South Coast Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership

About SoCoBio

Kent is part of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funded SoCoBio Doctoral Training Partnership, a collaboration of the Universities of Southampton, Kent, Sussex and Portsmouth, and the horticultural and agricultural research institute NIAB EMR. The consortium funds around 28 4-year PhD studentships annually and provides PhD students with a unique opportunity to undertake bioscience research and training in the following themes:  

  • Understanding the rules of life.
  • Bioscience for sustainable agriculture and food.
  • Bioscience for renewable resources and clean growth.
  • Bioscience for an integrated understanding of health.

There are three types of SoCoBio studentships available: Standard, CASE and Industry. 

For standard and CASE studentship entry, students are recruited to the four-year programme rather than to a specific project. Once accepted to the programme, students are asked to choose their first rotation project from this portfolio of projects. After two four-month laboratory rotations, students are invited to finalise their PhD project choice. Industry co-funded studentship entry is direct to the project and students do not undertake rotations.

SoCoBio studentships may be undertaken on a part-time or full-time basis, visa requirements notwithstanding.

Visit the SoCoBio website for more information about the programme, including the projects available and how to apply.

Applications are now closed. 

Applicant Drop in Session

13th December, 1-5pm 

Meet with academics from the School of Biosciences for help with your PhD application. 

Email Jenny Tullet at to book a time slot. 

The advertised projects led by Kent supervisors are:

Understanding Drug Resistance in Human Fungal Pathogens, Dr Alessia Buscaino

Safeguarding UK hop production from Verticillium nonalfalfae: Using genomics to develop race-specific diagnostics and generate Verticillium resistant hop through Host Induced Gene Silencing, Dr Helen Cockerton

The gut microbiome-brain axis: An important player in behaviour and brain function, Dr Marina Ezcurra

Design of SSAs for novel small molecule human therapeutics, Dr Michelle Garrett

Memory molecules and where to find them – does our brain store memories in binary format?, Dr Ben Goult

Next generation mitochondrial inhibitors – a new approach to prevent fungal biofilm formation on medical implants, Dr Campbell Gourlay

Elucidating the role of pH and ion sensing in the pathogenicity of Candida albicans, Dr Rebecca Hall 

Designing the next generation of small molecule cell surface targeting agents, Dr Jennifer Hiscock

Combining Cell Biology with cutting-edge imaging to understand how APOBEC3A locates its target DNA structures, Dr Neil Kad

Investigating the link between tRNA modification and Vitamin B12 biosynthesis, Dr Andrew Lawrence

Bacterial symbiosis in the soil – unlocking new antibiotics and pesticides, Dr Simon Moore

Live long and prosper: probing the mechanism of a transporter family linked to lifespan extension, protection from diabetes and obesity, and cancer, Dr Christopher Mulligan 

Using NMR to enable the development and derive the mode of action of novel antimicrobial technologies, Dr Jose Ortega-Roldan

Drug discovery and repurposing to target key bacterial respiratory complexes, Dr Mark Shepherd

A dual approach to the Biofortification of Lettuce/Tomato with Vitamin B12, Dr Andrew Simkin

Modulating expression of candidate genes to improve lentiviral vector production in stable cell lines, Dr Mark Smales

Manipulation and engineering of lipid metabolic pathways in CHO cells to enhance processability of cell culture supernantants, Dr Mark Smales

Understanding the effects of regenerative agriculture on the soil microbiome, animal health and CO2 emissions, Dr Anastasios Tsaousis 

How does the brain stop us overeating? Neuro-genetic control of eating, and how it changes with age, Dr Jenny Tullet

Development of a method for the inference of protein function and application to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Dr Mark Wass

What is the extent of structural diversity and individuality of amyloid protein assemblies?, Dr Wei-Feng Xue

Visit the SoCoBio website for more information about the programme, including the projects available and how to apply.

Application deadline: 23:59 on 10th January 2022


The DTP’s cohort training programme has provided technical skills for my research project as well as valuable professional skills.

Featured story

Hear from a BBSRC-funded PhD student

Find out how SoCoBio has supported her research

Featured story

Hear from a BBSRC-funded PhD student

Find out how SoCoBio has supported her research