Current PhD Opportunities

BioSS has a range of PhD projects available in collaboration with partner universities and research organisations. Please follow the appropriate links to find out how to apply for each studentship noting the application deadline where applicable.

To discuss PhD opportunities further e.g. which projects might be most appropriate for you, please email: Glenn Marion

EASTBio Doctoral Training Partnership

Biomathematics & Statistics Scotland (BioSS), with our partners in the EASTBio Doctoral Training Partnership is currently advertising three PhD studentship opportunities, suitable for candidates with a strong quantitative background who are interested in applying statistical, mathematical, and bioinformatics ideas to real-world problems in animal disease surveillance and modelling, both terrestial and aquatic, or in ecosystem surveillance and modelling.

Exploring the multilayer world: application of multilayer network analysis for livestock disease surveillance and control

The Roslin Institute and BioSS have a long track record of working together within EPIC, the Scottish Government's Centre of Expertise in Animal Disease Outbreaks. Past work has led to the development of network structures which describe a variety of inter-farm contacts which would be important in the event of a swine disease outbreak in Great Britain. The proposed project will seek to develop these insights further, integrating them into a multi-layer model, using full use of the very large volume of data available, and thus providing a more powerful analysis of the interplay between different types of contacts and the impact of these on the potential for future disease spread. This project will offers a successful applicant an opportunity to develop expertise in the analysis of networks, and to apply this knowledge to a highly relevant real-word epidemiological problem within a multi-disciplinary research team.

Full details are available at Find-A-PhD

Application of MinION Nanopore sequencing to understand the impact of environmental changes on sentinel indicators of ecosystem health

Registered with St Andrews University, and in collaboration with the Moredun Institute and BioSS, this exciting multidisciplinary PhD project will use a sentinel wildlife species, in this case, the grey seal, to identify key indicators of environmental health and resilience. Using the latest in long-read high-throughput sequencing technology, the successful applicant will quantify the impact of anthropogenic environmental contamination on both environmental samples and on the grey seal microbiome and gut health. The project will identify bacterial and viral pathogens and antimicrobial resistance and heavy metal resistance genes, modelling transmission routes through the environment, and the impact of changing climate conditions on disease reservoirs. Bioinformatics data analysis pipeline development and statistical modelling to integrate datasets are both key aspects of this project, which will require a candidate with strong quantitative and computational skills.

Full details are available at Find-A-PhD

Enhanced operational approaches to emerging and endemic disease in farmed salmon in Chile

BioSS and SRUC, a top rated centre for Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science research in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework assessment, have developed a wide range of modern and innovative modelling and computational statistical approaches to support better control of pests and disease in livestock. These methods include Bayesian computational statistical approaches to inference in stochastic processes. Through collaboration with our commercial partner, Landcatch, this studentship will further develop such techniques in the context of disease threats to aquaculture and food security. The project offers a unique opportunity to develop widely applicable technical skills and build experience of working in a multi-disciplinary team. The successful applicant will be based at BioSS, on the King's Building campus of the University of Edinburgh, and at SRUC in the Roslin Institute Building.

Full details are available at Find-A-PhD

Applications procedure

All applicants should have or expect to have a minimum of an appropriate upper 2nd class degree. Application and reference request forms can be downloaded from the links given above.

Candidates may contact Professor Glenn Marion ( for further information on PhD training at BioSS.

The closing date for applications is the 5th January 2020. Following a short-listing process, candidates will be interviewed, and only if successful at interview will be offered a studentship.

Potential applicants should note the following eligibility criteria:

Knowledge Exchange

User Friendly Software

Training For Scientists

BioSS Doctoral Training Programme

Meetings & Seminars