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New Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology announced

Generic image representing synthetic biology

10 January 2014

Postgraduate training in a wide range of engineering and scientific fields important to the UK’s economy received a boost this week when 19 new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) were announced by Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts.

One of the centres, the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Synthetic Biology, will combine world-leading expertise in engineering and the physical and life sciences at the Universities of Oxford, Bristol and Warwick to create the next generation of industrial and academic leaders in this important new field.

Dr Antonis Papachristodoulou of the University of Oxford said: "Synthetic biology provides opportunities for revolutionary advances in fundamental science and industrial technology.

"Our four-year programme of research and training has strong industrial links and will be highly multi-disciplinary, accepting students from a wide range of scientific backgrounds and focusing on the application of engineering principles to the design of biologically based parts, devices and systems."

The centre is jointly supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Mr Willetts said: "The Government will be investing in a further 900 students through an additional 19 Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), bringing our total investment in CDTs to £390 million.

"In addition, universities, industry and other charitable partners will be adding a further £124 million to support the training of tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.  The combined public and private investment amounts to £764 million."

Professor David Delpy, Chief Executive of the EPSRC, said: "The support of the academic and industrial communities has been tremendous and we would not have been able to fund these new centres without their cooperation.  These new CDTs will provide training and advances in research in many areas of science and engineering including quantum technologies, manufacturing, robotics, energy and sustainability and brings the total number of Centres funded in this round to ninety-one."

Further details of the training programme are available on the Centre's website.

The Bristol contact for students interested in PhDs in Synthetic Biology is Professor Claire Grierson and the contact address for application enquiries is

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