... understanding life in molecular detail

Postgraduate PhD Programmes within the Astbury Centre

Are you looking for a challenge? Are you looking for an opportunity to undertake world-class science that spans the traditional disciplinary boundaries? We are seeking excellent students to join a number of prestigious Doctoral and Masters Degree programmes within this buoyant and dynamic research centre.

Opportunities to study for a PhD or Masters degrees in the Astbury Centre exist for high quality students. The Astbury Centre comprises around 50 academic research staff working in interdisciplinary research areas and with access to purpose-built research laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities.

What research degrees are available?

PhD and Masters level programmes are available to work in all areas of research associated with the Astbury Centre.

  • PhD degrees - funded through a variety of schemes (see Funding below)
  • Masters degrees - follow the link to the Masters pages

What funding is available for PhD places?

Staff in the Astbury Centre are involved in a number of programmes to provide funding for PhD study:

  • We hold a prestigious Wellcome Trust-funded 4-year PhD programme entitled "The Molecular Basis of Biological Mechanisms". Studentships are available on this prestigious programme for five highly motivated students with at least a 2.1 degree in any area of the life or physical sciences, including Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics and related disciplines.
  • We are part of a highly successful BBSRC-funded Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) with partner Universities in the White Rose consortium. Places are available for candidates with at least a 2.1 degree in any Biological Science, Chemistry, Physics or Related Disciplines.
  • CASE awards. These awards provide funding for PhD study which includes a period spent in industry. Details of specific CASE funded projects will be posted on this site and may also be found on FindAPhD.com. Other projects may be available - contact potential supervisors for details.
  • Other funding. Some PhD studentships may be available funded by other research councils (MRC, EPSRC etc) or by research charities. These will be advertised on FindAPhD.com - contact individual supervisors for details.

How to Apply
Closing dates and applications procedures may vary slightly for the various funding streams. Please follow the How to Apply link under each scheme.

Overseas students
Applications from high quality EU and International Students are welcomed on a number of our programmes (eg. The Wellcome Trust 4 year scheme) and a limited number of other places are also available (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/students/schol.htm)

Graduate Training Programme
The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology's (ACSMB) strategy is based on its mission statement: "The Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology will promote interdisciplinary research of the highest standard on the structure and function of biological molecules, biomolecular assemblies and complexes using physico-chemical, molecular biological and computational approaches." and is built on more than 70 years' history of cutting edge research at the interface between the physical and life sciences at the University. ACSMB brings together, and exploits, the knowledge and skill base of outstanding individuals in our parent disciplines in a dynamic research environment, so that together, key questions in biology can be addressed and quantified using novel methods of experiment, modelling and analysis. We aim to recruit outstanding research students in areas of strategic and fundamental importance and to guide and train them to internationally competitive standards. We also provide specific and generic training that helps students to continually develop a wide range of transferrable skills for use in research or the broader job market. Students are encouraged to attend and participate in national and international meetings relevant to their research and to become part of the international scientific community.

Training provided
Specific courses provide training in research techniques (making use of our excellent, dedicated core staff in physics, chemistry and biological sciences), experimental design and data assessment, scientific writing, reference management, the research environment and use of IT, as well as safety and statutory regulations. All students also take part in a programme of generic skills training either locally or via the University's Staff and Departmental Developmental Unit (SDDU). This training is divided into the following headings: Information Skills, Research Methodology, Ethics, Communication and Writing Skills, Interpersonal Skills and Personal Effectiveness. Students are encouraged to attend other specific courses in thesis preparation, and speaking skills for research as well as the UKGrad School and the researchers in residence scheme. In addition, courses on IPR and Patents, Marketing and The Market, and SME and related issues provide opportunities for interested students to develop interests in the commercial sector.

Student Support & Mentoring
Monitoring of student progression and assessment of student performance is rigorously undertaken to ensure smooth and steady progress to the final degree. Many of our projects are interdisciplinary and students therefore have both a main supervisor and a co-supervisor to advise and guide their studies. In all cases, each student also has an academic staff member as an advisor, whose role is to oversee the student's well-being while not being involved on a day-to-day basis in the research. A postgraduate representative sits on the Faculty of Biological Sciences Graduate School committee to express student opinion on important matters. The University and the Student's Union have excellent support facilities in case of problems.