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Synthetic Biology in Cambridge


PhD studentships on offer in Cambridge and selected opportunities from elsewhere will be advertised here. You are also welcome to browse the research directory and contact potential supervisors directly.

Latest Studentship Opportunities

Part-time year-long course supporting postdocs and fellows to develop their research identity and the capability to lead independent research projects.

Opportunity for early career researcher/science graduate at syntheic biology startup working on pan-coronavirus antivirals.

PhD Studentship available in the lab of Dr Richard Gill at Imperial College London. Working to develop remote sensing technologies to reveal pollination signatures in real-time.

New program to help graduate students develop important professional skills to complement their academic education and improve job-readiness.

Opportunity for post-graduate students, postdocs and staff to join Easter term i-Teams projects exploring bio-inspired robotics, 3D data visualisation and improved cancer treatments.

Opportunity to improve your communiaction skills by pitching your research to a public audience in 3mins. National competition including mentoring and £1000 prize.

Solve for Tomorrow is a nationwide competition, empowering the UK’s next generation of innovators to change the world for good. No qualifications required. No existing expertise needed. Just an idea that uses technology and a desire to make a difference.

Opportunity for Cambridge graduate students and ECRs to present their research at one of six virtual research symposia focused on net zero and zero-carbon solutions.

£10,000 funding for enterpreneurs aged 18-30 in the UK and South Africa to tackle global challenges.

Four week online course for postgraduates and researchers. Free self-paced course from the University of Cambridge Biological Sciences Libraries Team.

Linnean Society award of £1000 and a medal for the best doctoral thesis in biology.

Graduate student positions available with Sam Rodriques in the Applied Biotechnology Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute. Projects include work on connectomics, viral vectors for gene therapy, and sequencing-based diagnostics for cancers and rare diseases.

Up to 3 year fellowships availble for PhD students representing the future of research in areas including computational neuroscience, heath research and machine learning. Includes a bursary and assigned Google mentor. Internal application process via the Research Strategy Office.

IFST travel bursaries support students to attend conferences or meetings related to all areas of food science and technology.

PhD position available working in the lab of Prof. Nigel Minton at the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with FOLIUM SCIENCE. Engineering bacterial endospores for drug delivery.

PhD position available working in the lab of Klaus Winzer at the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with Deep Branch. Developing sustainable protein feed alternatives.

PhD position available working in the lab of Matt Loose at the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with Oxford Nanopore Technologies. Developing DNA sequencing technologies.

4-year funded PhD programme in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership: Complex Biological Products Manufacture based at UCL.

4-year funded PhD studentships in agri-food based across the University of Reading, Cranfield University, the University of Surrey, Queen’s University Belfast, Aberystwyth University, and Brunel University London.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in BioDesign Engineering aims to train the next generation of leaders at the interface of biology, engineering and data science. The CDT will have an integrative training programme that covers experimentation, automation, coding, data science and entrepreneurship applied to the design, realisation and optimisation of novel biological systems for diverse applications.

The CDT is being led by Imperial College with the University of Manchester and University College London as partners. All students will undertake the MRes in Systems and Synthetic Biology at Imperial College in their first year, with an extended project at the lead-supervisor institution, followed by a 3 year PhD registration in that host institution.

Our aim is to build an inclusive cohort of students with diverse skillsets from life sciences, engineering and physical/computational backgrounds. We therefore encourage applications from students that reflect this diversity.

The vigorous development of Systems and Synthetic Biology constitutes a huge challenge that must be met both from the research and education perspectives. mSSB represents the first step towards nurturing a new brand of researchers and engineers to face up to the challenge.

The aim of mSSB is to provide students from the Life Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, Chemistry, Physical and Computer Sciences a mean to fruitfully engage in collaborative work across disciplinary boundaries, with applications in Systems & Synthetic Biology. Students undertaking the course will gain hands-on experience in experimental Biology, modelling and designing. They will also enhance transversal capacities including planning a project, giving a seminar, perceiving the industrial, economical and ethical issues associated with these developing fields.

Synthetic biology aims at engineering bio-computing devices in living organisms. Key to this endeavour is the computer-aided design of biological systems, which is not yet robust enough to design fully predictable genetic circuits. To this end, we need standards. Foremost among emerging computing standards is the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL), an open standard for the representation of in silico biological designs.

This PhD project will focus on the research and development of novel design methods for synthetic biology based on SBOL. SBOL is being developed by an international community, for which the supervisors are Editor and Chair. This standard provides a data format that can capture information of complex systems in unprecedented level of detail, leading to the potential automation of synthetic biology workflows.

Applications are now open for the 2019 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Summer Course in Synthetic Biology. This course focuses on how the complexity of biological systems can be combined with traditional engineering approaches to result in new design principles for synthetic biology. The centerpiece of the course is an immersive laboratory experience in which students work in teams to learn the practical and theoretical underpinnings of synthetic biology research. Broadly, the course explores how cellular regulation (transcriptional, translational, post-translational, and epigenetic) can be used to engineer cells that accomplish well-defined goals.

Plants have the ability to alter their growth and development in response to changes in their environment. They do this by altering the expression levels of large suites of genes. Previous work has shown that a small network of genes may be responsible for coordinating large-scale changes in gene expression in response to the detection of pathogens. To develop crops with the ability to deliver high yields in changing environments, we need to advance our understanding of how these networks function and how variations in sequences of the key genes that coordinate these networks affect plant responses. This project will investigate the role of candidate key controllers in a pathogen-response network, using a novel approach of designing synthetic genetic controllers to rewire the network. Our aims are to understand how the network is coordinated and to provide insights into how to breed or rationally engineer plants resilient to stress. The student will be based in the Patron Lab (Earlham Institute, Norwich) and will work in close collaboration with the Denby Lab (University of York) and the Morris Lab (John Innes Centre, Norwich). This exciting, collaborative and multidisciplinary project will employ a range of techniques including molecular plant biology, synthetic biology, genome engineering, systems biology and modelling. It would be suitable for a biologist with, or eager to acquire, computational skills. Training will be provided in all areas.

Climate change due to anthropogenic deterioration of the environment is a major threat to the biosphere. One way to address this problem comes from bioremediation through synthetic biology. This project aims to abstract ecosystems into sets of compounds, reactions and connections. Such ecological templates will then be mathematically formalised, and experimentally reproduced, to allow their integration into the rational design of genetic circuits

Taxol (paclitaxel) is one of the most important anticancer drugs and applications are encouraged for a PhD Studentship in microbial synthetic biology, focusing on the development of novel cell factories for the efficient and environmentally sustainable production paclitaxel, to help meet increasing demand for this key pharmaceutical.

Sharing designs for lab instruments as “open source hardware” could bring about a step change in science and medicine, by making high quality instruments more widely available and easier to customise or automate. This is an opportunity for a talented student with a background in Physics, Engineering, or a related discipline, to study for a PhD aligned with the "Open Lab Instrumentation" project that includes the Universities of Bath and Cambridge as well as our partners STICLab in Tanzania.

The Synthetic Biology Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) is a collaboration between the Universities of Bristol, Oxford and Warwick. It offers a four-year training programme leading to a PhD. The programme is designed for students with both physical and life sciences backgrounds.

PhD available with Dr Nicola Patron of the Earlham Institute on design principles for synthetic gene regulation - understanding how cis-regulatory functions are encoded in plant DNA.

The EPSRC and BBSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology (SynBioCDT) is a doctoral training programme that combines the fundamental understanding of biological systems with the principles of engineering, so as to create the next generation of industrial and academic leaders in the nascent field of Synthetic Biology.