iCM PhD structure

In their first year students will undertake introductory core learning modules and rotation projects allowing them to make informed choices for their main PhD project. 

The overall iCM PhD programme provides a variety  of technical and professional training, to  prepare students for diverse scientific careers.

Rotation projects

Students will choose three short rotation projects, followed by two lab based rotation projects, aligned with the projects on offer for the full PhD. 

Training courses

Emphasis will be placed on timely skill development with the majority of core skill training during the first year of study. Core learning modules will cover four key areas: best research practice, technical skills, presentation skills and personal and professional development. Bespoke training will be tailored to individual need and delivered at a time that is appropriate to the individual. The core learning modules will include technique workshops and training in critical thinking via interactive tutorial-style courses led by programme supervisor. Further training needs will be identified through Personal Learning and Career Development plans and will continue concurrently with PhD study.

Full time PhD research projects start in March of the first year and will be conducted in a research group that hosted one of the rotation-projects. Students will be primarily embedded in research groups with a strong track record in dissecting cellular mechanisms ranging from anti-microbial resistance, stochastic heterogeneity, epigenetic and chromatin-based regulation, control of gene expression, non-coding RNA and RNA processing, chromosome structure and segregation, cell-cycle and cell growth regulation.

All PhD projects are collaborative between two supervisors who have complementary expertise:  one in cell mechanisms and one in quantitative skills. The definition of ‘quantitative skills’ is broad and includes Computational Data Sciences, Mathematics, Biophysics, Structural Biology, Chemical Biology and Biomaterials. By integrating these different areas into collaborative cross-disciplinary projects we will break new ground in understanding cellular mechanisms pertinent to the biomedical arena.

Example of Potential project titles and supervisors

(Currently on offer for the 2021 cohort)

Supervisors Project Titles
Prof Ken Swain and Dr Edward Wallace Localised control of directional growth: a multi-omics approach to understand protein translation at the hyphal tip in filamentous fungi
Prof Lynne Regan and Dr Mathew Horrocks Visualizing protein function and malfunction in live cells: Application of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy to biologically and bio-medically 
Prof Donal O’Carroll and Dr Atlanta Cook Towards a molecular mechanism of piRNA-instructed transposon methylation.
Prof Adele Marston and Dr Owen Davies Structural and cell biological dissection of a meiosis-specific kinetochore 
Prof Bill Earnshaw, Prof Nick Gilbert and Prof Davide Marenduzzo  Understanding the 3D-chromatin architecture of common fragile sites
Prof Ian Chambers and Dr Davide Michieletto Deciphering how Transcription Factor condensate formation directs cell identity by transcriptional regulation
Dr Liz Bayne and Dr Cei Abreu-Goodger Mechanisms and functions of RNA interference in the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans
Prof Hiroyuki Ohkura and Dr Julie Welburn Mechanism and homeostasis of the meiotic spindle using single molecule imaging and label-free imaging
Dr Nadanai Laohakunakorn and Dr Andrea Weisse Elucidating cellular self-regeneration through mechanistic modelling and cell-free synthetic biology
Dr Grzegorz Kudla and Dr Teuta Pilizota Engineering RNA-based fluorescent biosensors of ions in Escherichia coli
Dr Patrick Heun and Prof Andrew Gorychev Mapping factors and modelling of epigenetic centromere propagation
Dr Sara Buonomo and Prof Ramon Grima  Genetics, molecular biology and mathematical modelling applied to understand how mammalian cells deal with gene dosage in S-phase
Professor David Tollervey and Dr Diego Oyarzún ‘Non-coding RNAs in neuronal differentiation and disease’

How to Apply

Programme Enquiries:  phd.wcb@ed.ac.uk