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Engineering Biology in Cambridge


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

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

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.

Start-up skills workshop for postdocs: pitching and business plan writing to make your new company stand out, with Dr Darrin Disley

The next technology revolution is coming: the engineering of biology. Cambridge Consultants wants to be at the forefront. We are building a team to work in synthetic biology: applying engineering principles to the design and build of biological systems to create completely new products and services by combining biology, chemistry, engineering, and maths skills.

With support from the SynBio Fund, CUTEC is hosting the UK’s first ever bio-focused “hackathon” in the University of Cambridge. Interdisciplinary teams will take on some of the greatest challenges facing biology.

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship that forms part of a multidisciplinary, multicentre project "Algal oils by design", which aims to establish microalgae as an industrial biotechnology platform for the production of high value lipids, such as omega-3 fatty acids.

This summer Microsoft Research offer a 12 week long internship to a Graduate/PhD student that is interested in taking part in an interdisciplinary research project that will focus on plant communication and signaling in plants. [Deadline March 2016]

The UK-France joint PhD programme aims to develop research in key areas of mutual interest to France and the UK, including areas of synthetic biology. Expressions of interest for the programme should be submitted by Friday 4 March 2016.

OpenPlant Fund offers £5000 to support open, interdisciplinary and innovative projects to engineer plant biology. Applications are now open until 4 March 2016.

The successful candidate will work on the “3D Bio-printing for bio-batteries” project combining 3D bioprinting, synthetic biology, engineering and electro-biochemistry skills to develop a prototype 3D printed bio-battery.


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

We promote interdisciplinary exchange through a regular event series, researcher-led initiatives and seed-funding for 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 six schools and affiliated institutes.


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