Category: Early Careers

D.Phil position at Oxford / Pirbright / Horizon Discovery

An exciting D.Phil position is available at the Pirbright Institute in Guildford, with a placement at Horizon Discovery and support from the Oxford University Doctoral Training Partnership.

Transcriptional Analysis of chIFITM knockout technology for increased vaccine yields

Start date: October 2017; Remuneration/ pay rate: £17,003 studentship stipend
Dr Mark Fife, Dr Angela Steyn, The Pirbright Institute
Prof. Adrian Smith, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford
Dr Jon Moore, Horizon Discovery

Contact details: Tel: +44 (0)1483 232441

Avian viruses create major challenges to poultry health through loss of productivity and mortality & have concomitant effects on the global poultry industry through a reduction in the output of poultry meat & eggs. Developing effective and affordable vaccines against these viral diseases will help to increase food security worldwide & alleviate poverty in developing countries. This studentship will focus on the transcriptional analysis of CRISPR/Cas9 chIFITM gene knock-outs in commercially relevant and lab-adapted avian cell lines, and will aim to prove the hypothesis that reduced/ablation of chIFITM gene expression will result in a significant increase in viral replication and augment vaccine viral titre.

The position is open to biological science graduates with at least a 2.1 or equivalent, or a Masters degree (subject to university regulations). Other first degrees, e.g. veterinary science, will be considered. You should be looking for a challenging, interdisciplinary research training environment and have an active interest in the control of infectious diseases.

PhD: Developing novel biosensors for monitoring antibody production in CHO cells

The biopharmaceutical market is valued at over 100 billion dollars per year with the majority of therapeutic antibodies being manufactured in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. However, the process of generating monoclonal antibody (mAb) producing cell lines suitable for commercial manufacture remains challenging, time consuming and costly.

The cellular pathways underpinning antibody production in CHO cells have been extensively studied over the past 10 years; however, it is still unclear which pathways are most important for this process (protein folding, protein transport and cell stress). The aim of this PhD is to facilitate a deeper understanding of CHO mAb production cell lines by investigating the intracellular phenotypes of CHO cell lines which are producing and secreting monoclonal antibodies. Using the knowledge gained we aim to define a phenotypic fingerprint which correlates with favourable manufacturing and product quality characteristics. Once these fingerprints have been defined, a series of novel fluorescent tools for monitoring them will be developed and applied to our cell line development platform to allow screening for optimal mAb producing cell lines in the earliest stages of cell line development.

This project will provide training in advanced mammalian cell culture, fluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry and access to state of the art, high-throughput, automated systems for cell culture (Berkeley Lights Beacon) and phenotypic analysis (Intellicyt iQue)   in place at the GSK laboratories.

The studentship is available starting in October 2017. This project is collaboration between Dr Andrew Peden at the University of Sheffield and Dr Robyn Emmins, GSK Biopharmaceutical Process Research, Stevenage. Candidates should have a strong academic degree in the biological sciences. The successful candidate will be highly motivated, work effectively in a team setting and be interested in cell biology, protein trafficking and technology development.

For an informal discussion regarding the post, please contact:
Dr Andrew Peden
Dr Robyn Emmins

This is a BBSRC-funded Industrial CASE PhD studentship and is full time for four years. The stipend will be £17,553.00 per annum. Applicant eligibility criteria for the studentship can be found at and you must identify that you fit these criteria prior to application.

The Bioprocessing Skills School

September 11-15th, 2017 National Biologics Manufacturing Centre, Darlington

Do you want to find out how your career might develop working for industry, the differences between industrial- and academic-driven research and how the industrial environment matches your career ambitions?

At our week-long, intensive residential training programme, designed around the insights of industrialists, you will take part in group-based activities and work with real-life industrial case studies. The programme is designed to engage with the process of entrepreneurship and focus on the development of the ability to promote research ideas.

If you are an early career researcher working in the area of bioprocessing of biopharmaceuticals  on a project that has an industrial collaborator then this could be an ideal opportunity for you. Apply for registration:

Biotechnology YES2017 is open!

Take part in YES17 this autumn and spend three days immersed in developing enterprise skills; thinking creatively to produce innovative solutions to major challenges; and discovering how to communicate research with impact.

YES is a must for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers wishing to:
enhance CVs
develop transferable skills
cultivate business acumen
become career-wise
collaborate with peers and network with industry experts
pitch for a share of the £7,500 prize fund
More information:

Application deadline: 9 July 2017

14th Annual bioProcessUK Conference 2017

Now in its 14th year, the Annual bioProcessUK Conference continues the tradition of showcasing emerging talent in biological medicines through the Bursary Poster Prize Competition.

The conference is offering up to 30 bursary places (free conference ticket plus expenses of up to £180) to early career researchers selected to display a poster showcasing their research in biological medicines and bioprocessing.  A selection of the submissions will be invited to take part in the early career researchers session in the conference programme, where they will take to the stage with a two slide, two-minute ‘poster flash’ oral presentation.

The winning poster, as judged by the conference delegates, will receive an Apple iPad kindly sponsored by Pall Life Sciences. Displaying a poster at the conference is beneficial to the career and professional development of early career researchers and by participating in the Poster Prize Competition it will provide the opportunity to make connections , enhance professional development
and present research.

Closing date for submissions is Friday 15 September. To enter a poster into the competition, abstracts of no more than 200 words should be emailed to Dannielle Sinclair by Friday 15 September 2017.  Click here for submission guidelines and here for the conference website.