Advancing the frontiers of bioscience discovery

Promoting creative, curiosity-driven frontier bioscience to address fundamental questions in biology

*CASE: These are CASE DTP studentships. As part of the programme, you will be required to undertake a placement with the CASE partner for a minimum of 3 months.

*AP: These are Standard DTP studentships with an associate partner where you will be required to spend time with each of the partners. You will be asked to apply to one of the partners (as listed in the ‘Host Institution’ column), but this is just for administration purposes.  You will then be registered for your postgraduate studies at one of the partner universities of the lead supervisors.  Your registered university will be confirmed by the DTP following the interview stage of the selection process.

*JD: This project in collaboration with the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England (UWE) is subject to a joint degree award. Successful applicants will be registered at both these institutions, and graduates will be awarded a joint degree from these two institutions upon successful completion of the PhD programme.


A combined experimental and in silico modelling study of pigment pattern formation in zebrafish Prof Robert Kelsh University of Bath Pattern formation, zebrafish, mathematical modelling, pigmentation, growth
A mathematical and molecular approach to the study of plant developmental transitions Dr Beatriz Goncalves University of Bristol Plant development, molecular biology, organ growth, flowering plants, mathematical and computational modelling
Ancestral functions of genes regulated by imprinting in mammals Prof Andrew Ward University of Bath Developmental biology, epigenetics, evolution, growth, imprinting
Behavioural & biologiacal analysis of dissociable aspects of reward processing Prof Dominic M. Dwyer Cardiff University Cognitive, Behaviour, Hedonic, Reward Dysfunction, Neuroscience
Controlling chromosome conformation and content as a step towards synthetic cellular differentiation Dr Thomas Gorochowski University of Bristol Synthetic biology, nanopore sequencing, chromosome conformation, genome engineering, gene regulation
Corvid connections: how do social bonds influence stress, health, nutrition and cultural knowledge? *AP Dr Alex Thornton / Dr Andrew King University of Exeter (Penryn) (apply through here) / Swansea University Social evolution, disease ecology, cultural evolution, animal behaviour, animal health
CRISPR-based mitophagy screens for regulators of mitochondrial protein import quality control Prof Jon Lane University of Bristol CRISPRi, CRISPRa, mitophagy, mitochondrial protein import
Cutting edge novel technologies to investigate lysosomal channels and transporters important in recovery post-autophagy Dr Emyr Lloyd-Evans Cardiff University Electrophysiology, Lysosome, Ion channels, Transporters, Autophagy
Cytoneme-mediated morphogen transport during wound healing and regeneration Prof Steffen Scholpp University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Extracellular protein trafficking, Signalling biology, Cell-cell communication, Wnt, Shh, Morphogen
Design of new fluorescent sensors for measuring heme in cells Prof Emma Raven University of Bristol Synthetic and Engineering Biology
Determining the regulatory control of prokaryotic antiviral defence systems Dr Tiffany Taylor University of Bath Evolution, CRISPR, AMR, bacteria, phage
Developing a new bio-imaging tool for correlative light electron microscopy Prof Paola Borri Cardiff University Bioimaging, biophysics, optical microscopy, electron microscopy, nanoparticles
Developing methods of molecular clock calibration to date deep divergences in the tree of life Prof Philip Donoghue University of Bristol Molecular clock, evolution, timescale, phylogenetics, metabolism
D-novo minibinders: developing a high throughput platform for computational design and production of tailored synthetic proteins Dr Louis Luk Cardiff University Peptide synthesis, D-amino acids, protein design, chemical biology
Evolution of social gene complexes Prof Jason Wolf University of Bath Genomics, evolution, social behaviour, genomic imprinting, cooperation
Evolutionary shifts in the developmental control of neuron number Dr Stephen Montgomery University of Bristol Cell proliferation, mushroom body, neurogenesis, neuro-evo-devo
Functional roles of presynaptic opioid receptors Dr Chris Bailey University of Bath G protein-coupled receptors, opioids, neuroscience, neuropharmacology, drug development
Fungal Natural Products: Engineering Biosynthetic Pathways to Deliver Novel Bioactive Compounds Prof Chris Willis University of Bristol Natural products, biosynthesis, enzymes, chemistry, biochemistry
Hijacking Host Cell Organelles: How do obligate intracellular pathogens tether host organelle membranes? Dr Joe Costello University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Membrane contact sites, Microsporidia, Host-parasite interactions, Sub-cellular organelle proteomics, Intracellular communication, Lipid metabolism
How are astrocytes made? Transcriptional regulation of astrocyte specification across development and adulthood Dr Isabel Martinez Garay Cardiff University Zeb1, astrocytes, bioinformatics, mouse models, molecular genetics
How does whole genome duplication alter phenotypes? Lessons from Arabidopsis about crops and cancer Prof Frederica Theodoulou Rothamsted Research (Harpenden) – apply through University of Bath Polyploidy, abiotic stress, proteostasis, proteomics, expression networks
Intein-mediated split antibiotic markers development to accelerate natural product-based antimicrobial drug discovery *AP Prof Gary Foster / Dr Geertje Van Keulen University of Bristol (apply through here) / Swansea University Streptomyces and fungal molecular biology, genetic tools development, natural product-based drug discovery, antimicrobials, antimicrobial resistance
Interaction of Regulatory Factor X (RFX) factors and the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in neuronal differentiation and ciliogenesis in embryonic and adult neurogenesis Prof Johannes Reul University of Bristol Neurogenesis, ciliogenesis, mineralocorticoid receptor, regulatory factor X, hippocampus Disciplines: Neuroscience, stem cell biology, physiology, epigenetics, bioinformatics/systems biology
Investigating the Mitochondrial Basis of Neuronal ageing Dr Gaynor Ann Smith Cardiff University Mitochondria, neurons, neuroscience, metabolism, Drosophila
Investigating the role of myoinhibitory peptide (MIP) signalling in marine larval settlement and metamorphosis Dr Elizabeth Williams University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Marine larvae, neuroendocrine, metamorphosis, polychaete, oyster, neuropeptide
Mechanisms and consequences of phase variation in bacterial immune systems Prof Mark Szczelkun University of Bristol Gene regulation, epigenetics, site-specific recombination, prokaryotic defence systems, synthetic biology
Mining apical organ evolution in marine ciliated larvae *AP Dr Elizabeth Williams / Dr Vengamanaidu Modepalli University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) (apply through here) / Marine Biological Association Ciliated larvae, Apical organ, Neurons, Evolution, Single-cell RNA-seq
Modelling the effect of ageing in silico and on Drosophila and mouse clock neurons Prof James Hodge University of Bristol Drosophila, electrophysiology, computational modelling, circadian rhythms, ageing
Modular design and construction of de novo protein nanowires and light harvesting arrays Dr Ross Anderson University of Bristol Biochemistry, biomolecular simulation, electron and energy transfer, artificial photosynthesis, synthetic biology
Molecular characterisation, modelling and prediction of organelle membrane dynamics in health and disease Prof Michael Schrader University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Molecular Cell Biology, Biophysics, Mathematic Modelling, Membrane Dynamics, Organelles
NetClamp: a new experimental tool to manipulate neural networks Dr Kyle Wedgwood University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Neural networks, optogenetics, voltage imaging, mathematical models, hybrid system
Novel single-cells omics and microfluidics approaches to tackle antimicrobial resistance *CASE Dr Stefano Pagliara University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Microbiology, antimicrobial resistance, transcriptomics, bioinformatics, microfluidics
Phenotypic and Genotypic diversity in Moraxella catarrhalis: Using Population Biology to Understand Antimicrobial Resistance and Pathogenesis *AP *JD Dr Darryl Hill / Dr Lynne Lawrance University of Bristol (apply through here) / University of the West of England Moraxella, Genomics, Pathogenesis, Antibiotic resistance
Predicting the outcome of coinfection using a model of TB in mice Dr Joanne Lello Cardiff University Coinfection, immune response, One Health, TB, pathogens
Primary cilia assembly, disassembly, and cell proliferation Prof David Stephens University of Bristol Cilia, centrosome, cell division, cell biology, biochemistry
Probing enzyme reaction cascades in antibiotic biosynthesis at atomic resolution by NMR Prof Matthew Crump University of Bristol Natural products, chemical biology, biochemistry, NMR, chemical synthesis
Probing the function of dopaminergic inputs to the cerebellum Dr Paul Dodson University of Bristol Cerebellum, Dopamine, in vivo, learning, neuroscience
Protein Choreography of the Molecular Compass Dr Jonathan Phillips University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Structural proteomics, Molecular dynamics, Quantum biology, Structural biology
Simulation-led investigation and engineering of enzymes involved in abyssomicin antibiotic biosynthesis Dr Marc van Der Kamp University of Bristol Structural biology, biomolecular simulation, enzymology, biosynthesis, synthetic biology
Single molecule dynamics of enzyme catalysis for thermoadaptation and design Prof Adrian Mulholland University of Bristol Enzyme design, protein dynamics, simulation, biophysics, nanosensors
Stressed honeybee queens: do maternal effects change egg composition and worker behaviour? Dr Christoph Grueter University of Bristol Honeybees, maternal effects, egg size
Structural basis of antibiotic biosynthesis by a bacterial megaenzyme Prof Paul Race University of Bristol Structural Biology, antibiotics, Cryo-EM, X-ray crystallography, enzymology
Structural dynamics of Augmin in the creation of microtubule branches Prof James Wakefield University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Structural proteomics, Hydrogen/deuterium-exchange, Cell division, Microtubule, Structural biology
The biology and biotechnological potential of marine fungi bioprocessing *AP Dr Stephen Michell / Dr Michael Cunliffe University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) (apply through here) / Marine Biological Association Fungi, biology, biotechnology, bioprocessing, enzymes
The cellular and molecular basis of ageing in bacteria Dr Tobias Bergmiller University of Exeter (Streatham/St Luke’s) Ageing Microfluidics Bacterial Genetics Cryo-Electron Microscopy CLEM
The dynamics of microbiome interactions Dr Faye Thompson University of Exeter (Penryn) Microbiome transfer, microbiome function, competition, cooperation, social evolution
The mechanistic basis of the ‘positive-inside rule’ for membrane protein topology Prof Ian Collinson University of Bristol Membrane protein insertion, Biochemical and Bioinformatic analysis, Protein structure prediction, Membrane biogenesis, Sec machinery
The molecular mechanisms of RNA Polymerase II termination Dr Alan Cheung University of Bristol Gene Expression RNA Polymerase II Transcription Cryo Electron Microscopy Termination
The net effect of microbial siderophores on above- and below ground soil health Dr Elze Hesse University of Exeter (Penryn) Social evolution, community ecology, plant-microbe interactions, mining
The origins of individual differences in learning and behaviour: Computational models and in vivo experimentation Prof Robert Honey Cardiff University Psychology, Behavioural Neuroscience, Computational models
The predicting individual: expectations and their influence on emotional state and welfare Prof Mike Mendl University of Bristol Prediction error, animal welfare, affective state, learning, individual differences
The role of cell competition in the elimination of aberrantly specified cells Dr Fisun Hamaratoglu Cardiff University Homeostasis, cell biology, development, signalling, cancer
Understanding and Exploiting Glycan Interactions of Proteus mirabilis *CASE Prof James Spencer University of Bristol Bacterial adhesion, structural biology, ligand binding, bacteria:carbohydrate interactions, microbiology
Understanding mechanisms of bacterial lipid A modification through computation and experiment Prof James Spencer University of Bristol Structural biology, enzymology, metalloenzyme, computation, antimicrobial resistance
Unraveling the contributions of the cortico-thalamic circuit to associative memory Prof Zafar Bashir University of Bristol Neuroscience, learning and memory, prefrontal cortex, thalamus, synaptic plasticity
U-RHYTHM: developing a novel technology for the investigation of tissue-level thyroid and sex hormone dynamics in humans Prof Stafford Lightman University of Bristol Neuroendocrine rhythms, physical chemistry, healthy aging, human studies, wearable technology
Visual-spatial processing within the retrosplenial cortex Prof Seralynne Vann Cardiff University Neuroscience, Brain imaging, Behaviour, Neural circuits, Memory