We are currently recruiting for thirteen studentships. All students will undertake the MRes in Systems and Synthetic Biology at Imperial College in their first year, with an extended project based at the lead-supervisor institution, followed by a 3 year PhD registration in that host institution. A list of projects is available here.

Our aim is to attract students captivated by the excitement of working at the interface of experimental bioscience/biomedical research and theoretical modelling. The Programme is an interdisciplinary community, welcoming undergraduates from biological sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, engineering and computing. We are particularly keen to recruit students who have begun to acquire some experience of working at this biological/numerical interface, although we realise that opportunities for this can be limited in many undergraduate degrees. The programme requires at least an upper second degree (or overseas equivalent). Students must also meet the English language requirement of Imperial College.

All applications will be considered equally, irrespective of factors such as ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, age and nationality. Consequently, we are particularly keen to have a diverse cohort of students and encourage applications from minorities and developing countries.

Applications are open to students with Home fees status as well as those with EU/International fees status. A studentship covers tuition fees as well as a stipend at the UKRI rate for the full duration of the 1+3 programme.


Application procedure

To apply, please attach a file that gives the details stated below. This application must be sent via e-mail to: 
cdt-biodesign-eng@imperial.ac.uk  Please note: the closing date for applications is Sunday 17th January 2021.

Please note this is the only means to apply for this programme and you should not send a formal application for postgraduate study to Registry – this will not be a valid application. Details must be complete in order for us to process your application.

We plan to hold interviews virtually.  If you are applying for more than one project you may be asked to attend more than one interview.

Details of your application

To apply you must supply the following details in the order specified on no more than two pages and then add a one page personal statement. Please do not use a font any smaller than 11 point. Your application must then be a single file of no more than 3 pages, we prefer PDF but can also accept Word format. Please do not add any other attachments such as a covering letter, transcripts, references, publication or a detailed research plan.

The attached file must be called:

“YOUR SURNAME”-“your first name”-2020-CDT-BioDesign-Eng

For example: SMITH-Jane-2020-CDT-BioDesign-Eng

Do not ZIP or otherwise encode/compress your attachment. This could result in your e-mail being placed in our spam filter and being ignored.

Personal details (no photograph please)

  • Surname (in capitals) followed by first names
  • Gender (optional)
  • Date of birth (optional)
  • Home address
  • Temporary address
  • E-mail (this will be the only means of communication with you)
  • Mobile phone number (with country code)
  • Other phone number (with country code)
  • Nationality and fee status
  • Country of birth
  • Country of domicile and date of arrival in UK if from overseas

Project interests

We are recruiting to the specific projects listed. Please indicate your preferred projects, in order of preference. You may list more than one, but you do not have to rank them all. You can state reasons for your interest in your one page personal statement (please do not include this motivation here).

Higher education

Please give university, subject, degree and dates. If you have not completed your degree, please give full details of your results so far (including degree class) and your expected final degree class and grade. This information is essential.

Secondary/high school education

Please give full details (with dates and grades) of final school examination results (A-level, baccalaureate or equivalent).

Relevant work experience

Please give dates and details.

English language qualification

Please prove full details (qualification, date and grades) of any tests for English Language if these are required for your admission (see English language requirement). If you have not passed the required test, please provide the date when the results will be known. If your undergraduate course was from some countries (see English language requirement) where English is the native language, you do not require any further tests.

Naming referees

Please give full details including e-mail of two referees. It is your responsibility to ensure that your referees submit their references to the specified email address by the date specified. We expect at least one referee to be from an academic involved in your undergraduate course. Details of how your referee should submit the reference is given below, please send them this information. Obviously references are most valuable in our selection, but your application will still be considered for shortlisting and will be considered equally if we do not have references.

Personal statement

No more than one page, no smaller than 11 point font.

We would like to learn of any interdisciplinary skills across the fields of life sciences/engineering/numerical/computing/physical studies you have acquired. Please outline any research projects or placements you have done. If you have any scientific publication, please provide details.

In addition, we would be interested if you have identified a particular area of interest in the field in general and the specific projects in particular. You may describe your interest and motivation for your project choices here.

Monitoring Form

To help us monitor equality and diversity, we would be grateful if you would complete our monitoring form which can be downloaded from Monitoring form.  Completion of the form is optional. Please e-mail this as a separate attachment to cdt-biodesign-eng@imperial.ac.uk with MONITORING in the subject line. Please do NOT attach this to your application.  The data will be collated and anonymised. The individual forms will be seen only be the administrative staff and not those interviewing or supervising.

For referees - how to submit your reference

We would be grateful if you could comment on the candidate’s suitability for the 4 year PhD in BioDesign Engineering, emphasising their potential for scientific research.

In your reference please can you provide us with applicant’s overall ranking within their cohort. We would also be grateful if you could indicate the minimum requirement a candidate would need to achieve to be eligible to undertake a PhD at your institution. In addition, if English is not the native language of the applicant, please comment on the applicant’s ability in written and spoken English.

Please e-mail your reference to cdt-biodesign-eng@imperial.ac.uk  and mark the subject line of your e-mail as “Reference” –“APPLICANT’S_LAST_NAME”- “First Name”- “2020”, e.g. Reference-SMITH-Jane-2020

Your response to this request can be in the body of an e-mail or as an attachment, we do not require a signed letter.  Do not ZIP or otherwise encode/compress your attachment as this could result in your e-mail being placed in our spam filter.  For successful candidates you will be asked later by Imperial’s central admission procedure for a reference and please also reply to this using the procedure they indicate.

If you have any questions, please contact us via cdt-biodesign-eng@imperial.ac.uk