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EPSRC-SFI Centre for Doctoral Training in Engineered Tissues for Discovery, Industry and Medicine

The CDT in Engineered Tissues for Discovery, Industry and Medicine is a partnership between the University of Glasgow, University of Birmingham, Aston University and National University of Ireland Galway. The CDT will train the next generation of interdisciplinary (engineering, chemistry, physics, maths and biology) leaders in developing in vitro tissues, sensing and diagnostics to develop humanised in vitro systems to drive better drug screening.

Global challenge

There are major problems with current drug discovery:

  1. Genomic and high-throughput technologies are driving the volume of new drug leads, but despite this volume, the number of successes has remained static; there is a productivity crisis.
  2. Overly simple in vitro screens and non-human animal models are not predicting fails and so approximately 40% of new drug fails are discovered during human trials.

The lifETIME CDT thus focuses on development of non-animal technologies to improve predictive power of pre-clinical drug screens and thus drive medicines discovery.

Benefits of joining our programme

The benefit of this programme is that we have partners from industry (Pharma, contract research organisations, small enterprises), the NHS, regulation and charity organisations who will work with our students. This CDT is based at the Universities of Glasgow, Birmingham, Aston and Galway, as partners we work collaboratively to create a national cohort of new talent to drive this sector. This cohort will support each other throughout their professional careers working to bring better health to the UK and beyond.

Students who join this programme will find homes in dynamic labs in the host universities and have the opportunity for travel around the UK / Ireland and the rest of the world. If you want to perform exciting science, become a leader in the field, develop a network of like-minded talent and thus grow the UK drug discovery sector, then you should apply for this programme.

More information about the lifETIME programme is available here.

Available projects:

Cell-free Lung Model for Mycobacterium Abscessus 3D-biofilm FormationDetails
Development of a Novel in Vitro Vascular Model for Analysis of Blood Flow Through Medical DevicesDetails
Creating an Integrated System to Evaluate the Influence of Physicochemical Stimuli on Fracture RepairDetails
Developing a 3D in vitro Model of the Retina to Understand and Treat Age-Related Macular DegenerationDetails
Development of Advanced EndoSpectroscopic Sensing (EndSpec-Sens) and Monitoring Device for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: From tissue and biofluid discovery, through early-stage diagnostics and onto personalised therapyDetails
Development of an Intravascular Photoacoustic Imaging SystemDetails
Gut on-chip for Screening of Ingestible Biomaterials Using In-situ SensingDetails
Screen-printed Nanobody Switchable Sensors for Cell Therapy process MonitoringDetails
Targeting Nuclear Mechanical Properties of Monocytes for Rapid Diagnosis and Treatment of Inflammatory DiseasesDetails
Validation of Advanced Spectroscopic Device for TBI Diagnosis Using an in-vivo Human-relevant Model of the Optic Nerve InjuryDetails
Designing Animal-Free Organoids Based on Engineered Vegetables and Protein Crystals [VegFold]Details
Engineering the Next Generation of Biologically Active Vascular GraftsDetails
Gel Noodles for Aligning CellsDetails
In situ Monitoring of Synovial Fluid Alterations During Osteoarthritis Progression via Impedance SpectroscopyDetails
Infectious Disease Diagnostic Testing in Community Settings at the Point of CareDetails
Small Molecule Induced Stem Cell DifferentiationDetails

More information about the projects is available here.

Funding and eligibility

Fully funded studentships are available at the UK home rate and international rate:

  • UK Home studentship – To be eligible for a fully funded UK home studentship you must be a UK national resident in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar for the last three years. Candidates with settled status (having lived in the UK for five years) and pre-settled status (having lived in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland for a minimum of three years) are eligible for funding. Candidates with indefinite leave to remain or enter are also eligible for funding.
  • International studentship – There are a limited number of international studentships available to exceptional candidates who do not meet the home status mentioned above.

All applicants must have or expect to obtain a first-class degree (2.1 or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline; Physical Sciences, Engineering, or other relevant disciplines.

International candidates whose first language is not English must demonstrate their proficiency in the English language with IELTS certification or equivalent. ATAS clearance is also required following acceptance of a conditional offer. Information on visa requirements can be fund here.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

lifETIME have placed EDI at the heart of its activities offering part-time studentships, childcare support for conference attendance, flexible working for careers as well as prompting work-life balance. We now offer EDI funding to support applications from widening participation backgrounds providing an additional funding of £2k p.a.

We are now accepting applications for session 2022/23.
Application deadline - 31st January 2022.

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