Research funding opportunities

  • Full details of all funding opportunities will be advertised on this web page as and when they become available.

    If you are interested in undertaking a research degree at Oxford Brookes University, visit the Areas of research web page to find out more about the range of subject areas offered within our research communities, centres, groups, academic faculties and schools.

    Please note that if you are applying for one of the Studentships offered here, you must follow the application guidance that is detailed at the end of each advert. Do not apply directly via the University's online application system at this stage.

  • Any funding opportunities for continuing research students will be advertised here when available.

    There are no funding opportunities available at the moment.


    Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,

    Department of Biological and Medical Sciences

    3 Year Full Time studentship

    Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU

    Closing date: 31 July 2019 

    Start Date: September 2019

    Bursary p.a.: £15,009

    Fees; to be paid by the University

    Main supervisor: Professor Isabel Bermudez

    Project Title: Building a nervous system: Analysis of transport and assembly mechanisms in synapse formation

    Project Description:

    In order for animals to react to an internal or external stimulus with the appropriate behaviour, the input signals from sensory neurons need to be received, processes and transmitted correctly to the effector cells, e.g. muscle cells. The contact between neurons and their target cells are called synapses. They contain vesicles filled with chemical neurotransmitters that are released into the synaptic cleft and bind to receptors on the surface of the target cell and in such a way pass on the information. The fusion of these vesicles is highly regulated in time and space in the so called active zone within the synapse. However, despite its important function in the regulation of neurotransmission, it is still not well understood how these dense projections are assembled, what their components are and how their shape reflects their specific function. My lab takes advantage of the well characterised nervous system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to tackle exactly those questions. The aim of the PhD project is to take so far uncharacterized mutants with defects in active zone formation and synaptic protein transport and characterise them by functional assays and electrophysiology as well as high resolution Confocal and Electron Microscopy. Additionally, Mass Spec and RNAi screens will be used to identify new components to further understand how these specific connections between neurons are formed to build a functional nervous system.

    Description ends with:

    Please note only EU/UK nationals/permanent residents are eligible to apply for this studentship.  If you are not sure if you are eligible please contact Research Administrator: .  Previous candidates should not apply again.

    There is an additional requirement to undertake up to 6 hours undergraduate teaching/week during semesters and to participate in a teaching skills course without further remuneration.

    Under Funding notes (100 words)

    Applicants should have (or be expecting) a first class or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification.  EU Applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued in the last 2 years by an approved test centre. We are prepared to consider alternative acceptable evidence of English Language ability.  

    Application form downloaded here:

    Once completed, please email to

     Decision _

     If a DBS check is required on enrolment, the cost of this will be covered by the University.

     Any key words you want to list:  neuroscience, neurotransmission, nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans, genetics, microscopy



    Industrial CASE PhD Studentship

    Full-time 3.5 year funded Studentship


    Insect Virus Research Group, Dept Biological & Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University in collaboration with Exosome Research Group and Oxford Expression Technologies Ltd


    Eligibility: Home/EU only

    Fees:  Full-time fees paid by the award for 3.5 years

    Bursary: tax-free bursary of ~£15,300 pa for 3.5 years

    Start date: October 2019

    Entry requirements: Applicants with, or expecting to graduate with a first or upper second class Honours degree in the biosciences are invited to apply.

    Title: The role of extracellular vesicles in baculovirus infection


    Project description:


    Extracellular vesicles or exosomes have long been associated with mechanisms by which cells remove unwanted materials such as RNA or proteins.  However, it is now known that these small, membrane-bound vesicles play important roles in extracellular communication and in modulating the effects of virus infection.  Evidence is emerging that virus-infected cells produce exosomes containing viral proteins or RNA/DNA that may prime uninfected bystander cells to spread virus infection more rapidly; reports have even shown that in some cases entire virus particles can be enclosed within vesicles enabling the virus to spread and enter cell types that would not normally be infected. Conversely, exosomes may also contain host cell proteins or microRNAs that help uninfected bystander cells to resist virus infection.  Almost nothing is known about the role of these extracellular vesicles in the replication cycle and spread of baculoviruses with insect cells.


    This project aims to investigate the role that these extracellular vesicles may play in baculovirus infection in cultured insect cells and in transduced mammalian cells.  Recombinant baculoviruses are widely used as expression vectors for the production of a wide range of proteins and protein complexes including VLPs in insect cells.  After incorporation of appropriate promoters, they are also used to express genes in mammalian cells and are being considered for gene therapy applications.  Understanding the nature of exosomes in baculovirus-infected insect cells or transduced mammalian cells may yield important information in the application of recombinant baculoviruses in vaccine and gene therapy applications. In addition, it is known that many insect cells harbour covert, adventitious viruses and it is possible that exosomes may play a role in their spread between cells in vivo and in vitro.


    The project will enable the student to gain experience, training and expertise in a wide range of molecular and cellular biology techniques including cloning, cell culture, DNA, RNA and protein analytical techniques, recombinant gene expression in insect and mammalian cells.  The student will also have the chance to undertake a period (3-6 months) working in OET Ltd, a small successful biotech company dedicated to the application of baculovirus technology.  The student will join a dynamic and supportive research group located in newly refurbished, well-equipped laboratories. 




    How to apply:  Please send a CV and covering letter to by 15th July 2019. Interviews will be held in early August at Oxford Brookes University.  Informal enquires to Prof Linda King ( or Prof Robert Possee (





    There are no funding opportunities available at the moment.

    Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment

    School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

    Three year full-time funded PhD Studentship


    Eligibility: Home/EU students

    Bursary: £16,000 per year

    Fees: Tuition fees will be paid by the university

    Deadline for applying: Monday 5 August 2019

    Start date: September 2019

    “PhD Studentship in Novel Strategies Towards Soot-Less Combustion”

     The Faculty of Technology Design and Environment at Oxford Brookes University is pleased to offer a three-year full-time PhD studentship to a new student commencing September 2019.

    The successful candidate, UK/EU nationals only, will work within the Engine Modelling Team, under the supervision of Professor Denise Morrey and Dr Fabrizio Bonatesta. This is a fully-funded PhD studentship with annual bursary of £16,000.

    Brief Project Description

    The Engine Modelling Team (EMT) at Oxford Brookes University works in collaboration with major engine manufacturers, TIER1 suppliers and research institutions in the UK and abroad. The EMT is currently involved in R&D projects in the areas of spray, combustion and particulate matter modelling. A fully equipped engine rig is used for experimental research and to support the modelling activities. The proposed PhD programme will benefit from the group’s expertise and will cover a broad area including the development of technologies and associated digital twins to explore potential novel strategies to minimise soot formation and emissions from combustion processes.

    The essential selection criteria include:

    ●     A good first degree in Mechanical, Automotive or Motorsport Engineering.

    ●     Experience in engine modelling using CFD or other modelling software.

    ●     Experience in engine testing and test rig operation and maintenance.

    ●     Experience of processing, analysing and manipulating large amounts of technical data.

    ●     Knowledge and understanding of internal combustion engines working principles, modern associated technology, pollutants formation, fuels and emission regulations.

    ●     Ability to work independently or as part of a team.

    ●     Excellent written and oral communication and organisational skills.

    ●     A real passion and commitment for research and scholarship.

    The successful candidate will be responsible to:

    ●     Undertake independent research in engine and combustion modelling.

    ●     Carry out engine and/or associated testing, data acquisition and processing.

    ●     Develop and/or enhance physics and chemistry-based models of practical use for the industry.

    ●     Identify and develop new technology and/or control approaches that minimise soot emissions using current and new fuels.

    ●     Liaise with and support industrial and academic partners

    ●     Conduct literature searches and reviews, and assist with the preparation of papers for publication.

    Application Process:

    To apply for this position, request an application pack by emailing, quoting “PhD in Novel Strategies Towards Soot-Less Combustion

    Fully completed applications must be sent to, by 5.00 pm on Monday 5 August 2019. As part of the application process you must submit your CV, along with a supporting statement (2 page maximum) which explains why you believe you are the best candidate for this studentship. Please be advised that the selection process may involve an interview.


    For all informal requests about the project and this post, please contact Professor Denise Morrey (

    Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships

    Applications are open for Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships for PhD candidates from low and middle income Commonwealth countries to spend 12 months at a UK university as part of their doctoral studies in their home country.

    The scholarships are for study starting in October 2019, and are aimed at high-quality graduates whose proposed research has a developmental focus and who have the potential to become influential teachers or researchers in their home countries.

    Split-site Scholarships are delivered through an institutional or departmental link between the candidate's home university and proposed UK university.

    The closing date for applications is 4 February 2019. For full details, including eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit

    Further information about the Postgraduate Doctoral Loan scheme can be found at