Postgraduate research

BBSRC Midlands Innovative Biosciences Training Partnership

Qualification: PhD

Application deadline: 20 January 2023

Start date: 25 September 2023


The Midlands Integrative Biosciences (Doctoral) Training Partnership (MIBTP) is a BBSRC funded doctoral training partnership between University of Warwick, University of Birmingham, University of Leicester, Aston University and Harper Adams University. The universities are separate entities, but there is large and growing cooperation between partners. We recognise that interdisciplinarity underpins most significant research and that critical mass is vital to ensure impact globally.

All MIBTP scholars will join a programme of skills training in year 1. Applicants are required to select an area of study (Sustainable Agriculture and FoodUnderstanding the Rules of LifeRenewable Resources and Clean Growth or Integrated Understanding of Health) but may join the programme with or without selecting a preferred project. Part of the skills training programme includes short rotation projects and students are able to choose a PhD project once they have experienced these differing research environments.

To apply

Please refer to the eligibility criteria, funding information and advice regarding the application process in the tabs towards the bottom of the page.

Please read these carefully before submitting your application. The application link is at the bottom of the page.

Projects available for September 2023 are listed below.

Doctoral training partnerships

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) are multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional schemes designed to support the training of the next generation of world-class researchers. The University of Leicester is a lead partner in four DTPs/CDTs through which we can offer funded PhD studentships in a wide range of research areas.

Studentships are available to highly motivated and qualified applicants and provide a generous support package usually including a full fee waiver, annual stipend, and research training support grant. Studentships are in most cases offered for September/October start.

MIBTP Projects for September 2023

Click on the links for full project descriptions and contact details of the supervisors

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

Dr Luke Baker Understanding mechanical induced signalling in the healthy tendon

Professor Chris Bayliss Genetic and structural analysis of pilin-associated adhesins of Neisseria

Dr Ko-Fan Chen Unravelling the interplay between circadian clock and stress response using neurogenetics

Dr Carlo De Lillo Assessment and reduction of human cognitive ageing using evolutionary relevant computerised foraging tasks and transcranial direct current stimulation.

Dr Cyril Dominguez Molecular characterization of Sam68-driven cytoskeletal reorganization

Professor Ian Eperon Structural studies to investigate the mechanisms by which splice sites are selected.

Dr Roberto Feuda The evolution of serotonergic neurons

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

Dr Natalie Garton Understanding the roles of triacylglycerol in modulating mycobacterial growth and biophysical properties.

Professor Flaviano Giorgini Dissecting the interplay between the kynurenine pathway and extracellular vesicle signalling in schizophrenia

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

Dr Sara Gunn Changing cognition in older adults: How does executive function change as we age?

Dr James Higgins Investigating novel Arabidopsis recombination mutants

Dr James Hodgkinson The synthesis and application of small-molecule siderophore vectors to aid new antibiotic discovery

Dr Richard Hopkinson Treating bacterial infections using aldehydes

Dr Claire Hutchinson A componential approach to visual perceptual decision-making in aging

Professor Andrew Hudson The role of Haem in plant signalling and regulation

Dr Himanshu Kaul How does spatial organisation impact host-microbiome interactions in human airways?

Dr Hannah Kwon Control mechanisms of IDO1 in cancer cells

Professor Salvador Macip Ameliorating ageing, age-related diseases and cancer by targeting senescence and the p53 pathway

Professor Eammon Mallon Epigenetic ageing in a model insect

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

Dr Vicky McGowan How do older people read words of out order? Understanding ageing effects on “noisy channel” language processing.

Dr Vicky McGowan Understanding the relationship between higher-level cognition and disruptive behaviour in typically developing children and young adults.

Prof Galina Mukamolova Revival of the immortals: investigation of molecular mechanisms of mycobacterial resuscitation from dormancy

Dr Helen O'Hare Molecular level understanding of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Professor Kevin Paterson Understanding the neural basis of ageing effects on word recognition during reading

Dr Emma Redman Tackling the lack of diversity in research: Exploring weight loss approaches to reduce health inequalities in an ageing South Asian population

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 Ezio Rosato The circadian clock of Drosophila melanogaster: molecular and cellular contributions to rhythmicity

Professor Thomas Schalch Unlocking fundamental principles of chromatin signalling

Dr Katrin Schilcher Single-cell analysis of macrophage-bacterium interaction at the organ level to understand infection 

Dr Ralf Schmid Molecular Modelling of P2X receptor function

Dr David Souto Inferring attentional states from gaze and pupil size during free viewing

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

Michael Tellier Roles of protein phosphorylation in coupling transcription termination and RNA maturation

Dr Mervyn Thomas Understanding the role of pigmentation in retinal development

Professor David Twell Understanding male fertility: gene control networks in plant gametogenesis and crop fertility

Prof 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

Dr Ben Warren Mating in a disease-vector mosquito and global warming

Professor Sarah White Visual and oculomotor limitations on time pressured text comprehension: Implications for decision-making



All MIBTP students will be provided with a 4 years studentship. 

Studentships include:

  • Tuition fees at the UK fee rate*
  • a tax free stipend which for 2022/3 was £17,668 (2023/24 stipend to be confirmed)
  • a travel allowance in year 1
  • a travel/conference budget
  • a generous consumables budget
  • use of a laptop for the duration of the programme.

* International students are welcome to apply but applicants must be able to fund the difference between UK and International fees for the duration of their studies. The difference in fees for 2022/23 entry was £16,404  (2023/24 fees to be confirmed). The University of Leicester will provide one full overseas fee waiver.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • Those who have a 1st or a 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant field are eligible.
  • Evidence of quantitative training is required. For example, AS or A level Maths, IB Standard or Higher Maths, or university level maths/statistics course.
  • Those who have a 2.2 and an additional Masters degree in a relevant field may be eligible.
  • Those who have a 2.2 and at least three years post-graduate experience in a relevant field may be eligible.
  • Those with degrees abroad (perhaps as well as postgraduate experience) may be eligible if their qualifications are deemed equivalent to any of the above.

For further information please contact

University English language requirements apply.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

Project enquiries

  • please email the relevant supervisor, email addresses are on the project descriptions

Application enquiries

You may find answers to your questions on the FAQs.

How to apply

How to apply

Select the project you want to apply for from the project options on the tab below. Alternatively you can simply apply to join the programme without choosing a project at the application stage.

Please apply using the guidelines below:

  1. Check your eligibility
  2. Complete and submit your Leicester PhD application using the Apply Button at the bottom of the page.* Select September 2023 in the drop down menu. (NB The online application will show Genetics regardless of the project you apply for. The academic department may change at the point of offer)
  3. Please notify MIBTP of your application by completing the online application notification form, ensuring that you upload a current CV to the form. This ensures that all applications are processed, especially if applying through a different department.
  4. Review the MIBTP Data Privacy Policy to understand how we process your personal data.

*In your Leicester PhD application please include:

  • Your A levels (or equivalent) including Maths - if all of your A levels are on one certificate please only upload it once
  • Degree level study including study not yet completed. Upload copies of all transcripts and degree certificates if available
  • CV
  • In the personal statement section explain why you would like to study for a PhD and why you are applying for MIBTP funding. Articulate your case in light of your academic and/or professional experience, including extracurricular courses, activities, placements, etc. you might have attended
  • Please make sure you enter the name of the primary supervisor/s in the Supervisor Section and the title of the project (or projects) in the Proposed project title section so we know which projects you are applying for ( you do not need to include a research proposal and you do not need to submit separate online applications for more than one project just include the details of the projects as above.)
  • In the reference section please enter the contact details of your two academic referees in the boxes provided or upload letters of reference if already available.
  • In the funding section of the application select STUDENTSHIP. In the drop down menu select BBSRC MIBTP

Interview dates to be confirmed.



Residence requirements for all MIBTP studentships

From the 2021/22 academic year UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding is open to both UK and International research students as detailed on the UKRI website.

Awards for both UK residents and International applicants cover UK tuition fees and provide a stipend at the standard UKRI rate to support living costs.

Home/UK students

To be classed as a home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status*, or
  • Have pre-settled status* (meeting residency requirement) or,
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

* for applicants holding EU settled and Pre-Settled status we will require a share code so that we can verify your status (the share code we require starts with S)  please email your share code together with your application ID to  once you have submitted your PhD application.

See the full eligibility criteria for further information.

International students

  • Students who do not meet the criteria for home / UK student, above, would be classed as an international student.
  • International students will need to be able to fund the difference between UK and International fees for the duration of their study
  • International students will require a student visa in order to be able to study in the UK. There are costs associated with the visa application process, which must be met by the student; approx £2500 for the visa and healthcare surcharge. Please ensure you have the means to meet these costs before you apply to the programme.

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