Next Generation Sequencing (Virtual)

7–11 September 2020

Virtual course

Virtual training in the latest next-generation sequencing systems


Please note: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this course will be delivered in a virtual format. Attendees will be contacted with further information shortly.

Next generation sequencing has become the premier tool in genetic and genomic analysis. This laboratory-based course is directed at scientists who will be generating and interpreting sequence information in their research and wish to gain a better understanding of the platforms and techniques involved, and their applications.

The course will include theoretical and practical information on all of the next-generation sequencing systems available and those on the near horizon. The laboratory element will cover a mix of the latest technologies, but will be chosen from short- and long-read sequencing platforms including,

– PacBio
– Illumina Miseq/HiSeq
– Oxford Nanopore MinION

A key aim of the course is to allow participants to make informed decisions about which technology to apply to solve specific research questions they may face in the future. A variety of applications will be covered as time permits, e.g., RNA-Seq, target enrichment, bacterial sequencing, cancer genomics, human variation analysis, etc. All the basic techniques of post-sequencing analysis will be covered, QC, alignment, assembly, variant calling, etc.

Please note: For the data analysis components of the course, applicants will require a working knowledge of the UNIX/Linux operating system. This can be obtained by various methods and is essential to fully benefit from the course. There are numerous online introductory tutorials to the UNIX/Linux operating system and command line, including:

This course is not meant to replace the manufacturers’ training normally supplied with new instruments, nor is it intended to be a training course for those solely interested in next generation sequencing bioinformatics (please refer to our website for dedicated bioinformatics courses).


For this virtual course, we plan to use a combination of video conferencing, streaming, and online and virtual machine (VM) teaching resources to deliver the different elements of the course as interactively as possible.

The programme will include lecture and virtual sessions covering the following topics:

Library Prep
-Making libraries from samples
-Both theory and practical sessions

-Overview: Motivation and fundamental concepts
-Detailed description of prominent sequencing technologies: current and future (3rd generation) platforms
-Hands-on laboratory work: preparing chips for sequencing and performing sequencing runs on various platforms

Data analysis
-Data QC: How to determine if a run has performed well
-Alignment to a reference, de-novo assembly, SNP and structural variant-calling of next generation DNA and RNA data
-IT and data storage problems

Accompanying the lecture and practical sessions will be a series of seminars by invited speakers, who will highlight their ground-breaking work in the applications of next generation sequencing.

Learning Outcomes
On completion of the course, participants should be able to:

  • prepare high quality libraries for NGS
  • set up a sequencing run
  • critically assess a sequencing run and distinguish between good and poor quality data
  • appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of different sequencing technologies
  • process data, align and call variants

Instructors and speakers

Course instructors

Jacqueline Keane
Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

Louise Aigrain
Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

Michael Quail
Wellcome Sanger Institute, UK

The course will also feature a panel of distingushed guest speakers. Speakers for the 2020 course will be announced shortly.

How to apply

Applicants should be postdoctoral scientists, senior PhD students or junior faculty members actively engaged in or soon to commence research involving next generation sequencing instrumentation.

For the data analysis components of the course, applicants will require a working knowledge of the UNIX/Linux operating system. This can be obtained by various methods and is essential to fully benefit from the course. There are numerous online introductory tutorials to the UNIX/Linux operating system and command line, including:

How to Apply
Please click the Apply button above to begin the online application process. Places are limited and will be awarded on merit. If you have any problems with the online application process, please contact us.

Please note: Applications must be supported by a recommendation from a scientific or clinical sponsor (e.g. supervisor, line manager or head of department). A request for a supporting statement will be sent to your nominated sponsor automatically during the application process. Applicants must ensure that their sponsor provides this supporting statement by the application deadline. Applications without a supporting statement cannot be considered.

Travel visas
Successful applicants will be provided with a support letter for their visa application, if required.

Please visit the following websites for further information on visiting the UK:


Cost Accommodation / meals
*Course fee £TBC Due to the Covid-19 pandemic this course will be delivered in a virtual format.

*The course fee is subsidised by Wellcome Genome Campus Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences and applies to non-commercial applicants. Please contact us for the commercial fee.

Limited bursaries are available (up to 50% reduction on the course fee) and are awarded on merit. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please complete the bursary section of the online application form.

Where there are many bursary applications, the selection committee may issue smaller amounts.

Bursaries can be applied for as part of the course application form. Applicants will be notified of a bursary award along with their place on the course, usually within one month of the application deadline. The decision of the selection committee is final.

Please note that both the applicant and sponsor are required to provide a justification for the bursary as part of the application.

Additional funding opportunities
Visit our support page for additional financial support currently available.

Accommodation services phishing scam – please be vigilant. More information.


Feedback from the 2019 course:

This is the best course I ever attended. It was very well organized. I found the instructors very approachable and willing to help. Instructors were awesome, they made sure that we have fun and learning during this course. They took time from their personal time to make sure we are well taken care of.

The course was amazing. I really enjoyed myself and the group of students you put together was bang on.

Thank you for brilliant and highly professional job you are doing!

The course is indeed highly informative for the beginners to NGS. A perfect environment with trained mentors was really motivating to pursue our research queries using NGS platform.

Thank you so much for a great week. The course was extremely intense but rich in terms of NGS knowledge. The people attending to the course (instructors, assistants, speakers and participants) showed a scientific high level and were very nice. Meals and lodging perfect. Excellent course, I highly recommended it.

The course was great! Thanks to all the instructors, organizers, and people involved.

Thanks so much for putting this course together, organising it so smoothly and for such a great time!

I really loved the course, thanks so much to everyone involved.

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