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PhD Studentship in Synthetic Biology

University of Bradford - Faculty of Engineering and Informatics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bradford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,000
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 27th March 2020
Closes: 15th June 2020

Project Supervisors: Dr. Savas Konur, Dr. Refaat Hamed, Prof. Marian Gheorghe

Project Description:

Synthetic biology has emerged as a promising and powerful tool to engineer new biological systems. Both advances in wet lab techniques and progress in silico technologies have revolutionised the ability to design and construct engineered complex bio-systems in a more efficient and sustainable manner.

This project aims to design, develop and utilise computational methods and data analytics tools for developing new synthetic biology systems, in particular pharmaceuticals, and understanding the dynamics of complex genetically engineered systems. By providing state of the art computational tools and methods, which will permit rapid bio-model design, prototyping, simulation, analysis and optimisation, the project will substantially reduce the cost and time required to perform wet-lab experiments for engineering of bacterial hosts for bio-production of valuable drugs/drug candidates.

The project offers the candidate new opportunities to gain invaluable experience in synthetic biology and its application to drug development (and other potential applications). It will also allow the candidate to explore and learn a suite of in-silico and wet lab synthetic biology techniques as well as advanced analytical tools in well-equipped and multidisciplinary research laboratories. The successful candidate will join an interdisciplinary research team, collaboration between computer scientists and biologists. He/she will have the opportunity to work within a dynamic, effective and multi-disciplinary team, working closely partners both from academia and industry.

Eligibility: Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a very good honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area/subject, e.g. Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, Computer Science, Systems Biology, Synthetic Biology, Biological Sciences, etc. MSc, MA or relevant experience in a related discipline is highly desirable.

An IELTS score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent) for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

Candidates who have a good computer science background should be willing to learn more about modelling biological systems. Candidates who have less computing background should be willing to improve the programming skills and learn computational (e.g. data and model-based) approaches.


The PhD studentship will cover both Home/EU tuition fees and a stipend worth approximately £15,000 per year (tax-free) for 3 years.

Students located outside the EU may apply but must be able to cover additional fees. 

Enquiries email name and address:

For informal queries, please contact Dr. Savas Konur (

How to apply: Apply online (select ‘Full-time PhD in Computer Science’ as the course, and then type in ‘PhD Studentship in Computational Synthetic Biology’ when asked to provide a ‘programme of research’). You need to submit full supporting documentation, including degree transcripts and certificates and a copy of your English language qualifications if English is not your first language. You also need to submit your CV and a covering letter. The covering letter must state how your background and experience relate to the project.

After short listing, selected applicants will be invited to interview.

Anticipated start date:

The PhD studentship is expected to start on 1 October 2020.

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