SoCoBio's call for applications to studentships starting in October 2022 is now closed. Please check back in October 2022 to apply to join the programme in 2023.

Applications still open for industry co-funded Studentship with Dr Franklin Nobrega at the University of Southampton

Project title and link to project summary: Forensic field sensing of nucleic acids using nanopore sequencing  

UK applicants only – Apply through Southampton application portal to South Coast Biosciences programme

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 and CASE 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.

Industry Co-funded studentships

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.

At time of application, 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: Funding

SoCoBio DTP offers UKRI-funded studentships which include tuition fees at the UK rate plus a tax-free maintenance stipend to support living costs, and an annual Research Training Support Grant (RTSG).

SoCoBio also welcome international applicants and will fund full overseas fees but the number of international studentships awarded per cohort is capped by UKRI at 30% per cohort. We also accept applications from international students with independently sourced bursaries to cover the difference between home and overseas fee rates.

Further information on eligibility for international students can be found on the UKRI website: International Eligibility Guidance

Step 4: How do I apply?

Application window for our standard studentships starting October 2022 is now closed

Visit the Projects page to view our 2022 projects for consideration by applicants. Use the ‘Filter Projects‘ drop-down menu and select ‘2022 cohort‘ and filter projects by selecting studentship type and theme(s).

Students can apply for both Standard/CASE studentships, or Industry co-funded studentships. Follow the application procedure for both below:

Application Procedure for DTP route of entry (Standard and CASE studentships)

Step 1: Complete the University of Southampton online application by following this link.

University of Southampton Online Application (link will be live when the next recruitment cycle opens in October 2022)

Application guidance:  leave topic or field of research and name of proposed supervisor blank, funding is from SoCoBio DTP. Use same personal statement as for SoCoBio Funding online application which has a 500 word limit.

Step 2: Complete the SoCoBio DTP application by following this link

SoCoBio Funding Online Application (link will be live when the next recruitment cycle opens in October 2022)

Important: read the SoCoBio Funding Application Guidance Notes before completing this application. 

Your application cannot receive consideration until you have completed both applications and 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.
  3. Two references with at least one being an academic reference.

Application Procedure for Industry co-funded studentships

We are still receiving applications to our Industry co-funded studentships

To apply to our 2022 Industry co-funded studentships complete the University online application using the links below

Project No. 2209 –  Title: “Correlative imaging for fracture prediction in the military“| Primary Supervisor: Dr Claire Clarkin | Industry Partner: Army Health and Performance Research (AHPR) | location: University of Southampton – Apply Here

Application guidance:  Enter PhD project title in ‘topic or field of research’ and primary supervisor in ‘name of proposed supervisor’. Funding is from SoCoBio DTP.

How will applications be assessed

For DTP route of entry the SoCoBio Recruitment Committee will shortlist candidates according to the following criteria:

  1. Academic performance – as demonstrated by your qualifications and/or research or work/professional experience.
  2. Fit to programme – as demonstrated by your research interests and your motivation and commitment to doctoral research.

For industry co-funded studentship applications the supervisory team will shortlist candidates for interview to the criteria above.

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

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend online video call interview in February and will have an opportunity to visit all our partner campuses prior to interview. Visit day details will be sent to shortlisted candidates when invited to interview.

Standard DTP Studentships

Interviews will take place on 17 and 18 February 2022 by video call. Candidates will be notified by 31 January 2022 if they have been selected for interview.

Industry co-funded studentship

Interviews will be carried out by the project Supervisory Team with representation from the DTP Management Team.


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 (DTP entry route standard and CASE studentships only). For projects located at a partner institution (i.e. not the University of Southampton) you will be asked to complete a formal application to that institution. Finally, formal offer /funding letters will be sent to you from your project’s host institution.

PhD's and future careers

" There are things I’ve been interested in learning before my PhD, but I’d never had the opportunity or a problem to solve that would allow me to learn them. By keeping an eye out during your PhD for opportunities to learn new skills you can quite often take it in a direction that will allow you to broaden your skill set in the way that you want. "

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

A message from the SoCoBio DTP EDI Champion

Find out more

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