Institute for Structural and Chemical Biology

Research opportunities

Doctoral Training Programme

group photo of the 2022 intake of LISCB PhD students

To introduce PhD students to the full extent of technical capabilities and resources in the Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology, we have established a doctoral training programme for each new PhD cohort. By following this training element in the research degree, we hope for students to develop independence and a critical way of thinking, and become equipped with technical expertise beyond the specific tools and method used in their projects. The first year of the training programme is focussed on building skills across a broad range of techniques in structural and chemical biology. Subsequent years of the training programme are focussed on transferable skills, building independence and preparation for post-degree careers.

The training programme will supplement other activities offered by the Doctoral College and schools and departments.


  • To equip students, who have undergraduate training in different subject disciplines, with a practical knowledge of the techniques used in structural and chemical biology.
  • To connect practical aspects of structural and chemical biology to theory, and thereby creating coherence to further the student’s understanding and aptitude to research at the interface of traditional academic disciplines.
  • To enable students to understand the place of their individual projects in the wider research context.
  • To enable students to gain greater independence as doctoral candidates and, thereby, being prepared for the next stage of their career.
  • To create a cohort of first-year PhD students, and increase the sense of community in the Institute.

Journal clubs

Journal clubs will take place on Friday mornings (9.00am, Common room) at the dates interleaved between the main session listed below. These will tie in with the subject material taught in the previous week. The journal club is open to all PhD students (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years) in the Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology, Chemistry, Respiratory Sciences and MCB.

Research in Progress seminars

Every Friday 12.30pm members of the department will give short presentations on their ongoing research.


Date Topic
14 October 2022

Introduction to Structural and Chemical Approaches to Biology

28 October 2022 Molecular biology I
11 November 2022 Molecular biology II
25 November 2022 Sample preparation protein and nucleic acid purification
9 December 2022 CryoEM from sample to grid to data to structure
13 January 2023 Biophysical techniques to explore biological systems
27 January 2023 X-ray from sample to crystal to data to structure
10 February 2023 NMR from sample to spectra to structure
24 February 2023 NMR dynamics
10 March 2023 Advanced fluorescence microscopy
24 March 2023 Single molecule microscopy I
21 April 2023 Single molecule microscopy II
5 May 2023 Methods and approaches in Chemical Biology molecular design, synthetic techniques
19 May 2023 Methods and approaches in Chemical Biology synthetic techniques
2 June 2023 Numerical skills training
Python programming
16 June 2023 Machine learning/AI
30 June 2023 Bioinformatics
14 July 2023 Applying structural and chemical biology to clinical research and drug discovery

Job opportunities

We are always looking to explore options of gaining fantastic new colleagues. Please get in touch with Tennie at or individual academics to discuss.

PhD opportunities  


External funding for PhD positions is available through DTP schemes. Students who are interested in doing doctoral research at the Institute are encouraged to apply to these and get in touch with us (email beforehand. We can support you to put in the strongest possible application as these are very competitive.


MIBTP is a BBSRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) between the University of Warwick the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester, Aston University and Harper Adams University with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity. Application deadline: 20 January 2023

Principal Supervisor

Project title

Dr Philip A Ash

Unravelling the roles of redox chemistry and electronic structure in determining heme reactivity 

Professor Chris Bayliss

Genetic and structural analysis of pilin-associated adhesins of Neisseria

Dr Cyril Dominguez

Molecular characterization of Sam68-driven cytoskeletal reorganization

Professor I.C. Eperon

Structural studies to investigate the mechanisms by which splice sites are selected

Professor Bibek Gooptu

Biophysical, Crystallographic, and Cryo-ET Studies of the Gal-3-Fibrosome

Dr Hanna Kwon

Control mechanisms of IDO1 in cancer cells

Dr Yolanda Markaki

How to silence a chromosome: Molecular organization of epigenetic complexes that control X inactivation

Dr Thomas Schalch

Unlocking fundamental principles of chromatin signalling

Dr Joanna Fox

Structural-guided PROTAC targeting of BMX to modulate apoptotic sensitivity in disease

Dr Helen O’Hare

Molecular level understanding of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Dr Patricia Rodriguez Macia

Dual approach to develop new catalytic systems for energy conversion: exploring natural and de novo protein scaffolds combined with synthetic cofactors

Dr Ralf Schmid

Molecular Modelling of P2X receptor function

Dr Kayoko Tanaka

Elucidating the mode of dynamic protein-protein interaction between a signalling hub protein Ras and its multiple effectors

Dr Michael Tellier

Roles of protein phosphorylation in coupling transcription termination and RNA maturation

Professor Geerten W. Vuister

Novel NMR-technologies for the assessment and quantification of allosteric- and dynamic effects affecting protein-drug interactions; application to cancer drug targets

MRC Advanced Inter-disciplinary Models (AIM)

AIM is a Doctoral Training Programme funded by the MRC between the Universities of Birmingham, Nottingham, and Leicester. Doctoral students benefit from a diverse range of skills within the cohort, stimulating students to think ‘outside the box’ and perform innovative, world-leading research. The partner universities contribute project ideas, which prospective doctoral students choose from. You need to check your eligibility and apply to both the University of Leicester and the DTP.

College PhD studentships

College PhD studentships are usually advertised around Christmas each year. As details become available, they will be added to this page. If you would like to be emailed with the information, please let Tennie Videler ( know.

Why the Institute of Structural and Chemical Biology?

Profit from the informed teaching fuelled by the cutting-edge research at the Institute

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