CDT Students are Working Closely with Industry and Charitable Organisations

Industry links form an important part of our CDT with about a quarter of studentships sponsored by companies including AstraZeneca, Procter & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline. This helps to maximise the impact of our research in sectors such as the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The quality of research undertaken by our students has been such that we have been able to secure ~£63M in follow-on funding to further develop and apply novel technologies that have emerged from research pioneered by our students. This includes the early stages of translation to enable access to new end-users and collaborators.

In addition to those industrial links, there are also studentships sponsored by charitable funds, such as the BHF and the Imperial Cancer Research UK Centre.

ICB Masters in Research (MRes)

MRes in Chemical Biology

Note: this MRes course is offered as 4-year MRes/PhD programme OR as a 1-year standalone course

Aim: To train physical scientists to work on biological problems through a 4-year PhD programme.

Quantitatively describing and predicting the behaviour of biological processes at the molecular level and applying such understanding to the development of molecular medicine is the province of the field of chemical biology. The Institute of Chemical Biology (ICB) will largely focus on understanding protein-protein & protein-lipid interactions as targets for biological & therapeutic intervention. One of the major activities of the ICB is the training of physical sciences postgraduates towards a career at the interface between the physical and biomedical sciences, in academia, industry, the public sector and non-governmental organisations. The ICB oversees the activities carried out in the “Centre for Doctoral Training” (CDT), which provides a 1-year standalone course leading to a masters qualification or a 4-year programme leading to a PhD. Both options are aimed at producing physical scientists who are able to bridge these disparate fields and have the confidence to engage in multidisciplinary research. For those students registered on the 4 year programme, the MRes in Chemical Biology of Health & Disease forms the first part of this training course. The MRes course consists of a 9-month interdisciplinary research project, taught courses in advanced biochemistry and bio-molecular techniques, specialist lectures in transferable skills and group discussion sessions. The second part consists of a 3-year PhD assignment that will be chaperoned by the Graduate School at Imperial College London leading to a degree from Imperial College London.

In addition we offer the following 1 year MRes coursess

  • MRes in Drug Discovery and Development: Multidisciplinary Science for Next Generation Therapeutics
  • MRes in Plant Chemical Biology: Multidisciplinary Research for Next Generation Agri-Sciences
  • MRes in Bioimaging Sciences

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Physical sciences innovation in Chemical Biology for bioindustry and healthcare

PhD Course Overview

Year 1

Masters in Research (MRes) in Chemical Biology
NOTE: this MRes course is offered as part of a 4-year MRes/PhD programme or as a 1-year standalone course

  • 9 month multidisciplinary research project
  • Taught courses
  • Graduate School transferable skills training
  • Research seminars and group discussion (Journal Club) sessions
  • Presentation at the end of the year at the MRes Conference

Year 2-4

Progress to PhD after successful completion of the MRes year.  Students continue their multidisciplinary research project and attend:

Transferable Skills Courses

Teamwork training for 1st year PhD students, Science Communication Course and Career Planning Course for 2nd year PhD students, and a Decision making course for 3rd year PhD students. For more details go to the Transferable Skills Page

ICB Colloquia

These must be attended by all ICB members, both staff and supervisors. There are usually 2 colloquia per year (November and February). The ICB has a budget to bring overseas speakers to Imperial and students may send us their wish list of international speakers and we will do everything we can to bring them over.

Joint CDT Conference

PhD students from CDTs in Oxford, Glasgow, UCL, Warwick and Imperial jointly present their research at this annual conference, which is entirely organized by the students.


ICB CDT students will get the chance to compete for £20,000 business development money in a Dragons’ Den style competition. With guidance in entrepreneurship from Imperial College Business School and intellectual property patenting advice from Imperial Innovations the participating teams will develop their own business ideas. The teams who make it into the final will pitch their concept to a panel of experts including the chief executives of EPSRC and BBSRC. Imperial Innovations, the College’s part-owned technology commercialisation company, will provide the prize money.

MRes Conference

The ICB MRes conference takes place in September, and is an opportunity for all MRes students to showcase their research achievements during the past year. All ICB CDT students are expected to attend this event. 1st and 2nd year ICB PhD students will chair and write reports on various sessions, and will also act as a mentor to assist the MRes students.

Informal Lunches

These are regular networking opportunities for all ICB members: meet other students and supervisors over a buffet lunch. The CDT Director and deputy directors usually take the opportunity to make important announcements during these events.