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PhD Studentship in School of Computing - Machine Learning for Synthetic Biology (EPSRC Portabolomics)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, April 12, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Number of awards:


Start date and duration:

January 2019 for 3 years.


A unique studentship opportunity to join an interdisciplinary team with world class reputation is offered by Newcastle University. This PhD studentship is part of the Portabolomics project ( The vision of this project is to bring forth a breakthrough in Synthetic Biology that will enable the development of portable biocircuits across chassis (i.e. from one bacteria species to another). This vision is akin to the Java virtual machine enabling the portability of software across different operating systems and hardware platforms.

In this doctoral project you will focus on the challenge of devising innovative strategies to transform the vast volumes of data generated in the wet lab experiments of Portabolomics into actionable knowledge that can both inform further wet lab experiments and feed into the computational work on network analysis and simualtion of the project. The data generated by the project is vast and diverse: imaging data, omics data, complex and heterogeneous annotation from public and private sources. To solve such challenge we will combine methods for biological data integration, state-of-the-art machine learning (especially deep learning), knowledge extraction and information visualisation techniques.

The specific topic of the studentship will be decided based on the skill set of the successful applicant, although we envision that it will require a combination of the following:

- Strong machine learning background and proficiency in the state of the art data science languages (e.g. R, python)
- Deep Learning
- Knowledge discovery
- Biological data integration
- Information visualisation.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (

Name of supervisor(s):

Dr Jaume Bacardit (, School of Computing (

Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants should have a first class degree, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience equivalent to that level. Ideally, students should have a BSc or MSc degree in computer science. Applicants should be strong programmers, and experience in machine learning/data mining/big data/information visualisation/biological data will be greatly valued.

Full fees will only be awarded following EPSRC eligibility rules. (

How to apply:

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’ (

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:
•insert the programme code 8050F in the programme of study section
•select PhD Computer Science (full time) -Computing Science’, as the programme of study
•insert the studentship code COMP007
•attach covering letter, CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of English language qualifications. The covering letter must state title of studentship, quote reference COMP007 and describe how your research interests fit with the topic of research project outlined in the advertisement (maximum of two pages).

please send your covering letter and CV by e-mail to .

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and an annual stipend of £15,009 (full award).

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