PhD Programme

Forming part of a series of educational programmes in Industrial Biotechnology, these funded PhD projects are selected by our Scientific Advisory Board from an open competition run annually through our Centre. Students embarking on a PhD studentship funded by IBioIC, will also have the opportunity to participate in cohort training programmes developed in coordination with industrial members in order to equip students with technical knowledge and transferrable skills.


PhD CASE Project Competition - Now Closed

This new call is open to industrially lead PhD projects in collaboration with a Scottish University or a University of the N8 Research Partnership. Applications from SMEs are particularly encouraged and all applications should demonstrate a good REF quality profile, a good track record of PhD supervision and a commitment to fund a mandatory 3 to 18 month industry research placement within the company.

All projects should be aligned to the major themes of IBioIC CASE awards, namely:

  • Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (including Sustainable Feedstocks, Integrated Bioprocessing and Downstream Processing)
  • World Class Underpinning Bioscience (Synthetic Biology and Bio-catalysis and Biotransformation)
which consider biotechnology solutions to the supply of sustainable feed ingredients for the benefit of both the industrial biotechnology (IB) and aquaculture industries in Scotland. - See more at:
which consider biotechnology solutions to the supply of sustainable feed ingredients for the benefit of both the industrial biotechnology (IB) and aquaculture industries in Scotland. - See more at:


Guidance and Criteria
Application Form

For further information, please contact IBioIC's Skills Programme Manager, Susanne Boyle

Call is now closed for 2017.

2016-17 PhD Studentships

  • Development of Streptomyces strains to utilise sustainable feedstocks in fermentations. Dr Paul Hoskisson, University of Strathclyde (with GSK).
  • Development of Stable Streptomyces clavuligers strains for improved clavulanic acid production. Dr Paul Herron, University of Strathclyde (with GSK)
  • Automated Structure Characterisation of Oligosaccharide Mixtures by NMR (ASCOM-NMR). Dr Dusan Uhrin, University of Edinburgh (with Glycomar)
  • Narrow band LED technology for high-value pigment production in photosynthetic cell factories. Professor Anna Amtmann, University of Glasgow (with Xanthella)
  • Re-engineering of a novel macrocyclase to make cyclic peptides.  Professor Jim Naismith, University of St Andrews (with Ingenza).
  • Investigation of genetic and biochemical potential for novel Flavin-based LOV  reporters to enable rapid improvement of anoxic bioprocesses. Professor John Christie, University of Glasgow (with Ingenza)
  • Smarter staining – New biocatalytic systems for multiplexing histological staining. Dr Alison Hulme, University of Edinburgh (with Leica Biosystems).
  • Transcriptomics-based strain interrogation for the identification of stress tolerance factors impacting ethanol yield in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Dr Nick Tucker, University of Strathclyde (with Ingenza).
  • Developing burden sensors for eukaryotic cells. Professor peter Swain, University of Edinburgh (with Synpromics).

2015-16 PhD Studentships

  • Maximum Value Enhancement of Indigenous Seaweeds through Multi-Component Extraction Dr Gordon McDougall, James Hutton Institute (with MBL)
  • Engineering thermostable protein nanocompartments for protein production and enhanced enzyme activity Dr Jon Marles-Wright, University of Edinburgh (with FujiFilm Diosynth)
  • Sustainable Exploitation of Algae (SEA Project) Dr Christine Edward, Robert Gordon University (with Xanthella)
  • A cell factory to produce organofluorine building blocks for pharmaceutical and fine industry  Dr Hai Deng, University of Aberdeen
  • Engineering a biological nanoparticle production system for copper remediation Dr Louise Horsfall, University of Edinburgh (with Diageo)
  • Establishment of red seaweed mari-culture (RedWeed) Dr Michele Stanley, SAMS (with FAI Aquaculture)
  • Utilizing E.coli’s response to osmotic down shocks to optimize product excretion and prevent unwanted cytoplasmic leakage Dr Teuta Pilizota, University of Edinburgh (with FujiFilm Diosynth)
  • Application of Cas9/CRISPR---Mediated Genome Editing to Improve Industrial Enzyme Expression/Activity in Bacillus sp. Professor Susan Rosser, University of Edinburgh (with Ingenza)
  • Microfluidics for Engineered Red Blood Cell Bioprocessing Dr Nik Willoughby, Heriot Watt University (with Epigem)
  • Omics driven biomanufacturing of an industrially relevant marine biopolymer:  improving routes to consistent quality and functionality of a natural product Dr David Green, SAMS/University of Aberdeen (with Unilever)

2014-15 PhD Studentships

  • Engineering of plant cell wall degrading enzymes for enhanced biocatalysis in biofuel production Dr Tracey Gloster, University of St Andrews
  • Raman spectroscopy as a discovery tool for novel halogenase enzymes Professor Alistair Elfick, University of Edinburgh (with GSK)
  • Integrated bio-processing for the sustainable manufacture of platform chemicals Professor Linda Harvey, University of Strathclyde (with Ingenza)
  • Re-engineering the tropane alkaloid pathway in potato Dr Mark Taylor, James Hutton Institute
  • Exploring and exploiting the catalytic potential of pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzymes Dr Dominic Campopiano, University of Edinburgh
  • Studying the in vitro enzymatic degredation of kraft lignin Professor Nicholas Westwood, University of St Andrews (with Ingenza)
  • Development of a novel antimicrobial therapy using synthetic phage-inducible chromosomal islands (PICI’s) Dr José Penades, University of Glasgow
  • Biotransformation enzymes to form heterocycles commonly found in pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals Professor Marcel Jaspers, University of Aberdeen (with Ingenza)
  • The generation of a bio-processing VNAR that specifically recognizes the heterodimeric form of SEED bispecific antibody formats Professor Andrew Porter, University of Aberdeen (with Merck Serono)

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