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The application window for 2021/22 standard studentships has closed

Applications are still open for the following industry co-funded studentship

‘Eat-2-ing away: acetylcholine receptor binding subunits lacking vicinal cysteines, a new pharmacophore for mitigation of plant parasitic infection’

Primary Supervisor Prof Vincent O’Connor, University of Southampton | Industry partner Syngenta

(Closing date for applications 21st April 2021)

SocoBio DTP provides PhD students with a unique opportunity to undertake bioscience research and training in the following themes:

Understanding the rules of life

(up to 11 scholarships available)

Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food

(up to 5 scholarships available)

Bioscience for renewable resources and clean growth

(up to 8 scholarships available)

Bioscience for an integrated understanding of health

(up to 3 scholarships available)

A substantial proportion of our studentships are co-funded by industry or include an industry partner through a CASE award.

View research themes

Application Procedure

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying

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Step 1: What’s on Offer

Candidates can choose to join the programme via either the DTP route of entry or directly to an Industry Co-funded Project or apply to both.

Standard DTP studentships

This four-year programme comprises two laboratory ‘rotations’ in the first year, followed a project jointly supervised by researchers from two of the host institutions or with industry in years 2-4. Students normally take a three month industrial placement, and all students will receive training in Data-Management & Computational Biology, Industrial Biotechnology, Science Communication, and Business and Entrepreneurship plus optional Masters Level Modules. [link to projects]

Industry Co-funded studentship

Students joining an industry co-funded studentship do not undertake rotations in their first year and instead begin directly on their named industrial collaborative project from the start of the programme. During the 4-years of study industry co-funded studentship students will spend between 3-18 months on placement with their industry partner.

Step 2: Requirements for Applicants

Candidates should have a BSc/MSci 2:1 and/or Masters (MSc or MRes) at Merit/Distinction level (>60%) and/or evidence of significant relevant professional experience equivalent to Masters level. SoCoBio welcomes applications from candidates with sustained experience beyond their undergraduate degree level that is specifically relevant to biosciences research. This includes students with degrees in science or engineering-disciplines outside of biology

All students whose first language is not English must be able to provide recent evidence that their spoken and written language skills are adequate for the doctoral study – normally an IELTS qualification with a minimum score of 6.5 in all sections or proof of a previous degree taught in English or substantial work experience in the UK.

Evidence may be one of the following:

  • Work or educational experience in English
  • English Language qualification.

Step 3: Am I eligible?

UKRI has updated their eligibility criteria for all UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships for 2021/22 academic year. Both home and international students will be eligible for the full award funding (stipend to support living costs and fees at research institutions UK rate) but international fees set by universities are not covered. 

To be classed as a home student, candidates must meet the following criteria

• Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or

• Have settled status, or

• Have pre-settled status and (meeting residency requirements), or

• Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

All other candidates will be classed as international. SoCoBio do have institutional bursaries available to international students to cover the difference between the home and international fee rate, although applicants are encouraged to apply for funding from their home countries to cover this fee difference in the first instance. Further information on eligibility for international students can be found on the UKRI website: International Eligibility Guidance

Step 4: How do I apply?

The application window for 2021/22 standard studentships has closed

We are still recruiting to the following industry co-funded studentships:

  • ‘Eat-2-ing away: acetylcholine receptor binding subunits lacking vicinal cysteines, a new pharmacophore for mitigation of plant parasitic infection’, Primary Supervisor Prof Vincent O’Connor (University of Southampton)

To apply please complete the University of Southampton online application by following this link.

Apply Now

Your application cannot receive consideration until you provide all supporting documents as follows:

  1.  Evidence of prior academic qualifications – these will be certificates or transcripts to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements.
  2. Evidence of your English proficiency if English is not your first language.

How will applications be assessed

The SoCoBio Recruitment Committee will shortlist candidates according to the following criteria:

  1. Academic performance – as demonstrated by your qualifications
  2. Fit to programme
    • Preparedness for research training in biosciences including research or other work/professional experience, and personal qualities such as independence, initiative, problem solving and teamwork skills as demonstrated by your personal statement
    • Your motivation and commitment to doctoral research including career plans – as demonstrated by your personal statement
    • Coverage of SoCoBio themes and priority areas

Equality diversity and inclusion monitoring questions:

All sensitive data within your application will be anonymised and used for reporting purposes only. All sensitive personal data will be held securely, separately and in confidence, and used in accordance with the Data Policies of the partner institutions. This information will not be accessible to the SoCoBio Recruitment Committee during the selection process. Applications are particularly welcomed from candidates with protected characteristics – e.g. from black and minority ethnic groups – who are under-represented in postgraduate research at our Institutions. We also welcome candidates who would wish to consider pursuing a PhD part-time. We can offer support to students with additional responsibilities to enable them to pursue their PhD equitably. Students with a disability will be eligible to receive additional funding via the Disabled Student Allowance.

Step 5: Interviews

Candidates will be invited to interview and have an opportunity to visit all partner institutions, however due to the current pandemic interviews may be online video interviews instead of in person and visits to partners might not be possible. A decision will be made nearer the time.

Standard DTP Studentships

Interviews will take place on 18 and 19 February 2021 by video call, due to the health pandemic, with an interview panel of academics from across the DTP partners. Candidates will be notified by 29 January 2021 if they have been selected for interview.

Unfortunately this year we will not be hosting visit days at our partner prior to interview but candidates will be invited to join a virtual open day. Details and link will be sent to candidates invited to interview.

Industry co-funded studentship

Interviews will be carried out by the project Supervisory Team with representation from the DTP Management Team for industry co-funded studentships.  Students who express interest in these projects on the SoCoBio DTP application questionnaire will be notified by the project Supervisor if they have been selected for interview. This year due to the health pandemic interviews will be by video call.

Step 6: Offers

We will make informal offers shortly after interview. Once you accept an informal offer for a studentship you will be asked to choose your first rotation project (BBSRC DTP studentships only). For projects located at a partner institution you will be asked to complete a formal application to that institution. Finally, formal offer /funding letters will be sent to you.

If you have a question about the programme or its application procedure please contact the DTP Manager using the contact page.

The DTP is committed to inclusivity, and strongly encourages applicants from all backgrounds and regardless of their personal circumstances.