Francis Crick Institute: Python Training

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The Francis Crick Institute


Biomedical Research

The Challenge

The Francis Crick Institute host a number of biomedical experts and statisticians undertaking cutting edge research to help improve treatment, diagnosis and prevention of human disease. Facilitating data intensive research often necessitates programming skills.

To help achieve their goals, the Institute asked us to provide training in Python programming to groups of research staff. Their aims range from undertaking traditional statistical analysis to writing code to help conduct experiments. One of the challenges here was to tailor the training program to their domain, making the content engaging and relevant to experts in genetics and biomedicine.

The Project

We continue to deliver a regular training program for researchers at the Institute. A pathway of sessions ranging from introduction to the language, through programming concepts, data analysis and modelling and visualisation have been put together with bespoke content focusing on topics such as RNA sequencing. Through each iteration, we work with the team at the Francis Crick to refine and further tailor the training program, resulting in a unique offering built just for them.

To keep participants engaged we developed a range of materials, training booklets, presentations and Jupyter notebooks to guide them through their learning journey. Training sessions are lead by an instructor through live coding demonstration and discussion. The sessions are fully interactive throughout, encouraging participants to work together and writing code from the off.

A virtual training environment is provisioned for training courses, giving access to Jupyter and training resources in the cloud. This serves as a useful centrepoint for resources and provides a fail-safe should there be any installation and setup issues on individuals’ laptops prior to a session.

Our Results

This is an on-going delivery with the Francis Crick Institute. Feedback is always positive and we continue to expand upon the training roster specifically tailored to their work. We have successfully delivered training to hundreds of researchers who are now using Python to further their research.

So far we have delivered training at a range of levels to more than 100 researchers during over 30 courses.