Science Industry Partnership

18 Mar 2019

Level 7 Bioinformatics Scientist Apprenticeship Standard Approved for delivery

The Science Industry Partnership (SIP) is delighted to announce that the Institute of Apprenticeships (IfA) has approved the Level 7 Bioinformatics Scientist Apprenticeship Standard for delivery.

The new Standard, including the Assessment Plan, has been developed by the Life Science & Industrial Science (LS&IS) Trailblazer which is supported by the Science Industry Partnership.

On completion, apprentices will hold a Level 7 Master’s Degree qualification in Bioinformatics aligned to a science or technology discipline relevant to their job role.

The new Standard describes the job role that an apprentice will be doing and the skills required of them by the life sciences sector.

Dr Malcolm Skingle, Director GSK and Chair of the SIP said: “This new vocational training pathway will deliver highly skilled work-ready individuals who will be able to apply their knowledge of computing, coding, biology, statistics and mathematics while fulfilling a job role in a host company. 

“This important development recognises that the life sciences sector requires clear, highly specialised routes into the jobs of the future. Our sector needs people who can combine core science and computational skills to deliver high quality, actionable information that will take us to another level of understanding and in turn discovery.”

What is a Bioinformatician?
Bioinformaticians are specialist scientists who use computational, data analytical and data mining techniques which are applied to a range of problems in the life sciences, for example, in pharmaceutical companies in the process of drug discovery and development.  

What apprentices will learn from this Standard – examples:

  • How research is conducted in bioinformatics and within the broader context of interdisciplinary life sciences
  • General data science approaches to life science problems, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Details of omic-scale/big-data-driven life science making use of core platform technologies
  • The responsibilities of working in production/industry environments managing scientific data – including regulated environments
  • Current approaches for modelling and warehousing of life science data
  • Requirements for responsible, legal or ethical access and use of biological data
  • Retrieval and manipulation of biological data, including data mining, from public repositories
  • Bioinformatics analysis methodologies and expertise in common bioinformatics software
  • Statistical/mathematical modelling methods, and key scientific and statistical analysis software packages
  • Common bioinformatics programming languages; algorithm design, analysis and testing
  • Database design and management, including information security considerations
  • The importance of data governance, curation, information architecture.

The typical duration of this Standard is 30 months and it receives maximum funding of £18,000 (Funding Band 8).

Trailblazer Group employers involved in creating the standard are Unilever, GSK, Medimmune, Astrazeneca, Fujifilm Diosynth, Eagle Genomics, Covance, Envigo, UCB, Kymab, EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute, Medical Research Council, Genomics England, Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry, Biochemical Society, Royal Society of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry

Providers who are planning delivery for this Standard include: Cranfield University, University of Nottingham, Cambridge University and Queen Mary University.

Download the Standard

Download the Assessment Plan

For more information contact: