Bright SCIdea Challenge – win £1000

SCI (Society of Chemical Industry) has launched a new student initiative – the Bright SCIdea Challenge.

This is a national competition designed to give teams of 3-5 students an idea of what it’s like to develop a business plan and pitch a concept for their own product or service.

Enter today to access FREE business training and develop skills in entrepreneurship and pitching. Business plan and training materials are available to all registered teams now!

Form a team and register now to gain valuable business skills, enhance your CV and to be in with a chance to win £1,000!

Register now! Entry deadline: Sunday 18 February 2018

See here for more details

MSC Co-Fund Career Development & Mobility Fellowships

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Co-Fund Career Development & Mobility Fellowships in Medical Device and Research Development

MedTrain is a new Industry-Academia Training, Career Development and Mobility Fellowship Programme at CÚRAM, co-funded by the EU, Offering prestigious two-year fellowships to eligible incoming researchers in the area of Medical Device Research and Development, including research areas: Glycoscience and Protein Engineering

The MedTrain Programme aims to enhance the creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative potential of researchers, via advanced training, international and inter-sectoral mobility. Fellows will be based at one of four CÚRAM academic organisations: National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway), University College Cork (UCC), University College Dublin (UCD) or the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

Fellowships include secondment to a non-academic research partner, located in any country of the world appropriate to further the research, training and career development needs of each fellow.

Within the Advanced Glycoscience Research Cluster opportunities are available within the research groups of:

Professor Lokesh Joshi, Co-Director CÚRAM; Director Glycoscience Research Group; VP for Research NUI Galway

Progressing the knowledge and future functionalization of cells, materials and devices with the ultimate goal of engineering glyco-enabled surfaces. Our research targets the refinement and testing of extracellular matrix (ECM), examining and profiling the vital attributes provided by oligo- and polysaccharides and their interactions with ECM components. It is anticipated that through the identification and targeting of discrete glycan motifs, suitable ECM models will be produced for enhanced biological interactions, assisting in rational engineering strategies for molecular and surface modification of materials, cells, tissues and implantable devices.

Dr Michelle Kilcoyne, Lecturer in Glycosciences, NUI Galway

The Carbohydrate Signalling Group is interested in elucidating carbohydrate-mediated host-pathogen interactions. Capsules shield pathogenic bacteria from immune-surveillance by the host immune system but specific interactions and responses are not well understood. Implanted medical device materials often elicit an immune response from host tissue and are subject to device infections, which can be difficult to treat and clear. Developing a better understanding of the host-pathogen interactions that allow bacteria to avoid the host immune system, in particular focusing on complement activation pathways and subsequent cell responses, could lead to novel strategies in avoiding immune response to implanted medical device materials.

To find out more or express an interest, please contact Prof. Lokesh Joshi ( or Dr. Michelle Kilcoyne ( Working with your identified mentor to develop a research proposal for submission prior to the call deadline (anticipated March 2018).

Next call will be in early 2018 with anticipated closing dates in March 2018.

Successful applicants will be expected to have commenced their projects by 1st June 2018.

PhD ‘Design, Chemical Synthesis and Evaluation of Nucleoside Analogues’

Supervisor: Dr Gavin J Miller, Keele University, UK

Project Description

All viruses, irrespective of the disease they cause, have to replicate in order to survive. Drugs that block viral RNA or DNA replication by mimicking the natural building blocks of RNA and DNA (A, C, G, T/U) are known as nucleoside analogues. There are three distinct features of nucleosides that make them the preferred treatment for an infectious disease where a nucleoside is available: high barrier to resistance,broad spectrum of activity and high efficacy. This can be observed in the treatments of HSV (Aciclovir and Ganciclovir), HIV (Tenofovir, Zidovudine, Abacavir Emtricitabine and Lamivudine), HBV (Entecavir, Tenofovi, Adefovir, Lamivudine and Telbivudine) and HCV (Sofosbuvir).

Your PhD project will involve the design and chemical synthesis of a new class of nucleoside analogue, focusing on mimetic modifications to the ribose ring. You will also be involved in applying the mimetic nucleoside within the synthesis of current anti-viral drugs. You will receive training in organic synthesis, carbohydrate chemistry and medicinal chemistry. Transferable skills such as reporting of results orally and in writing, time management, project planning and management will be also developed.

Find out more & apply here

Supergen Hub Leaders Consultation – final event

RCUK plans to invest £5M in a multi-disciplinary Supergen Bioenergy Hub to act as a focal point for UK bioenergy research. The Hub will connect academia with industrial and policy stakeholders to focus on sustainable bioenergy development. Prof. Patricia Thornley from The University of Manchester has been appointed to lead the Hub and is currently carrying out a consultation to establish the research priorities that the new hub will address from 2018-2022 and to identify appropriate research partners and stakeholders.

We would like to invite you to our final consultation event which is taking place in Cardiff on Thursday 16th November 2017. There will also be a session supporting Early Career Researchers.

Register by 10am, Thursday 9th November here:

House of Commons Science & Technology Inquiry


The 2016 Autumn Statement provided an extra £2 billion a year for the science budget by the end of the Spending Review period, including funding for an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. In 2017, the Government committed to “meet the current OECD average for investment in R&D—2.4% of GDP—within ten years, with a longer-term goal of 3%”.

The Industrial Strategy Green Paper, in January 2017, included proposals for an ‘Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’ and envisaged sectors making the case for ‘sector deals’. The Government has since announced the first investments from the fund, including the Faraday Challenge for battery development focusing on electric vehicle applications.

The Green Paper also highlighted a Government review of practices of universities’ Technology Transfer Offices; an independent Review of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) by David Connell; a possible expansion of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) or of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships; the “importance of place”, with “increasing our focus on commercialisation and later stage development … likely to increase the opportunities for catch-up in more parts of the country”; a “review of government and research council laboratories and their potential to drive local economic growth”.

More recently, the Government announced plans for a ‘Knowledge Exchange Framework’ to compare universities’ engagement with businesses; a third wave of ‘Science and Innovation Audits’ to map local research, innovation, and infrastructure strengths; and allocations from a ‘Connecting Capability Fund’.

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) will be operational from April 2018. It will bring together bodies that are currently separately responsible for research and innovation spending.

The Committee would welcome written submissions, ideally by Monday 30 October, on:

  • The coherence and links between the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the ‘sector deals’;
  • The model adopted by the Faraday Challenge and its suitability for future investments in other sectors under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund;
  • The rationale and coherence for the distribution of funding:
  • between the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (and its individual ISCF schemes) and the rest of the Science budget;
  • between the various initiatives to financially support innovation and commercialisation of research;
  • between the two arms of the ‘dual support’ system—funding via the research councils and funding via Research England;
  • between innovation and research.
  • The balance between different parts of the country in Government funding of research/innovation, the effectiveness of such place-based financial support, and how planned place-based funding might affect that balance in future;
  • What further measures the Government should take to use its spending and facilities to strengthen innovation, research and associated ‘place’-based growth.

Submitting written evidence

Submit written evidence via our inquiry page.

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act. We may also ask you to comment on the process of submitting evidence via the web portal so that we can look to make improvements. If you have any queries or concerns about the collection and use of this information or do not wish your details to be used for the purpose of collecting feedback, please advise the Committee at providing your full name, address, and if relevant your organisation.

Each submission should:

  1. a) be in Word format with as little use logos as possible
    b) have numbered paragraphs
    b) include a declaration of interests.

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases. 


Post-Doctoral researcher sub-group call

The Bioscience Skills and Careers Strategy Advisory Panel (BSC) has received input from a Bioscience Skills and Careers Postdoctoral Researcher Subgroup since March 2013. Membership of the subgroup is currently being refreshed to ensure it continues to have the necessary skills and expertise to provide input into topics highlighted by the subgroup’s recently updated terms of reference.

BBSRC is looking to appoint eight postdocs to the subgroup. Applications are sought from postdocs working in academia, including those based in research institutions, as well as those in government laboratories or industry (Postdoc in the industrial context meaning someone with a PhD carrying out a research role, but who is not directing a research programme / who does not have significant management responsibilities)

Further information can be found here:

GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs

Research Councils UK invites proposals from eligible UK research organisations to establish and lead a number of challenge-led and impact-focused GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs which meet the aims of Official Development Assistance.

The Intention to Submit survey must be completed by 29th September 2017. Outline proposals must be submitted via Je-S by 16:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on 9th November 2017

Further information can be found here: