Pathogens and Host Defences Doctoral Training Partnership

The University of Surrey is delighted to announce a new collaboratively-funded Doctoral Training Partnership for 2022, partnering with The Pirbright Institute and DSTL to provide six fully-funded studentships.

3.5 years
Application deadline
Funding source
These projects are jointly funded (50:50) by the University of Surrey and one of the strategic partners (The Pirbright Institute or the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory).
Funding information

UKRI-aligned stipend (£15,609 pa for 2021-22), approved University of Surrey fees and a research budget.



This is an exciting opportunity to join our new DTP, developed to bridge the gap between veterinary and human infectious diseases research by building a cohort of students in the area of One Health, One Medicine. Focusing this year on projects in virology and/or immunology, all studentships will be joint between the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (FHMS) at University of Surrey, and either The Pirbright Institute, near Woking in Surrey or Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), Porton Down. Students will have a principal supervisor at each site and be expected to spend time at each site.

These studentships will be for 3.5 years and will come with consumable funding as appropriate.

The University of Surrey and its collaborative partners provide a vibrant, interdisciplinary research environment, with access to state-of-the-art facilities. We want the most talented researchers from diverse backgrounds to join us, bringing new ideas and perspectives. We offer sector-leading researcher development training and mentoring, and dedicated employability support.

The six available projects are:

A One Health Approach to Alkhurma Haemorrhagic Fever Virus Species Tropism, Pathogenesis and EpidemiologyDetails
Characterization of the Interaction between the Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and myeloid cells in human and mice.Details
Development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for coronavirusesDetails
Forecasting the next foot-and-mouth disease virus pandemic: informing fitness from in vitro studies and genomic data.Details
Pre-Symptomatic Markers of Virus Infection and SeverityDetails
Using Marek's disease virus to understand the RNA world of the alphaherpesvirusesDetails

Candidates can apply for up to two of the projects listed.

Please note, we are also running another PhD studentship scheme, for the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences in parallel with this one and are welcoming applications to that scheme as well.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants for PhDs in Biosciences and Medicine or Veterinary Medicine and Science are expected to have a good honours degree (first or upper second) or a masters degree in an appropriate discipline.

English language requirements: IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6 in each individual category.

How to apply

Applicants can express interest in either one or two of the advertised projects.

Applications should be submitted via the online application portal for the PhD programme specified in the individual projects:

N.B. Please select the October 2022 start date when applying.

When completing your application, in place of a research proposal, please provide a 1-page document containing the reference numbers(s), project title(s) and supervisor name(s) of the project or two projects you have selected, together with an explanation of your motivations for wanting to study for a PhD and your reasons for selecting the project(s) you have chosen.

Application deadline

Contact details

For informal enquiries, please click on the link next to the project that interests you. You will then be able to contact the relevant project supervisor.


Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.