PhD Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering

The course

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The Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering (IB3) is focused on applying advances in the chemical, physical, and engineering sciences to enable and enhance life science research.



The interdisciplinary research interests of the members and the state-of-the-art facilities provide a unique, stimulating environment for integrative research.

Life scientists, physicists, chemists, engineers and mathematicians work together to enhance the acquisition of data and maximise the information extracted from it. We run and participate in major training, research and access networks including the Edinburgh Super-Resolution Imaging Consortium, the Multiplexed “Touch and Tell” Optical Molecular Sensing and Imaging Interdisciplinary Research Centre, as well as collaborative projects to grow synthetic blood from stem cells, new diagnostics, foetal DNA separation technologies, cancer biology, diabetes, high-speed bio-imaging and analysis and 3D printing of stem cells.


IB3 brings together biological chemistry, biophysics and bioengineering in one research institute. Research at the interfaces between quantitative biological research and the physical sciences and engineering is recognised as a strategic priority area for EPSRC, MRC, BBSRC, STFC and the Wellcome Trust and we are in receipt of substantial funds from these agencies. When you study with us, you will join a highly interdisciplinary team that exploits the best facilities and technologies to provide solutions for the biomedical questions of tomorrow.

We pride ourselves on our supportive and stimulating environment for postgraduate students. In addition to academic supervisors, each postgraduate is supported by a mentoring scheme. We run a highly rated “Core Skills week” that brings new research students up to speed quickly to recognise the concepts, people and facilities they need to make progress from the beginning. 

There is also a Postgraduate Association, which organises seminars, social events and careers advice, and provides a vibrant peer-to-peer support network for students. Funding is available to enable students to travel to present data at international conferences.

Examples of the types of research projects on offer:

  • Development of light-regulated tools for biomedical research
  • Super-resolution and functional imaging of ion channel molecular activity in living cells
  • Microfluidic enrichment of donor DNA for detection of pancreatic islet graft rejection
  • Development of cutting-edge downstream bioprocessing

Entry requirements

Please contact Institute to discuss.


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time
Overseas £ 24496


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional fees information


Funding for research programmes is on a case by case basis. Please contact the institute for more information.

Additional scholarship information

View our full range of research scholarships.