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Engineering Biology in Cambridge


Funding, job and studentship opportunities in synthetic and engineering biology both within Cambridge and externally.


Engineering Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre seeks Steering Committee postgrad representative - deadline 31 March 2023

The Engineering Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre provides a hub for anyone interested in Engineering and Synthetic Biology at the University of Cambridge. 

We are seeking a Cambridge postgraduate student to join the IRC Steering Committee, to help set IRC strategy and plan regular event series and funding opportunities at the intersection of biology, engineering, computing and design. The Steering Committee meets once every three months and the appointed student would be expected to attend and represent the interests of the postgraduate student community, present updates and participate in ad hoc meetings for IRC initiatives. The expected time commitment is 2 hours per month and the role represents an exciting opportunity to join researchers and students working at the forefront of engineering biology as well as numerous industry and impact partners to advance the field in Cambridge and beyond.

Please complete this short form by 31 March and contact the IRC Coordinator Hend Aly with any enquiries (


Opportunities by Category

Funding Opportunities: internal and external grant funding opportunities and other sources of funding.

Job Opportunities: a list of current and past postdoc, lecturer and senior academic roles as well as roles in Cambridge-based companies and wider opportunitites across synthetic and engineering biology.

Internships: placements outside of academia in industry, policy organisations and other environments. 

Postgraduate studentships: PhD studentships, Masters courses and other postgraduate placement opportunities.

Undergraduate placement opportunities: if you are looking for a summer placement or Part II or Part III project, we can signpost to relevant synthetic and/or engineering biology labs based on your interests. Please email


All Opportunities

A team of eight students and postdocs from across all five schools have been exploring potential global health applications of cell-free synthetic biology as part of the Development i-Teams programme - come and hear their conclusions!

Applications are invited for a Readership in Synthetic Biology at the University of Cambridge. This is a tenure-track position at a level equivalent to Associate Professor and will be based in the Department of Engineering and is supported by the School of Biological Sciences (SBS).

As part of the OpenPlant Project ( the Webb Lab in Department of Plant Science, University of Cambridge are looking to hire a postdoctoral researcher to engineer circadian rhythms in the model plant Marchantia.

~£80k seed funding to foster UK-SA collaborations that will eventually lead to the development of innovations to address antimicrobial resistance.

A KTN/Innovate UK/BBSRC Webinar
12:30 - 13:30, Thursday 27 October 2016

A four-year PhD studentship is available in Anne Osbourne's lab at the John Innes Centre, Norwich entitled 'Directing biosynthesis of bioactive triterpenes for pharmaceutical applications'

Have you ever wondered how new ideas can help people in the developing world? Are you interested in what Cambridge can do to help? If so, then Centre for Global Equality Development i-Teams programme is for you!

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in the group of Professor Yolanda Schaerli, Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland to build synthetic gene regulatory networks in E. coli.

SynbiCITE in partnership with Rainbow Seed Fund is running Bio-start, a competition to help promote the commercialisation the engineering of biology in the UK.

The Department of Plant Sciences hosts significant synthetic biology research including OpenPlant and the SynBio SRI. It is currently welcoming independent research fellows who wish to apply to join the Department.

Interested in working in the world of biotech start-ups? A new programme called Deep Science Ventures works with PhD graduates to create high-tech startups from scratch even if you haven’t yet found the right idea or team.

The Science and Technology Committee launches its new inquiry into Managing intellectual property and technology transfer.

The Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) is based in the Department of Plant Sciences. We are seeking a part-time (0.5FTE) Administrative Assistant who will work closely with the SRI Co-ordinator, Dr Jenny Molloy, in the research group of Professor Jim Haseloff (SRI Chair).

Symbiolab, Institute IRNAS in Slovenia seeks postdoctoral candidates for Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship to develop open source 3D-bioprinter

Tom Meany reports on the recent Bio-Hackathon held by CUTEC in the Department of Plant Sciences and supported by the SynBio SRi's SynBio Fund.

The Synthetic Biology Group at the Earlham Institute currently have an opportunity for an outstanding post-doctoral scientist within our Synthetic Biology Group. The candidate must have a comprehensive understanding of the principles of genomics and molecular biology, and be proficient in techniques used in the design and construction of genetic circuits.

Applications are invited for a Post-doctoral Research Associate position in the group of Professor Paul Dupree, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, to study plant cell wall polysaccharide engineering.

SynbiCITE is now accepting applications for the next Lean Launchpad for Synthetic Biology, which will be run from September to November 2016.

Deadline to submit expression of interest - 29 July 2016
Call closes - (5pm) 12 August 2016
Successful projects announced - October 2016

The Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering (ACBE) at UCL seeks to appoint a talented scientist or engineer in the area of Synthetic Biology to develop a deeper understanding of biological systems and their design to enhance bioprocess performance or to facilitate the synthesis of novel products.

The event took place from 21st June to 25th June. Solutions were judged on innovative nature and commercial viability. Teams presented their solutions on stage at CUTEC’s flagship Technology Ventures Conference (TVC) in front of investors, academics, students, and incubators.

Wanted: Ambitious and driven scientist to run a world-leading untargeted metabolomics and metabolic flux platform to guide the cutting-edge engineering of microbial bioreactors for high-value chemicals production.

EPSRC has offered the University an institutional sponsorship grant to support development of a portfolio of research projects and Knowledge Exchange activities compliant with the Official Development Assistance (ODA) guidelines under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Synthetic Biology related suggestions and collaboration ideas are invited.

The first three calls for proposals to the Global Challenges Research Fund are now open. Deadline for outline applications: 4pm, 22 June 2016.

Opportunities for IB & SynBio in the new Innovate UK Delivery Plan
Friday, 20th May 2016 from 12:30 to 14:30 (BST), by webinar

Innovate UK has recently published its new Delivery Plan, outlining the main ways in which it will invest around £561M in helping businesses to innovate and grow in the financial year 2016 to 2017.
Register to webinar - held on 20th May 2016 from 12:30 to 14:30 (BST)

New Job Opening: Research Associate : Responsible Research and Innovation in Synthetic Biology -- to work with the Responsible Research and Innovation Group that is embedded with the Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SYNBIOCHEM) at The University of Manchester. The PDRA will be housed at the Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Alliance Manchester Business School, under the supervision of Professor Philip Shapira. Apply by : 15/06/2016; Reference : HUM-08184; Fixed Term: 36 months.

Professor Dianne Nicol from the University of Tasmania will speak on the use of material transfer agreements (MTAs) in Australian university technology transfer offices and how these agreements may help, or hinder, innovation processes in biomedicine.

Three fully-funded, four-year PhD studentships are available from the University of Cambridge in association with OpenPlant, a UK Synthetic Biology Research Centre creating open technologies for plant synthetic biology.


The Engineering Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre EngBio IRC is a centralised hub for Engineering Biology research. It brings together and supports researchers working across disciplines - at the intersections of biology, engineering, computer sciences, design and bioethics.

We promote interdisciplinary exchange in the fields of engineering and synthetic biology through a regular event series and by funding projects. Find out more about EngBio IRC events and opportunities below.

The EngBio IRC is based in the Department of Biochemistry and serves staff and students across the University's four schools and affiliated institutes.


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