Molecular Ecology Techniques Training Course

This course is free for UK researchers whose scientific interests fall within the remit of the Natural Environment Research Council.


We provide hands-on lab-based practical courses in various lab techniques and office-based training workshops associated with data analyses. One-to-one training is provided to applicants who have successfully applied for access to the NEOF Visitor Facility at Sheffield.

Most participants on this course will have applied for access to the NERC Environmental Omics Facility, but this is not always necessary (for more information, see our page about How to apply).

Course contents

The course consists of a week of practical work and is aimed at giving you basic molecular skills, in particular fluorescent microsatellite genotyping. The course is quite informal and flexible, so we can also touch on Sanger sequencing and other techniques if required, as well as looking at individual projects.

Bird PCR sex-typing techniques are included and we encourage participants to whom this is relevant to bring aliquots of their bird blood samples, so they can PCR sex-type them during the course.

The course includes time for specific project trouble-shooting if required. Please see the example schedule for more information.

Download the example schedule (Word, 40kB) and registration form (Word, 48kB) for this course.


Courses are held each year in the spring and winter, with an additional course often provided in the summer.

Registering for the course

If you wish to attend a course, please complete the registration form (see link above), in which you are asked to provide a brief introduction to your project and advise us of the techniques in which you hope to obtain training.

Please let us know about which dates you would be available, and your preferred dates for the course. Please email your completed registration form to Dr Deborah Dawson. The form is available to download from the link above.

For those who have successfully applied for access to the facility, the date of the course you attend should ideally be immediately before you intend to begin to perform your own genotyping. In this way, the training provided on the course is reinforced.

For further information and finalised dates of future courses, please contact Facility Manager Dr Deborah Dawson.

The NERC Environmental Omics Facility (NEOF)

Making state-of-the-art molecular genetics facilities and training available to the UK science community.