PhD position
Design of perfusion bioreactors for large-scale manufacture of red blood cells
Bath, United Kingdom
PhD position
check funding notes

The University of Bath is inviting applications for the following PhD project commencing in October 2021.

Funding is available to candidates who qualify for ‘Home’ fee status. Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, the rules governing fee status have changed and, therefore, candidates from the EU/EEA are advised to check their eligibility before applying. Please see the Funding Eligibility section below for more information.

Project team: Dr Sandhya Moise

Informal queries should be directed to Dr Sandhya Moise – 


Supply of safe and adequate amounts of transfusable blood of all blood types is crucial for saving lives for patients in medical emergencies, suffering from diseases of red blood cells (RBC) and certain types of cancer. However, there is a global shortage of donated blood for transfusions due to an increasing demand, unstable donor base and lack of screening facilities, leading to thousands of preventable deaths annually. One way to bridge this paucity is by growing RBCs from adult human RBC precursor cells. Heavy challenges exist with current methods of manufacture, particularly with respect to the cost of the final blood product.

The goal of this Ph.D. research to develop a novel bioreactor technology for large-scale cell therapy manufacture, in particular, to produce red blood cells. The successful candidate will work on developing a perfusion bioreactor systems (e.g. fluidized bed and hollow fibre bioreactors) for guiding the maturation of adult blood progenitor cells to form high quality, functional red blood cells. The focus will be on studying the effect of hydrodynamic parameters on cells, optimizing design and the operating conditions to achieve efficient growth and differentiation with a particular focus on minimizing manufacturing costs.

This doctoral project has a strong multidisciplinary nature and the candidate should have an interest in Stem Cell Biology and Bioprocessing Engineering. They will gain training in a variety of topics and technologies including aseptic mammalian (stem) cell-culture, molecular and cell biology techniques, bioreactor design and economic costing studies. Hands-on training will be provided as appropriate to the project.

The successful applicant will be a part of the University of Bath’s newly established Centre for Integrated Bioprocessing Research unit. The project is also in close collaborations with the University of Bristol’s Blood and Transplant Research unit (

Candidate Requirements:

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or good Upper Second Class Honours degree (or the equivalent). A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous. In Chemical engineering, Biochemical/ Biomedical/Cell and Tissue Engineering or other relevant disciplines. English language entry requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding, see


Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Expected start date: 4 October 2021

Funding Eligibility:

In order to be considered for a studentship, you must qualify as a ‘Home’ student. The UK Government has not yet published the relevant Fee Regulations for courses commencing in 2021/22; however, our current understanding is that the main categories of students likely to qualify for ‘Home’ fees are (subject to confirmation by the UK Government):

·        UK nationals (meeting residency requirement*)

·        Irish nationals resident in the UK/Ireland since at least September 2018

·        EU/EEA applicants with settled or pre-settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme (meeting residency requirement*)

·        Applicants with indefinite leave to enter/remain in the UK (meeting residency requirement*)

*Residency requirement: in most cases applicants must have lived in the UK, EU, EEA or Switzerland continuously since September 2018.

EU/EEA citizens who live outside the UK are unlikely to be eligible for ‘Home’ fees and funding.

Up-to-date information may be found on our fee status guidance webpage and on the UKCISA website.

Funding Notes

A studentship includes ‘Home’ tuition fees, a stipend (£15,609 per annum, 2021/22 rate) and research/training expenses (£1,000 per annum) for up to 3.5 years.

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