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.

Deadline for Applications is Monday 9th January 2023 at 23:55 GMT

SoCoBio Applicant Day at Kent

7th February, 9am - 2pm

Meet SoCoBio project supervisors, hear from current Kent SoCoBio students and get a tour of the Canterbury campus.

More information will be shared with applicants following the application deadline. 

The advertised projects led by Kent supervisors are:

A novel splicing program that controls cancer cell metastasis, Prof Ben Goult

AI-based rational drug development to inhibit Chloride Intracellular channel 1 (CLIC1) in cancer, Dr Jose L. Ortega-Roldan

An industrial collaboration to develop new microscopy tools to image ATP usage in muscle, Prof Neil Kad (PRIORITY PROJECT)

Avoiding the immune system: Using Candida albicans as a tool to understand microbial innate immune evasion strategies,  Dr Rebecca Hall

Boosting plant disease resistance through RNAi hairpin introduction, Dr Helen Cockerton (PRIORTY PROJECT)

Capture and degradation of micro-plastics by a synthetic biology approach to engineer novel PET-degrading enzyme linked amyloid nano-material, Dr Wei-Feng Xue (PRIORTY PROJECT)

CARTAI: Cattle Assisted Reproduction (ART) Facilitated by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Prof Darren Griffin (PRIORTY PROJECT)

Engineering recombinant protein expression in plants to generate clinically relevant therapeutic proteins and vaccines, Dr Andrew Simkin (PRIORITY PROJECT)

From macroalgae to antifungals: harnessing the seaweed potential, Prof Alessia Buscaino (PRIORTY PROJECT)

Kent Cherries – unlocking a powerhouse of goodness to promote metabolic health and longevity, Dr Jenny Tullet (PRIORTY PROJECT)

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

Murein succuli as ocular drug delivery systems, Dr Stefano Biagini (PRIORTY PROJECT)

The power of plants and nematodes – new sustainable approaches to tackle biofilms and pathogens, Dr Marina Ezcurra

Towards sustainable agriculture: Using genomics to understand Cryptosporidium infection in cattle breeds, Dr Marta Farré Belmonte (PRIORTY PROJECT)

Understanding adult stem cell-niche interactions using the Drosophila intestine, Dr Jerome Korzelius (PRIORITY PROJECT)

Using a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to investigate the effects of regenerative agriculture on the soil microbiome, animal health and CO2 emissions, Dr Anastasios Tsaousis (PRIORITY PROJECT)

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

Application deadline: 23:55 on 9th January 202

Featured story

Hear from Charlotte, a BBSRC-funded PhD student

Find out how SoCoBio has supported her research


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

Featured story

Hear from Kseniia, a BBSRC-funded PhD student

Find out how SoCoBio has supported her research