The EPSRC & BBSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology (SynBioCDT) 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 Synthetic Biology. The CDT focuses on the design and engineering of biologically based parts, novel devices and systems as well as the re-design of existing natural biological systems across all scales from molecules to organisms.
SynBioCDT is an exciting collaboration between the Universities of Oxford, Bristol and Warwick. The programme combines world-leading expertise in engineering and the physical and life sciences across all three Universities. The CDT's four-year programme of research and training has strong industrial links and is multi-disciplinary, accepting students from a wide range of scientific backgrounds who will apply engineering principles to design biological parts, devices, and systems.
Synthetic Biology is one of the eight great technologies of the UK government Industrial Strategy. The SynBioCDT has a growing list of industrial partners including DSTL, Syngenta, and GSK. We offer industrially oriented projects in collaboration with these partners, and also encourage applicants to consider development of research projects and areas that are within the remit of our industrial partners.
A major advantage of SynBioCDT is that students choose a PhD project after a training phase, allowing a more informed choice.
The first six months of the course develops advanced theoretical and technical skills for Synthetic Biology, drawing from the engineering, mathematical, physical, chemical and biological sciences. It also involves a term-long project, in our purpose-built Wetlab. The taught course is combined with research and communication skills training, through a combination of intensive lecture courses and project work.
After completing the taught training, two, 11-week Exploratory Research Projects are undertaken, at least one in the candidate’s home institution. The substantive PhD research project then follows, also based in the home institution.
Applications are invited from students with a wide range of academic backgrounds including, but not exclusively, Engineering, Biology, Biochemistry, Physics, Plant Sciences, Chemistry, Statistics, Mathematics and Computing, who have received, or are on target to achieve, a strong 2:1 degree or above. Applications to SynBioCDT are through the graduate admissions procedures at Oxford, Bristol or Warwick. By applying through one of these universities, you identify it as your preferred host institution.
Oxford applicants are encouraged to submit a copy of an up to date CV for assessment before making a formal application for the programme. For Oxford, this is at [email protected]
In 2018, in addition to the main field of studentships awarded through the EPSRC, the programme has funding for a specific funded project:
The Synthetic Biology CDT is pleased to announce a new initiative with the CRUK Oxford Centre which will provide 1 fully funded studentship (EU/UK rate) to join the 2018/9 Oxford–based cohort and go on to complete an interdisciplinary cancer related project for their DPhil. Applicants with an interest in this studentships should describe and evidence their strong interest in the application of Synthetic Biology to cancer research in their application cover letter.
Warwick applicants should not submit a CV before applying; instead they should make a formal application via: www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/lifesci/study/pgr/studentships/synbiocdt
Bristol applicants should not submit a CV before applying; instead they should make a formal application at: www.bristol.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/2016/doctoral/phd-epsrc-cdt-synthetic-biology
Full studentships are available to home students. A limited number of studentships are available to EU and overseas students.
Deadlines vary depending on the host University of your choice. Please check our website for more details.