BT8121 - Transdisciplinary biotechnology – a Digital Life Norway course


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2023/2024

Course content

The aim is to obtain a true transdisciplinary course where PhD students from different backgrounds (biotechnology/life sciences and bioinformatics/mathematics/computer science) work together in the context of modelling and/or data analysis, and also learn about data collection in biotechnology/life sciences. Responsible research and innovation (RRI) will be an integrated part of the course. The course will have three teaching blocks: A start-up plenary (3-4 days) at NTNU, where participants will be introduced to the different scientific projects they will be part of during the course. The start-up plenary will also cover the essentials on transdisciplinary group work, introduction to remote collaboration and sharing of big data, and introduction to RRI. The group projects (5-7 days) offered in the course will be based on scientific data made available by the group leader and/or his/her research group. The students will learn about the collection of the data, and why they are important for generating new knowledge and/or innovation. Each group work will consist of one or more tasks linked to modelling and/or analysis of the data. The group projects will be distributed at different Norwegian Universities (NTNU, UiB, UiT, UiO), and might require that participants travel. The final plenary session (1,5-2 days) will take place at NTNU, and will contain presentations of the work and results from all scientific projects. There will also be round-table discussion and sharing of lessons learnt on transdisciplinary group work and collaboration. IMPORTANT: More information on the course and the specific group works can be found at the website of Digital Life Norway Research School

Learning outcome

1) How to work transdisciplinary solving a complex scientific task in collaboration with other scientists. 2) The general principles for data collection in biotechnology/life sciences and modelling and/or analysis of the data with advanced methods.3) In each group, tools for collection, sharing and analysis of the specific types of life science data that will be presented. This includes specific types of methods and soft-ware for modelling and analysis of the data.4) Create an awareness for RRI and how to apply it in your own research

Learning methods and activities

Group work and plenary sessions. Group work may take place both physically (might require travelling to another city) and via Skype/other communication channels.All costs related to travelling will be covered by Digital Life Norway Research School (for members of the research school).

Further on evaluation

Each student will write a project report containing scientific results as well as reflections on transdisciplinary collaboration, that will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis. The group presentations during the final plenary will be part of the evaluation.

Required previous knowledge

To qualify for the course, participants need to have background in at least one of the following disciplines: life sciences (including but not limited to medicine and biotechnology), technology, engineering, or mathematics (including but not limited to physics, chemistry, computer sciences, programming). The goal of the course is to create a transdisciplinary environment in which students from different scientific backgrounds will learn to collaborate. Since one of the major aspects presented in the course is RRI (Responsible Research and Innovation), students with a background in humanities may also be accepted. In case the course is full, members of Digital Life Norway Research School will be prioritized.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level



Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Biotechnology and Food Science


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