The Bio-Rad Academy is an online platform that offers a diverse array of high-quality courses for scientists of all levels. With over six decades of experience as a global leader in life science research and clinical diagnostics, Bio-Rad is committed to advancing scientific understanding to enhance quality of life. The Academy was established on the core belief that education serves as a catalyst for driving positive change.
To gain a deeper understanding of the philosophy and mission behind the Bio-Rad Academy, SelectScience® spoke with Chloe Etienne, Senior Campaign Manager, and Matthew Hammond, Applications and Collaborations Manager for the Protein Quantitation Group at Bio-Rad.
The Bio-Rad Academy is designed to provide practical knowledge and insights into common technologies that biologists and researchers use daily. The course offerings are as diverse as the scientific community it serves. Currently, the Academy provides courses covering techniques like quantitative PCR (qPCR), droplet digital PCR (ddPCR), flow cytometry, western blotting, and immunoassays, with plans for expanding the course catalog in the future. These courses are not isolated lessons but gateways to user forums, where learners can connect, ask questions, and network with like-minded individuals.
Hammond explains that the Academy's genesis emerged from Bio-Rad's commitment to teaching and supporting its users. The vision was clear – to create a centralized platform where “knowledge and information sharing could benefit the widest audience possible”. It became evident that this endeavor required a consistent structure and format to provide a seamless user experience regardless of which topics are covered.
Each course follows a similar format, presenting concise video lessons and reinforcing the information with brief quizzes. The courses introduce theoretical concepts at a practical level, ensuring that the focus remains on equipping learners with a deep understanding of how their choices in experiment setup and execution impact their results.
Etienne mentions another unique feature – the Academy's community. It's not merely a one-sided learning platform but a dynamic space where anyone who enrolls in a course can engage with fellow participants. Since its launch in 2023, more than fifteen thousand individuals have registered for courses. The community allows for discussions, image sharing, and interaction with Bio-Rad experts and peers, enriching the learning experience.
The collaborative environment within the Bio-Rad Academy significantly enhances the learning experience. Etienne and Hammond emphasize that the Academy is not merely a platform to learn about Bio-Rad's products; it is about improving the practice of science. This sentiment aligns perfectly with Bio-Rad's mission statement: “Advancing science and saving lives together.”
Hammond explains, "it's not a place to just learn about our products, and we're not just trying to sell; we really believe in doing science better." This mission is reflected in the Academy's commitment to providing material in an unbranded fashion. While Bio-Rad does offer solutions, they are presented alongside other choices available to customers. The objective is to ensure that the Academy is accessible and valuable to a broad audience. Etienne adds, "we are all scientists first." The global scientific community's need to come together, exemplified by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, is mirrored in the Academy's spirit of unity, bringing scientists together to elevate the quality of science.
The Academy aims to bring everyone together and make science better.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Bio-Rad Academy is its accessibility. The courses are offered for free, aligning perfectly with Bio-Rad's mission of advancing science and saving lives together. Matthew stresses that the broader the availability, the faster science will advance.
The strong commitment to maintaining the Academy as a non-branded and commercialism-free platform is also part of a strategy to prevent alienation and ensure that the platform remains inclusive and valuable to the scientific community. By providing high-quality education for free, Bio-Rad underscores its dedication to the global scientific community's growth. Etienne summarizes, "The Academy aims to bring everyone together and make science better."
As we look ahead, the Bio-Rad Academy promises a wealth of opportunities for further growth and innovation. Etienne and Hammond are enthusiastic about the future of the Academy, with plans for new courses, exploration of continuing education credits, deeper dives into theory, and courses on data security and publication standards. The Academy is open to feedback and suggestions from users, actively encouraging them to shape its future.
The Bio-Rad Academy is more than just an educational platform; it is a community of scientists coming together to learn, share, and advance science with the aim to, ultimately, save lives. Its high-quality, accessible courses and collaborative environment create a unique and exciting place for anyone, helping students to experienced practitioners expand their knowledge, all in the spirit of advancing science and saving lives together.
Begin your journey with the Bio-Rad Academy, enroll in a course, and share this knowledge with your peers.