EPSRC CDT PhD in Advanced Biomedical Materials

Training the next generation of biomedical materials scientists.

Undertake a fully-funded, four-year Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) PhD in Advanced Biomedical Materials and form part of a strong, internationally leading cohort of interdisciplinary researchers that will help shape the future of biomedical materials research in the UK, and further afield.

Why undertake a CDT PhD in Advanced Biomedical Materials?

  • Develop strong links and networks that enable you to collaborate worldwide and enhance the future of UK biomedical materials.
  • Learn transferable skills such as project management, dissemination and multidisciplinary communication skills and enhance your employability.
  • Engage with established industry partners and develop new industrial partnerships.
  • Take part in exciting outreach and widening participation activities with school children and the general public.
  • Contribute to improving the quality of life of our rapidly growing and ageing society.

About the Programme

Biomedical materials have advanced dramatically over the last 50 years and continue to evolve today. With a rapidly growing and ageing population, there is greater demand for more effective and cost-effective healthcare interventions, and this CDT will train an interdisciplinary cohort of students to compete in this field.

It combines the strength and track record in biomaterials innovation, translation and industrial engagement at The University of Manchester and The University of Sheffield, aligning with the needs of the UK for resource, skills, industrial collaboration and cohort training.

Research will focus on developing and translating smart and responsive biomaterials with a particular emphasis on higher throughput, greater reproducibility of manufacture, and characterisation. Students will work with industry partners and undertake clinically-relevant research and advanced projects at The University of Manchester and The University of Sheffield - helping to forge the next generation of UK leaders in biomedical materials research.


In addition to the formal academic doctoral training programme, you will be trained in transferable skills such as project management, dissemination and multidisciplinary communication.

Students will be trained in:

  • bioelectronics;
  • fibre technology;
  • additive manufacturing;
  • improved pre-clinical characterisation;
  • manufacturing scale up;
  • reproducibility.

You will also be trained in equality, diversity and inclusion to ensure you are cognisant of fairness, equality and inclusion principles post training.

You will learn how to conduct research and innovation in a responsible manner, taking account of potential societal impacts.

Our CDT is focused on training the next generation of internationally leading postdoctoral engineers who will enable innovation between industry, clinicians and academics to address areas of need. In order to do this, the CDT begins with a Manchester based three-month taught programme, with a subsequent integrated training programme throughout.

Research projects are co-created during the first six months by you, the supervisors and industrial, clinical and patient stakeholders. Research project topics are chosen in February and begin in March in the first year with either a Manchester or Sheffield base.

The three-month taught programme includes four 15-credit taught units to provide a foundation in Advanced Biomedical Materials:

  • Research Methods - This will take students through the principles of applying the theory for planning and managing their individual research project.
  • Clinical Application of Biomaterials - We will introduce students to examples of biomaterials currently used in the clinic.
  • Imaging, Characterisation and Key Manufacturing Techniques - We will deliver bespoke workshops and introduce students to advanced imaging and characterization techniques.
  • Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) - RRI will interface with the internationally leading RRI research and good practice programme developed at The University of Manchester, and will be embedded throughout the programme.

All students will have the opportunity to undertake a three-month placement in an industrial or academic setting, in the UK or overseas, to enhance their CV during this four-year PhD programme.

Students will benefit from an innovative research-training environment that is unique in the UK. Through the Henry Royce Institute Manchester, students will have access to £4 million of specialist biomedical materials research equipment in the areas of bioelectronics, fibre technology, additive manufacturing and improved pre-clinical characterisation.

Furthermore, an additional £8 million investment in the same themes will be made by February 2020, which includes light sheet and in vivo confocal microscopes at the Henry Royce Institute Sheffield, as well as additive manufacture and biomechanics suite and novel fibre technology equipment at Manchester.

Inside the Biomaterials Lab

Experimenting in the Biomaterials Lab

3D Printed bio part

Scanning Electron Microscopy of Biomaterials

Examination of biomaterials

How to apply

Applicants should be from the UK/EU. You should have obtained or be about to obtain a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or an overseas equivalent. The degree should be in a relevant area of science or engineering.

If you would like to apply for a CDT PhD in Advanced Biomedical Materials and meet the eligibility criteria, please follow this link.

Key dates

  • Applications for 2020 projects are now open.
  • The closing date for applications is Friday, 13 March 2020.
  • Interviews will take place on Friday 24 April 2020.

Contact us

If you have any queries about the application process, the projects on offer or your eligibility, please contact the programme directors listed below.

Sarah Cartmell - Programme Director
Julie Gough - Deputy Programme Director
John Haycock - Deputy Programme Director