Pathogens and host defences doctoral training partnership studentships

The University of Surrey is delighted to announce eight fully funded studentships within our collaboratively-funded Doctoral Training Partnership, partnering with the Pirbright Institute, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and the University of Sussex.

Start date

1 October 2023


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding information

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

Six of these project 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). The collaborative projects between the Universities of Surrey and Sussex are funded 100% by one of the two universities; one each.


​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, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), Porton Down or the University of Sussex, Brighton. 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.


Eligibility criteria

These studentships are for UK/home students (N.B. Only UK nationals are eligible for the projects with co-funding from DSTL).

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.

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:

Please note: Select the October 2023 start date when applying.

What to add to the application

When completing your application, in place of a research proposal, please provide a brief motivational document (1-page maximum) which specifies:

  • The reference numbers(s) for the project or two projects you are applying for
  • The project title(s) and principal supervisor name(s)
  • If applying for two projects, please also indicate your order of preference for the projects
  • An explanation of your motivations for wanting to study for a PhD
  • An explanation of your reasons for selecting the project(s) you have chosen.

Additionally, to complete a full application, you MUST also email a copy of your CV and 1-page motivational document directly to the relevant project principal supervisor of each project you apply for. Due to short turnaround times for applicant shortlisting, failure to do this may mean that your application is not considered.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

For informal enquiries, please follow the link 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.