Jobs and PhD Roundup – Looking to study or work in AD or IB?

The Biochemical Society will soon be launching a Job Board, listing molecular bioscience vacancies (within both academia and industry). For more information contact Lorenza Giannella, Training Manager  – .


PhD Opportunities

Are you starting your first year of either Masters or PhD study between September & October 2017? Each year and award £12,000 in scholarships for postgraduate study. See: .

Optimising microbial production of lactic acid from municipal solid waste (MSW); Insights into genome stability for industrial biotechnology (IB). Aberystwyth University. Supervisor: Dr j Gallagher. Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only) Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only). Deadline: Monday, 17th July 2017

Developing soil health indicators to inform land management decisions, increase crop yield and quality and reduce waste. University of Reading, School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science. Supervisor: Dr T Sizmur , Prof C D Collins. Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only). Application Deadline  1st October 2017.

CFD-PBM model for particle flow in biomass thermochemical conversion. Aston University, School of Engineering & Applied Science. Supervisor: Dr X Yu. Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only). Application Deadline Friday, June 30th 2017.

Tailored biopolymer production from waste streams: low-cost value added bioprocessing. University of Birmingham, School of Chemical Engineering. Supervisor: Dr T Overton ; Dr M Jenkins. Self-Funded PhD Students Only. Application Deadline Applications accepted all year round.

Innovative biological processes for the production of chemicals from organic waste AND Separation of chemicals obtained from the anaerobic fermentation of organic waste. Aberdeen University, School of Engineering. Supervisor: Dr D Dionisi ; Dr A Majumder. Self-Funded PhD Students Only. Application Deadline Applications accepted all year round.

Innovative engineering and scientific design of methane oxidising biofilters to control greenhouse gas emissions. University of Southampton, Engineering & the Environment. Supervisor: Prof W Powrie. Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only). Application Deadline Friday, June 30, 2017.

Application of circular economy thinking to industrial wastewater treatment operations University of Southampton, Engineering & the Environment. Supervisor: Prof I Williams. Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only). Application Deadline Friday, June 30, 2017.

PhD Studentship in Recovery of added value compounds from juice industry wastes. Lancaster University, Department of Engineering. Supervisor: Dr E Papaioannou. Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only). Application Deadline Monday, July 31, 2017.

Training Roundup – Looking for Anaerobic Digestion or Industrial Biotechnology Training?

PhD summer course: Host-microbe symbioses: from functional to ecological perspectives, Oeiras, Portugal, 9-21st July 2017. At only 300 Euros, this 2-week summer training course will fill up fast. Deadline for applications is 20th March. See: .

HVCfP: “Utilising genetic resources in R&D” training event, York, 13th July 2017. Did you know there that the use of some genetic resources in R&D is now covered by EU Regulations and UK law? The ‘Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity’ is an international agreement designed to provide a legal framework to ensure that  benefits arising from the use of genetic resources are shared fairly. It establishes a legal framework governing access to genetic resources and the traditional knowledge associated with them. This free training event is open to all NIBB members. See: .

Innovation Biocamp York, UK – 23-28th July 2017. The University of York and BioVale are organising an “innovation biocamp”, a one-week business skills training event for start-ups and new companies in the bioeconomy. The training event is aimed at technology-oriented start-ups and SMEs who are based in North West Europe and work in the bioeconomy (biomass treatment and valorisation, industrial biotechnology, downstream processing, etc). More details can be found on the website

Bioprocessing STARS Skills School, National Biologics Manufcturing Centre, Darlington,  11-15th September 2017. Do you want to find out how your career might develop working for industry, the differences between industrial- and academic-driven research and how the industrial environment matches your career ambitions?  Here’s your opportunity to answer these questions and find out much more about your ability to work in teams and how the innovative, entrepreneurial spirit drives research translation. At our week-long, intensive residential training programme, designed around the insights and advice of senior industrialists, you will take part in group-based activities and work with real-life industrial case studies. The programme is designed to engage with the process of entrepreneurship, focus on the development of the ability to promote research ideas and their value to audiences and the key importance of the societal impact of industrial biotechnology. Registration and more details

Aqua Enviro “Odour management: An introduction to odour regulation, assessment and control”, Aqua Enviro Training Suite, Wakefield, 6th December 2017. See: .

Aqua Enviro “Phosphorus Removal and Tertiary Treatment Processes”, Aqua Enviro Training Suite, Wakefield – 7th December 2017. See: .


AD Network Events Roundup – Find an AD or IB event near you!

In addition to our AD Network Research Colloquium 2017 in Southampton on 11-12 Sep 17 and our joint IBioIC / Food Waste / AD Network event on “Opportunities for food by-product valorisation” event in Glasgow on 4 Sep 17 (more information on our website), you may be interested in some of the following.

SludgeTech 2017, London – 9-13th July 2017. See:

7th International Conference on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control and Bioenergy (Biotechniques-2017), La Coruña. Spain, 19-21st July 2017. Biotechniques-2017 covers a wide range of topics related to the application of environmental biotechnology for air pollution control, gas fermentation in bioreactors and clean (bio)fuels production and upgrading, among others. See: .

ECI Conference, Biochar: Production, Characterization and Applications, Alba, Italy, 20-25th August 2017 See:

IBCarb: “Bioactive Polysaccharides”, Cambridge, 12-13th September. See website for details.

CBMNET and BIOCATNET Joint Event: Import And Export of Small Molecules into Cells for Biocatalysis, Edinburgh, 12-14th Sept 2017. See: .

ADBA Northern Ireland Conference, Belfast, 20th September 2017. Northern Ireland has more AD plants per head than England, Wales or Scotland, but with the green fuels subsidy scheme removed, will the industry continue to grow? What needs to be done to make sure the AD industry keeps on thriving? Find out at the ADBA Northern Ireland National Conference 2017. See: .

Pitch Event: Chemistry and industrial biotechnology for a circular bioeconomy , York, 21st Sept 2017. The Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Network and BioVale are working together to deliver an opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors to gain insight and form new business relationships in sustainable technologies for a circular bio-economy. Entrepreneurs can benefit from funded training and live pitching to a panel of investors. See: .

ADBA Biomethane and Gas Vehicle Conference, Leeds, 28th September 2017. With the transport sector playing a key role in the £1 trillion potential of the AD industry, our third Biomethane and Gas Vehicle Conference will bring together professionals from acrossthe AD community, transport and fuel infrastructure, freight and logistics, local authorities and more. Over the past year, use of biomethane as a transport fuel has shown strong growth,particularly with buses and HGVs in the logistics sector. The Conference will answer the question on everybody’s lips – is transport the future of the AD industry? See: .

10th Biofuels International Conference & Expo , Edinburgh, 4-5th October 2017

Co-located with Bioenergy Insight conference & expo, this will focus on the latest developments in biofuels policy, international biofuels trading, sustainability, solutions for first generation producers, progress in advanced biofuels and information on feedstock pricing and trends.  See: .

BioProNET 4th Annual Science Meeting, Warwick Slate Conference Centre, October 10-11th 2017. Registration is free, and includes overnight accommodation (for the majority of registrants). We’ve got a great line-up of speakers — many international — who will present the latest bioprocessing research, and there will be poster sessions so that all delegates have the opportunity to present their work, as well as plenty of time for networking.  The programme and registration details are here:

HVCfP Annual Meeting 2017, Manchester, 19th October 2017.The programme will combine a showcase of updates from Network-funded Projects, invited talks and flash presentations selected from those suggested by delegates. Further details will be available from April 2017, when online bookings will open. See: .

Total Food 2017- Exploitation of agri-food chain waste , Norwich Research Park, Norwich, 31st October -2nd November 2017, Total Food 2017 will be the 5th in a series of international conferences which focus on the sustainable exploitation of agri-food co-products and related biomass, thereby helping to minimise waste.  For more information visit: .

C1net – CHEMICALS FROM C1 GAS CONFERENCE 3, East Midlands Conference Centre, 5-7th November 2017. Hosted by C1net (BBSRC-NIBB) this FREE two-day conference will bring together academic and industrial partners to identify and address key challenges in the study of those organisms able to grow on C1 compounds and commercially exploit them as platforms for chemical manufacture.  The programme will include talks from selected submitted abstracts, as well as from key academics and industry representatives. See C1Net website for details.

The 2017 AquaEnviro Biosolids Conference, the Royal Armouries, Leeds – 20/21st November 2017. Attendees have fantastic networking opportunities with over 250 recognised professionals from around the world and the latest presentations from high-profile industry experts. Now in its third decade, The Biosolids gives an essential annual update on: legislatory changes; new technologies; best practice and site-experiences with existing technologies and an insight into relevant research in the science and engineering of biosolids and organic resources.  See: .

EBA conference 2018, Antwerp, 24-26th January 2018. “Greening Gas” is the theme of the next EBA Conference, covering the latest developments of biogas, syngas and biomethane production. More than 300 biogas representatives are expected to gather in Antwerp, at the Hilton Hotel and the Kinepolis Event Centre. EBA speakers list includes high level policy makers and representatives from leading biogas and biomethane business. Particular attention will also be paid to the theme of transport, with sessions dedicated to biomethane as a transport fuel and power-to-gas. Speakers will address all issues from a technical, economic, scientific and political perspective. See: .

Funding Roundup

Here are the latest details of funding opportunities within the NIBBs and elsewhere.

Business Interaction Vouchers (BIVs)

AD Network have a number of BIVs still available. Deadlines: 30 June, 30 September, 31st December. See

Metals in Biology have an open call for applications for £10k BIVs which will enable them to use any residual vouchers not awarded in the final (16th) round.  Please get in touch ASAP if you have an idea for a project relevant to the aims of the Metals in Biology Network/industrial biotechnology and bioenergy and we will let you know if there are any vouchers available. The vouchers will be for up to 2 months duration and work must be completed by 31 December 2017. 

NProNet – BIV Deadline: 2nd Friday of every month

Biocatnet – See: .

HVCfP still has ~£75,000 BIV funding to award before January 2018.

The Catalysis Hub also has £10K BIVs available. See: .


Proof of Concept Funding

HVCfP – £80,000 POC. Call deadline: 30th August 2017 on “Industrial biotechnology processes to develop high-value products from plants: utilising open-access scale-up and biorefining centres”. Full details and the application form are available at

C1 Net – C4 x £50,000 for ‘Advancing the Exploitation of C1 gas Fermentation’. Deadline: 30th June 2017. See their website.

Metals in Biology –  One £10k PoC award relevant to the aims of the Metals in Biology Network and industrial biotechnology and bioenergy. The PoC award will be for up to 2 months duration and work must be completed by 31 December 2017.  There must be an industry partner and all applicants must join the Network. See website.

IBCarb – Projects should be £20,000 at 100% FEC (i.e. £16,000 at 80% FEC) maximum value. See:  Deadline: 30th June 2017

NPRONET – 4th Call now open. Application form is now accessible via the members area of the NPRONET website. Deadline: 1st September, 2017.


Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C)

The F4C was launched on the 27 April 2017 by the Department for Transport (DfT) to promote the development of an advanced low carbon fuels industry within the UK, including supplier capabilities and skills in relevant technologies, while maximising value for money for the taxpayer. Register by 30th June 2017.

For more information visit:

Royal Society Translation awards

The Royal Society Translation Awards are for scientists who wish to investigate the potential to commercialise an aspect of their research.  See:

Maximum Award: Up to a maximum of £50,000

Closing Date: 6 July 2017

Bringing knowledge to your business: Apply for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership

The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme helps businesses to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with a university and a graduate to work on a specific project.

Each KTP is a three-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. The academic institution employs the recently-qualified graduate who works at the company. The graduate, known as the ‘associate’, brings new skills and knowledge to the business.

A KTP can last between 12 and 36 months depending on the project and the needs of the business. It is part-funded by a grant. The amount businesses need to contribute is different for SMEs and larger companies. For example, the average annual contribution to a project for an SME is around £23,000.

2017/18 close dates for submission are aligned with Innovate UK’s sector and open competitions:

Manufacturing and materials round 3 – 12 July 2017

The benefits of taking part in a KTP

  • businesses achieve an average increase in annual profit of more than £1 million after taking part. They also create around 2 new jobs
  • academic partners produce on average more than 3 new research projects and 2 research papers for each project
  • around 60% of associates are offered a permanent job in the company when the project ends.

See: .

Newton Fund UK-India industrial waste challenge – closes 11 Oct 17

Innovate UK and Research Councils, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), are investing up to £8 million in projects that use cutting-edge solutions to reduce industrial waste in India.

Projects should address reducing industrial waste and pollution, and improve value recovery from waste using biotechnology in one or more of these 5 sectors:

  • leather/tanning/textiles
  • municipal solid waste
  • paper and pulp
  • sewage
  • sugar cane

The total project grant will not exceed £2 million per project for UK partners. Match funding will be made available for Indian project partners by the Government of India. Projects should last between 30 months and 3 years.

Important dates

Final date for UK registration: midday 11 October 2017

Submission of full application: midday 18 October 2017

Further details on the call can be found here:


There is also a workshop on 12th July in York, UK which is open to UK and Indian delegates:

ERDF Project Support Officer, York – Stimulating Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector

An exciting new opportunity has arisen as an ERDF Project Support Officer located in Sand Hutton, York.

This exciting position provides the opportunity for an experienced ERDF Project Support Officer to be involved in the delivery of the Stimulating Innovation in the Agri-Food Sector (SIAFS) project. You will coordinate all aspects of the SIAFS project reporting requirements including meeting reports, customer and ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) requirements.

This is a 2 year fixed term appointment and the nature of the role may develop through the life of the project – more information can be found here.

Evolution of enzymes under anthropogenic selection pressure and their application in environmental bioremediation, University of Sheffield, 20 Jul 17, 11:00-14:00 hrs

Dr Colin Scott will be at The University of Sheffield on Thursday July 20th 2017 to discuss his ongoing research and develop potential new collaborations. Registration can be found here.

Dr Scott was born in 1975 in Scotland. He obtained a BSc (hon) in Genetics from the University of Wales (UK) in 1996 and a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from Sheffield University (UK) in 2000. He moved to CSIRO Entomology in Canberra in 2004 as a post-doctoral fellow, and now leads the Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology Group in CSIRO. The EIB Group contains three teams: Biocatalysis, Metabolomics and Bioprocess Technologies & Environmental Engineering. Colin also leads a number of projects in biocatalysis and synthetic biology.

Dr Scott has a strong interest in understanding the enormous diversity of biochemistry and metabolism that has evolved in nature, with on-going research in:

  • enzyme structure/function relationships
  • evolution of new enzyme function (for example, pesticide catabolism)
  • developing enzyme technologies for bioremediation of pesticides
  • developing biocatalysts for the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and plastics/polymers
  • ABC transporter engineering.

Nature has produced organisms that can perform some truly amazing chemistry at a level of sophistication that human chemists simply can’t match. Some of these biochemical innovations date back to the origins of life itself, where the ‘chemical language’ of biology developed. However, new enzymatic functions still arise in response to changes in the chemical environment that organisms find themselves in, including the novel chemical challenges that post-industrial humanity provides.

Anthropogenic chemicals, such as pesticides, often didn’t exist in nature before they were introduced by humans. New enzymes to deal with such chemicals evolve over a remarkably short span of time – and when we’re very lucky we can catch them in the act, finding model systems for studying the molecular mechanisms that drive (and constrain) evolution.

While evolutionary studies of enzymes provide deep insights into the way that biology works at a chemical level, there is also a broad range of practical applications for enzyme technologies. For example, the use of enzymes and microbes to drive chemical transformations (i.e. biocatalysis) is rapidly becoming the preferred technology in chemical manufacture.

Dr Scott’s work focuses on bioprospecting for novel enzymes for biotechnological applications, studying the processes by which new enzyme activities can evolve, improving their function in the laboratory and developing new processes that can reduce the cost and environmental footprint of chemical synthesis.

Bioeconomy Developments in EU Regions Mapping Study Published

The European Commission has published an independent mapping study of EU regional research and innovation plans and strategies for the bioeconomy.

Amongst other conclusions as a result of the study, it is suggested that:

  • A common definition or classification for the bioeconomy be established.
  • Better and more synergies between structural funds and Horizon 2020 are presented.
  • Public awareness and acceptance of the bioeconomy should be raised.

The study is available here.