' project manager skills and gives them valuable contacts with industry at an early stage of their education. Biotech Academy has 14 educational projects with exercises and guides as well as a virtual laboratory.
Society for Biological Engineering (SBE) is the largest organization for students interested in biotechnology. SBE is working to integrate biology, technology and innovation in one field of interest and create a network of students, academics and industry, both nationally as well as internationally.