News Archive

1 May 2023

Survey summary

The EASTBIO Management Group invites all EASTBIO-funded students to complete the annual student survey anonymously by 5pm on the 28th of May 2023. Although the survey is anonymous, there is an option, should you wish to take it, to provide your name/email to allow us to approach you with an invitation to provide more detailed information on your feedback (this can be on a specific area, for instance training; studentship; placements; wellbeing). This will allow us to deepen our understanding of the student experience of the programme and qualify the broad evidence, in case of a need for more local measures. We plan to run an annual survey each year from now onwards within the same terms of reference.

10 Nov 2022


Third-year EASTBIO student Samuel Gibbon (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh/CMVM) has started a company called Pallor Metrics, based on his PhD work on "Using the eye to unlock changes in the health of the aging brain: A state of the art data analysis approach".

enabling insight into brain health through imaging the retina

20 Sep 2022

The University of St Andrews currently advertises one EASTBIO PhD project for a studentship in the area of Crops and Soil. The studentship is fully funded by the UKRI BBSRC. The successful candidate will join the 2022 student cohort and the new EASTBIO Training Programme.

Project title: Crops as a route to growth factor (GF) production for cellular agriculture

Project Supervisors: Professor L. Torrance, Dr Andrew Love, Professor D. Stewart

Details of the projects are advertised here.

Closing date: 30 September 2022

You are asked to contact the project's first supervisor before you apply to the host institution.

14 Sep 2022

The Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine) currently advertises four EASTBIO PhD projects for one studentship in the area of Transformative Technologies. The studentship is fully funded by the UKRI BBSRC; the successful candidate will join the 2022 student cohort and the new EASTBIOTraining Programme.

Details of the projects here:

7 Sep 2022

EASTBIO DTP Partner institution Moredun Research Institute advertises a PhD project for a start in October 2022. The project is fully-funded for a 4-year programme of study and the successful applicant will be joining the EASTBIO Training Programme.

Project title: Living with parasites: exploring tolerance of infection to reduce the impact of gastrointestinal nematodes on sheep

Primary supervisorDr Adam Hayward, Moredun Research Institute

Closing Date: 21/09/2022

Details of project here.

1 Sep 2022

EASTBIO has launched its 2023 Call for Projects inviting PhD projects in areas of strategic priority for UKRI BBSRC by eligible PIs across the partnership. We asked for projects for both standard studentships and studentships collaborative with industry.

Details about the call - including relevant guidance and the form itself - can be found here; projects to be submitted via the partner institutions by the end of September 2022. 

Email us if you have any query regarding the call.

12 Jul 2022

In 2022, EASTBIO has awarded two UKRI BBSRC Doctoral Career Development Funds to the following former EASTBIO students:

First, Dr Jennifer Wardle who has been working with Professor Jo Smith at the University of Aberdeen, School of Biological Sciences on the project involving the production of an "interactive web resource mapping urban food growing locations around Aberdeen with pop-up quantitative and qualitative information about the soils found there" (April to August 2022). The project falls under the 3rd BBSRC strand of exploring the application of Jennifer's doctoral research and training beyond academia for economic or societal impact in other sectors: it establishes connections with key and periphery participants in urban growing activities; provides laboratory characterisation of soil samples from a range of urban food growing sites and includes interviews of soil keepers.

30 Jun 2022

Dr Charlotte Woolley -  who was among the EASTBIO-funded 2017 intake - is currently post-doctoral researcher at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies (RDSVS) and the Roslin Institute of the University of Edinburgh, funded by the Dogs Trust to investigate lifestyle risks for healthy aging in a dog population. Charlotte is also the course organiser for the Research Methods and Data Analysis course on the online MSc Equine Science. Her research interests include veterinary and human epidemiology, data science, microbiome and genetic research. Outside of academic life, Charlotte has a 16-month old little girl who keeps her very busy and 2 ragdoll cats. She enjoys big hikes in the hills, running, Netflix, home renovations, craft beers and wine. 

30 Jun 2022


Dr Stefan Pulver (University of St Andrews) and EASTBIO Alumnus Dr Jacob Francis (2017 intake) have been awarded a BBSRC Impact Acceleration Award for  £23,593, providing 5 months of PDRA funding (from August to December 2022) for Jacob to work with Cairn Research Ltd to commercialize/disseminate his BBSRC DTP work on developing Open Source Software for microscopy. Cairn has also confirmed that they will provide funding for an additional month to support this work full-time. This is a formidable example of the kind of beneficial extensions arise from academia-industry collaboration at PhD and placement level, as supported by the EASTBIO DTP CASE studentships scheme.

EASTBIO DTP offers our congratulations to both Stefan and Jacob for securing these funds and wish them best of luck with their project!

30 Jun 2022

EASTBIO awarded ten REP awards for summer 2022 placements, the details of which are found here.

We have met all our REP recipients in Dundee at the 2-day Swimming Research Waters Induction, engaged in conversation with them, EASTBIO supervisors as well as current and former EASTBIO students. We'll bring the cohort together again in autumn 2022 to learn more about their lab placement experience and facilitate more interactions with our current PhD student cohorts. 

7 Jun 2022

Lorenzo Croce is a first-year PhD student at the University of Aberdeen, working with Professor Peter McCaffery on a Collaborative project, "Rethinking the retinoic acid receptor: a revisionary view of the rapid pathways triggered."

28 Jun 2021

Dr Caroline Pope has sadly left the EASTBIO Doctoral Training Partnership and the University of Edinburgh Graduate School of Biological Sciences, to take up a new role at Eli Lilly in Cork -- her last working day with us was the 24th of June 2021. She has been a driving force for EASTBIO since it began in 2012 and, as the EASTBIO Doctoral Training and Industry Engagement Manager, was a major factor in successfully moving onto its current third stage.

7 May 2021

EASTBIO DTP understands the significant opportunity that its Undergraduate Research Experience Placements offers to undergraduate students who may wish to embark on a research career path. EASTBIO is committed to delivering the scheme. However, we will not be able to offer placements this year due to continued restrictions operating in many labs. The scheme will be re-launched in the summer of 2022, with additional awards to take into account those we have been unable to host in 2020 or 2021, and will include a programme of Widening Participation activities open to eligible applicants. We will advertise further details via our website in early 2022. 

EASTBIO DTP Management Group

9 Oct 2020

EASTBIO has just held its first entirely digital Induction event, spread between the 7th and the 9th of October. We thank our students and supervisors, our students reps and our support team and Management Group for helping to deliver and engage with this series of events that launches the EASTBIO DTP3 Training Programme.

We asked our new students to type one sentence about their PhD research and got the word cloud, below (thanks to Dr Mhairi Towler for sharing):

Let us know what you thought about the digital platforms we used for this key event and any suggestions about other media to enable interactions that mimic face-to-face events!

17 Aug 2020

EASTBIO DTP3 funding

It is with great delight that we announce that the EASTBIO DTP3 bid has been successful. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC, a part of UK Research and Innovation) announced £170m in funding to support 1700 PhD researchers over the next 5 years. BBSRC’s Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) provide vital training to early career scientists working at the cutting edge of biology and biotechnology.

The EASTBIO partnership, one of the three largest UKRI-BBSRC DTPs, has been providing training for PhD students at the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and St Andrews uninterruptedly since it was initially funded in 2012. The partnership is now expanding to include the University of Stirling, Scotland’s Rural College, the James Hutton Institute, the Moredun Research Institute, the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA) and the Cool Farm Alliance.

6 May 2020

For the past few weeks, first-year EASTBIO student Zoe Gidden (based at the University of Edinburgh, supervised by Professor Lynne Regan and Dr Mathew Horrocks) has been volunteering in the Pathology Department at Northampton General Hospital to help set up COVID-19 testing. Shortly after returning home, Zoe reached out to the Head of Pathology, Augustus Lusack, to offer her help at what is a challenging time for the department.

Since then, Zoe has been working closely with Augustus and two University of Northampton PhD students, David Young and Charlotte Brookes, to set up an in-house molecular laboratory capable of COVID-19 testing. The team is extracting viral RNA from patient swabs and then using RT-PCR to detect if SARS-CoV-2 RNA is present. Zoe has found that laboratory techniques she learnt during the first year of her PhD (PCR and nucleic acid extraction), along with problem solving skills have helped her to make valuable contributions to the team’s efforts.

2 Apr 2020

Jennifer Wardle, a fourth-year EASTBIO student at the University of Aberdeen, has been working with Professor Jo Smith on the project "Resolving conflict between demands on organic waste in rural Ethiopia - Optimum solutions for food, energy and water security". 

During the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdown, Jennifer has produced a short animation on "Genet's new biogas digester". This an animation summary about her research topic, involving small-scale biogas production in rural Ethiopia. It shows the need for inter-disciplinary approaches to address the main challenges in her research project, as with many of the world’s problems. It was also a good way to escape her usual PhD routine while still being constructive.

Enjoy the video on the link below:


3 Mar 2020

On the 5th March 2020, EASTBIO first-year PhD student Eddie Martin organised a concert with a difference. The performers? Researchers in the fields of Biological Sciences and/or Music. Their instruments? Computer programming languages. The audience? Enjoying a healthy mix of inspiration, entertainment, and bemusement.

Eddie Martin introducing the event (5 March 2020, Edinburgh, 50, George Square)

This event welcomed all to the diverse and overlapping worlds of sonification, algorithmic music composition, and live-coding/algorave. I will now interrupt this article for some basic definitions:

Sonficiation – Turning data to (non-speech) sound. Think heart-rate monitors or Geiger counters.

Algorithmic Music Composition – Writing music using an algorithm with minimal human input. (Mozart used grids and dice. Nowadays we use computer programming languages.)

29 Oct 2019

To mark the EASTBIO partnership’s successful bid for a third term, funding 50+ PhD studentships for a further 5 year, we call on our students’ creative powers for a new EASTBIO logo header! This will be used on our website as well as all material, digital and textual, relating to the EASTBIO programme (Handbook, presentations slides, fliers, etc.) and our social media.

The EASTBIO Management Group will review all submissions and select the winner.

Winner prize: £100 book voucher