For supervisors

General Proposal Advice

The following list is not a substitute for the guidelines issued at the time of the call. Instead it is meant to highlight some of the key criteria against which the assessment panel will be scoring the proposal. Please note each scheme has slightly different forms and guidelines and that the scientific remit of the CDT has expanded following the renewal. We strongly recommend you read the revised guidelines in the light of these changes.We recommend you speak to current ICB Research Board Members and Studentship Supervisors for advice before submitting a proposal.

  • Fit to remit: Chemical Biology with a MOLECULAR component. Proposals will typically be concerned with the development of new molecular tools and technologies to study specific molecular interactions that address key challenges in the pharma, biotech, personal care or agriscience sectors. Note that in addition to the previous remit of the study of protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions, any molecular interactions of biomedical and biological importance such as (but not restricted to) protein-nucleic acid, lipid-drug, lipid-lipid, lipid-nucleic acid and lipid-metabolite interactions will also be considered.

  • Physical Science Innovation: The ICB-CDT is EPSRC funded; therefore, there has to be physical science innovation in the project. A solely biological/medical proposal, no matter how interesting, cannot be funded. What does this mean? Usually it’s a new technology applied to a biological problem (often a therapeutic application). Modification of an existing technology to solve a specific biological problem is allowed as well, but there has to be novelty in the development of the technology.Translation into a new sector without innovation in the physical sciences is not within the remit of the CDT.

  • Multidisciplinarity: Each proposal must be based around at least 1 "Physical" and 1 "Biological" supervisor. A clear explanation of the physical sciences innovation AND biological science and how they are intertwined is required. It is expected that the student will typically undertake work in each research environment for some part of the study, including the MRes project. See who's already collaborating here.

  • Feasibility and Suitability: ICB-DTC PhD studentships are fully funded for 1+3 year format (1 year MRes followed by a 3 Year-PhD). The first year is an MRes course: As only students with a physical sciences background (Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, Mathematics, Modelling…) are eligible, there are taught components in the first few months so as to provide core support in biology with a 9 month research project subsequently starting in January. Even though this 9 month research project directly feeds into the 3 year PhD, the proposal must put forward a self-contained MRes project part that can be achieved within 9 months.

  • Synergy: In order to facilitate networking amongst the students, new projects must have synergy with existing projects. Important: explain the communalities of the proposed project with a maximum of 3 existing ones e.g. in terms of tools and technology development, common biological problem/target, potential for technology translation. Don't just list a project title, but outline in at least 50 words/project how they link up and explain to which supervisors or current CDT studetns you have talked to about synergies.

  • Impact: Impact/ scientific merit should arise from a proposed project. This can include a translational element (e.g. how the application of the new technology could be applied to other biological problems) and / or any other added value that the project can bring to the ICB, such as outreach, new collaborations (with companies) and follow-on funding. 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.