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Postgraduate Courses and Studentships

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

Title Description
[Apply by 26 Nov 2018] Fully-funded four-year bioscience PhD studentship: Rewiring Plant Gene Regulatory Networks 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.
[Closes 29 Jan 2018] PhD in synthetic bioremediation at Newcastle University 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
[Closes 1 Feb 2018] PhD in Microbial Cell Factories Anticancer Drug Production at Edinburgh University 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.
[Closes 28 Jan 2018] PhD Opportunity: Pushing the boundaries of 3D printed mechanisms for open source instrumentation 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.
[Closes 12 Jan 2018] Synthetic Biology Centre for Doctoral Training 2018 Cohort is now open for applications 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.
[Closes 27 Nov 2017] PhD on plant gene regulation 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.
[Closes Jan 2017] Studentships available at EPSRC and BBSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology 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.
[Closes 31 Jan 2017] PhD Studentship: OpenIP strategies for emerging technologies This PhD project with Dr Frank Tietze at the Institute for Manufacturing will be focused on a recent phenomenon that can be labelled “OpenIP”, for instance where large IP owners strategically make IP freely available through patent pledges. These seem to be carefully designed by the companies for different reasons and with a number of restrictions on licensees, such as non-assertion clauses.
[Closes 28 Nov 2016] 4yr PhD at John Innes Centre: Directing biosynthesis of bioactive triterpenes for pharmaceutical applications A four-year PhD studentship is available in Anne Osbourne's lab at the John Innes Centre, Norwich entitled 'Directing biosynthesis of bioactive triterpenes for pharmaceutical applications'
[Closes 20 May 2016] OpenPlant Studentships in plant synthetic biology now open to applications Three fully-funded, four-year PhD studentships are available from the University of Cambridge in association with OpenPlant, a UK Synthetic Biology Research Centre creating open technologies for plant synthetic biology.
[Closes 20 March 2016] PhD Studentship: Microdroplets and Synthetic Biology for Algal Biotechnology Applications are invited for a PhD studentship that forms part of a multidisciplinary, multicentre project "Algal oils by design", which aims to establish microalgae as an industrial biotechnology platform for the production of high value lipids, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
[Closes 4 March 2016] UK-France joint PhD programme includes Synthetic Biology The UK-France joint PhD programme aims to develop research in key areas of mutual interest to France and the UK, including areas of synthetic biology. Expressions of interest for the programme should be submitted by Friday 4 March 2016.
[Closes 23 Nov 2015] PhD studentship in ‘Development of a small scale automated bioreactor platform for AMR product optimisation using a synthetic biology approach’. Loughborough University is inviting applications for a PhD studentship in ‘Development of a small scale automated bioreactor platform for AMR product optimisation using a synthetic biology approach’.

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The Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative provides a hub for anyone interested in Synthetic Biology at the University of Cambridge, as well as commercial partners and external collaborators.