In his spring budget, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced that £250 million will be invested over the next 4 years via the larger National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), in research talent*.

Part of this funding package includes £90 million for “an additional 1,000 PhD places in areas aligned to the Industrial Strategy”.

Funding for the additional 1,000 PhD studentships was distributed to the UK Research Councils who in turn offered the studentships to their doctoral training programmes including IBioIC’s Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) via a competitive process. 

IBioIC bid for studentships for seven industrially-led PhD projects that had scored above threshold during the review process, following the last call for PhD projects, but had missed out on funding due to the limited number of CTP studentships available.

IBioIC was successfully awarded all seven studentships, equivalent to £700,000, bringing the total investment by BBSRC in IBioIC’s CTP to £3.4 million.

Professor Philip Nelson, Chair of Research Councils UK, said:

The Chancellor’s announcements are most welcome. Long-term funding for research and developing high-skilled research talent is vital to the UK’s future as a science power, continuing to feed the pipeline that transforms research into products and services.

The following PhD projects have been awarded NPIF studentships:

Plant suspension cells as a production platform for high value chemicals from plants, University of Edinburgh, Unilever

Adaptation of enzymes involved in the valine pathway for the production of methacrylate intermediates, University of Aberdeen, Ingenza

Increasing lifespan in carrots , University of Leeds, Kettle Produce

A synthetic biology approach to engineering novel commercial variants of the cyanobacterial pigment protein C-phycocyanin , University of Edinburgh, Scottish Bioenergy

Optimisation of mass spectrometry methodologies for continuous sampling of intra- and extracellular metabolomes from synthetic biology fermentations, University of Glasgow, Ingenza

Cultured plant cells: a production platform for anti-denguevirus drugs, University of Edinburgh, Herbologica

New Lignosulfonates as next generation antimicrobials, University of St Andrews, BluTest