The NORBIS research school aims to provide a high quality PhD education through its network of excellent research groups in Norway within the fields of bioinformatics, biostatistics, and systems biology. The school aims to educate methods-oriented researchers who will in the next round develop, teach, train, drive, and support use of bioinformatics, statistical genomics and computational biology within the wider area of molecular life science. The school further aims at promoting contacts with the international research community in the field, in the society and among relevant industries. This new arena for research and research education will improve the PhD-education, increase the recruitment to this fast growing scientific field, and give an overall international perspective to the PhD-training.

Research  in  the  wide  area  of  life  science  is increasingly utilising molecular techniques and generating large amounts of data. Most research projects are highly multi-disciplinary  and their success depends invariably on decisive contributions from the disciplines of bioinformatics (branching from computer science), biostatistics (from statistics), and systems biology (mathematics  and  theoretical physics and chemistry). From experimental design to data management, from analysis of data to interpretation and prediction, the project pipeline calls for advanced methodological competence and inventiveness. The increasing complexity of the data and  experiments, and the sophistication of the scientific goals more and more require the development of  new methods and computational pipelines. The most important discoveries in molecular life sciences  are based on new developments in bioinformatics, biostatistics and systems biology.

Bioinformatics, biostatistics, and systems biology are fields of central importance for modern life science research. Here we established a national research school covering these areas – with participation from eight Norwegian universities with activities in these fields. Together, the involved groups  are offering a program including courses with sufficient both width and depth to make up a high-quality PhD education across these fields. The national school benefits from expertise spread over the involved institutions and also contributes to strengthening the collaboration and coordination between the research groups involved.