A 4 year DPhil (PhD) programme in the Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford
SBM CDT Promotional Film:

Welcome to the Oxford EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training
in Synthesis for Biology and Medicine (SBM CDT).


The SBM CDT is a four-year DPhil (PhD) programme that offers joint academic-industrial training in all aspects of synthesis coupled with an in-depth appreciation of its application to biology and medicine. The SBM CDT will adopt an 'open access' model to allow completely unfettered exchange of information, know-how and specific expertise between students and supervisors on different projects and across different industrial companies. This means that scientists on the SBM programme will not file for patent protection on any of their research outputs but will make them available freely available.

We aim to train next-generation scientific leaders in synthesis

Our goal is to generate highly trained, well-balanced researchers capable of world-leading research output. To enable this, we have designed a programme with 11 industrial partners that comprises a comprehensive taught course, two student-selected 14-week lab rotations and a three year research project.

Our three-year research projects will be clustered around a number of training and research foci (
‘Project Fields’) in which synthesis is the unifying core discipline, to enable our public-private partnership to tackle major problems at the chemistry-biology-medicine interface.


An open-access alliance between academia and industry

The SBM CDT is supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and 10 industrial partners that intend to provide substantial funds for the CDT; the partners include AstraZeneca, Evotec, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Novartis, Pfizer, Syngenta, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, UCB and Vertex. This support will enable us to employ a uniquely integrated academic-industrial training model, producing graduates capable of addressing major challenges in the pharmaceutical/agrochemical industries who will ultimately make a major impact on UK science.