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 Open

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 closes Thursday 22 December, 10am.

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)

IBioIC funds
19 PhD Studentships to date!

"IBioIC is taking the lead in Scotland on skills development for the industrial biotechnology sector and our educational programmes span all levels of the educational spectrum. We are proud to work alongside industry partners, HE and FE academic collaborators as well as the SQA, Skills Development Scotland, Cogent and North Ayrshire Council to achieve our ambitious target of creating 1500 jobs in the industrial biotechnology sector by 2025."

Dr Judith Huggan, Skills Programme Manager, IBioIC

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