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Call for Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in biosocial research

Copyright: Shandi on Flickr

Call status: Closed
Previous call: 11 September 2015 – 4 February 2016


BBSRC and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are pleased to announce a call for a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in the area of biosocial research. Funding will be for three cohorts of students supporting at least 10 students per year, of which eight will be funded by the Research Councils.

The CDT will be developed in collaboration with non-academic partners and will support innovative interdisciplinary training at the interface between the social and biological sciences. It will be involved in:

  • exploiting the breadth of biosocial data
  • developing technological and methodological innovations
  • exploring the legal and ethical issues exposed by the biosocial agenda both within the UK and internationally

The substantive area of enquiry can be determined by the applicant(s).

The leadership team must comprise social and biological scientists and it is expected that students will be recruited with social or biological backgrounds, though each studentship must be at least 50% within the social sciences.


Biosocial research is concerned with the dynamic interplays between biology, experiences and behaviours over the course of a person’s lifetime.

ESRC’s 2014 Framework for Enabling Biosocial Research (see external links) sets out the importance of biosocial research to further enable our understanding of the complex pathways and mechanisms that shape our physical and mental health, social behaviours and outcomes, and genomic, neurological and physiological systems.

BBSRC’s Bioscience for Health Strategic Research Framework 2015-2020 (see downloads) pledges to support the next generation of researchers to gain the knowledge and skills needed to address bioscience for health challenges. This involves developing capacity in interdisciplinary approaches which foster effective cross-pollination of knowledge, skills and new tools and approaches. Within the context of this strategic framework, BBSRC is particularly keen to foster interdisciplinary approaches and skillsets within the Council’s healthy ageing across the life-course and food, nutrition and health research priority areas (see related links); and build upon recent collaborative investments in biosocial research: BBSRC and ESRC jointly support eight epigenetics projects to study the impact of early life experiences on lifelong health (see related links).

Further examples of the interplays and cross over between ESRC and BBSRC research interests are the cross-Council vision for Food, Nutrition and Health Research (see downloads) and the cross-Council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing programme (see external links).

How to apply

This call is closed to applications.

The full details for this call and information on how to apply can be viewed on the ESRC website (see external links).

Town Hall meeting

A Town Hall meeting to discuss the detailed requirements of the call was held on 29 September 2015 at Goodenough College. Up to two members from each research organisation were eligible to attend.


  • Town Hall meeting: 29 September 2015
  • Expressions of interest deadline: 30 October 2015, 4pm
  • Application deadline: 4 February 2016, 4pm
  • Panel assessment, including DTP Director interviews: 5 or 6 July 2016
  • Decisions to applicants: September 2016
  • First cohort of students start: October 2017

Related calls: collaboration data innovation people research facilities skills and training