Purpose-built life science building
with outstanding laboratories and facilities with the latest equipment.
Royal Society of Biology accreditation
Our courses are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.
Strong links with business and industry
We join forces with local authorities, government and sectors from food to pharmaceuticals.
About the School of Biological Sciences
Our research in the areas of molecular and cellular bioscience, biomedical sciences, ecology and the environment focuses on real-world issues.
The impact of our work goes far beyond the laboratory and includes:
- creating wildlife corridors to protect jaguars in Belize
- harnessing the antimicrobial properties of copper
- developing the latest vaccines
We share our passion for discovery, and inspire and nurture the bioscientists of the future. Collaborating with other disciplines and universities, we use our expertise to support our industry and community partnerships.
We're based in a £50 million life science building, which is home to a wide range of research facilities.
Research culture and environment
Our ambition is to deliver outstanding research. We are an open and collaborative research community, where everyone's ideas find a platform for discussion. This inclusive approach is key to our research activity and ensures we remain at the forefront of biosciences.
Our research community is organised around 6 themes:
- molecular and precision bioscience
- plants and food security
- cell and developmental biology
- ecology and evolution
Our research students work in a supportive environment alongside academics, postdoctoral fellows and research technicians. We are committed to the implementation of the Concordat. This is a UK agreement to support the career development of all researchers.
The Biological Sciences Postgraduate Society offers students opportunities for learning, networking and socialising.
The South Coast Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (SoCoBIo DTP) demonstrates our commitment to the training and development of postgraduate researchers. This is a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council funded DTP. It offers a 4-year research training programme, which provides students with the skills they need to develop into future bioscience leaders.
We have a committed team of technicians, who support all aspects of our research, from using facilities to day-to-day running of laboratories. We are signatories to the Technician Commitment. This means that we develop the careers of our technicians to the same level as our other other staff and students.
Our school is a hub for cutting edge laboratories and research facilities for researchers in biological sciences. We also support the wider University, local and corporate communities. The facilities are independently operated and provide specialised research equipment supported by dedicated technical expertise.
Externally funded research fellows are a key part of our department. As such, we are delighted to host staff on fellowships and have developed a pathway of development for the fellows who join us.
We support the following fellowship schemes:
- BBSRC Discovery Fellowships
- ERC Starting, Consolidator or Advanced Grants
- MRC Career Development Awards
- NERC Independent Research Fellowships
- NIHR Advanced Fellowships
- The Royal Society University Research Fellowships
- The Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship
- UKRI Future Leader Fellowships
- Wellcome Trust Early Career Awards or Career Development Awards
We mentor applicants to support and strengthen their applications to UK and international fellowship programmes. Applicants are paired with a departmental host who will provide:
- mentorship and help with application writing
- introductions to potential collaborators
- introductions to existing fellows
- a tour of our department and world-class facilities
We also provide support letters and costing advice in advance of the application deadline. Successful applications enter our formal fellowship scheme, which offers:
- access to the latest equipment
- protected time away from teaching and administration responsibilities
- PhD studentship and new research grant opportunities
- opportunities for permanent positions
We are delighted to speak to candidates who are interested in these fellowships, even at an early stage of planning. Our fellowships champion is happy to talk to anyone planning or writing an application. To make an enquiry or discuss an application, email either:
Our continued ambitions are to develop and implement policies to ensure equality, by addressing inequalities that may result from protected characteristics. Our aim is to make things better for everyone by recognising and celebrating our diversity. We renewed our silver SWAN award in February 2022 which recognised our work on gender equality.
We have received funding for projects from Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences EDI awards. These projects have focussed on:
- return from long-term leave, including maternity leave and long-term sickness, led by Judith Lock
- development of a digital display for our foyer, led by Jorn Cheney
Digital display case study
As a school, we are committed to empowering our students and other biologists to feel seen, heard, represented and valued at the University. One of our key initiatives is to increase the visibility of under-represented scientists.
We ran a case study which found that although we are a relatively diverse school, many of our students don’t see their cultural heritage or background reflected in our postgraduate and faculty communities. As a result, we are developing a digital display for our foyer.
The display aims to increase awareness about EDI in biological sciences. It will highlight:
- current role models
- historical figures that have moved the field forward
- past and present challenges to increasing diversity
- the benefits that increased diversity has brought to biological sciences
- networks, conferences and events from both national and international sources
- books on issues of EDI in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)
Research and enterprise
Learn more about our research and how our work has real-life impact.
Our research community
Research groups bring specialists together to share knowledge within different themes. Our research is based around 6 themes. We are also play a key role in the interdisciplinary National Biofilms Innovation Centre.
Our research-led educational programmes inspire the next generation of biological scientists, with opportunities for them to contribute to the world class research within the school.
We’re a diverse and vibrant research community, and I find this deeply stimulating. Being able to focus on the very specific elements of my discipline, while observing other’s research helps me to think outside the box and be more creative.
Developing knowledge exchange and enterprise activity will enable our biological sciences research to become rooted within our local communities and businesses to co-operatively address the most relevant scientific questions.