As one of the foremost plant and fungal research institutes in the world, Kew has a responsibility to pass on its knowledge, skills and expertise to the next generation of plant and fungal scientists, both in the UK and globally, and to encourage and inspire questioning minds to delve further into pure and applied biodiversity science. This will be achieved through developing and updating our portfolio of short courses, continuing to host PhD students and interns, and delivering our new MSc Programme in Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation in conjunction with Queen Mary University of London.
This exciting MSc Programme was launched in September 2015, and directly addresses the skills gap in taxonomy and systematics identified by the Natural Environmental Research Council and Living with Environmental Change in their 2012 report Most Wanted II. Postgraduate and Professional Skills Needs in the Environment Sector. We aim to train 100 students through this new MSc Programme by 2020, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to undertake research in the fields of taxonomy, molecular systematics, ecology and evolution, or to engage in more applied conservation work. Together with our suite of short courses and doctoral training programmes we will train a new generation of plant and fungal scientists in cross-disciplinary skills with many applications in academia, government, industry, consultancy and non-governmental organisations. The future of biodiversity is in our hands.