Nine PhD Studentships awarded as part of BBSRC collaborative training partnership

The first round of industry-led PhD projects have now been awarded as part of IBioIC’s Collaborative Training Partnership (CTP) with the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Allocated over the next three years, a total of 27 studentships have been awarded to IBioIC with 9 PhD projects now confirmed following a robust peer review process by the IBioIC CTP Management Board.

These four-year studentships will focus around the key themes of industrial biotechnology (IB) and bioenergy, and the development of world-class underpinning bioscience. The CTP scheme is designed to accelerate skills in bioscience priority areas, through industry-led collaborative doctoral training. Open to industrially led PhD projects in collaboration with a Scottish University or a University of the N8 Research Partnership (namely the Universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York), project applications were aligned with the major themes of IBioIC CASE awards:

  • Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (including Sustainable Feedstocks, Integrated Bioprocessing and Downstream Processing)
  • World Class Underpinning Bioscience (Synthetic Biology and Bio-catalysis and Biotransformation)

“The calibre of applications in this recent PhD funding competition was particularly impressive with many of the projects being SME led and in collaboration with world-class academic groups within Scotland and the N8 Research Partnership”, Susanne Boyle, Skills Programme Manager, IBioIC.

The HEI’s and industry partners are now in the process of advertising the studentships and details of the following can be found on the HEI website and or www.findaphd.com.

Principal Investigator


Project Title

Industry Collaborator

Profesor Anna Amtmann

University of Glasgow

“Development of cyanobacterial exopolysaccharides for healthcare applications.”

GlycoMar Ltd

Dr Kate Duncan

University of Strathclyde

“The use of narrow-band LED light in photobioreactors and comparative metabolomics to aid the development of marine microalgae for biotechnology”

Xanthella Ltd

Professor Sabine Flitsch

University of Manchester

"Expanding the selectivity and activity of galactose oxidase towards bioactive saccharide products” 

Bioshape and Prozomix Ltd

Professor  Xiongwei Ni

Heriot-Watt University

“Enabling metalloenzyme biotransformation within a continuous oscillatory baffled reactor”

Oxford Biotrans

Dr Naomi Nakayama

University of Edinburgh

"Photobioreactors for sustainable production of plant-driven biocompounds"

Xanthella Ltd

Professor Nicholas Turner

University of Manchester

Biocatalytic Asymmetric Reduction Amination Using Reductive Aminases (RedAms)” 

Prozomix Ltd

Professor William Sloan

University of Glasgow

 “Predatory bacterial cleaning of filtration membranes”

Scottish Water

Professor Graeme Walker

Abertay University

“Exploiting yeast diversity in whisky fermentations for biocatalysis of desirable flavour compounds”

The Scotch Whisky Research
Institute (SWRI)

Professor Nicholas Westwood

St Andrews University

“From lignin derived mono-aromatics to next generation green surfactants and antimicrobials”

Unilever and BluTest


Established in 2014, IBioIC has delivered an all-encompassing and cross-disciplinary skills programme that covers life sciences; chemical sciences; and engineering to meet the demands of this growing industry across all educational levels from HN – PhD, proactively working to support the creation of 1,500 new jobs across the sector by 2020.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

IBioIC’s role is as a specialist in the Industrial Biotechnology (IB) sector, designed to stimulate the growth and success of the IB industry in Scotland by connecting the dots between industry, academia and government. It represents all four colours of IB, facilitating collaborations and guiding organisations from concept to industry adoption.

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