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Manchester Institute of Biotechnology

Fellowship support

The Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) is a dynamic and leading interdisciplinary research centre with a focus on engineering biology for a healthy and sustainable future.

The MIB is a fantastic place to start an independent career in multidisciplinary research. We are actively looking for young talented researchers interested in the many facets of modern biotechnology and help them gain prestigious personal fellowships from UKRI, the Wellcome Trust, the Royal Society, and others.

Professor Eriko Takano / Fellowship Committee Chair

Embracing both fundamental and applied studies, research themes include Chemicals and Materials; Food, Energy and Environment; Medicine and Health.

In 2019, the MIB was awarded the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for outstanding contribution made to the UK by an academic institution, in recognition for the environmental benefits of its pioneering expertise in industrial biotechnology.

We are seeking outstanding researchers at all levels but especially early career researchers to join our vibrant research community, pushing the boundaries of biotechnology research and the interfaces with discovery bioscience and translational medicine. We are looking for individuals who either hold, or intend to apply for, independent research fellowships such as UKRI Future Leader Fellowship, EPSRC Open Fellowship, Royal Society University Research Fellowship, Wellcome Trust Career Development Awards or ERC Fellowships. Fellows will become embedded in the vibrant research community in the MIB, have access to the extensive facilities in the MIB and access to a flexible set of university training courses and will be provided with expert mentors as well as peer-support from other Fellows. This will optimise the Fellows interdisciplinary skills, in order to enhance their academic career and progress.

We welcome expression of interest in all areas of science, technology and engineering that complement and extend current MIB activities, and are particularly looking to enhance our activity in data-driven science, including:

  • AI,
  • bioinformatics and computational biology,
  • robotic laboratory systems,
  • engineering for engineering biology.


Applications will be reviewed for their strategic fit with the MIB and the wider University of Manchester strategic priorities. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to give a seminar at a Fellows Symposium (virtual or face-to-face as appropriate), which will be held on the 14 February. There will also be an opportunity to engage with current MIB PIs and Department representatives to discuss your research ideas and plans for the future.

If you are interested in applying for a research fellowship to work in the MIB, please email a two-page research proposal, a copy of your CV and arrange for three letters of recommendation to by Monday 9 January 2023. Informal enquiries are welcome and should also be directed to the same address.

As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. The University of Manchester is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly, regardless of gender, gender identity, disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital or transgender status, age, or nationality. Blended working arrangements may be considered.

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries or accept CVs or applications from recruitment agencies.

See the below case studies of some of our existing Fellows.

Fellowship case studies

Anthony Green

Anthony Green

Academic background

Following his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry (total synthesis) under the supervision of Professor E. J. Thomas, Anthony began postdoctoral research with Professor Nicholas Turner and Professor Sabine Flitsch based in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), working in the field of industrial biocatalysis. Anthony subsequently worked with Professor Donald Hilvert at ETH (Zurich) as a postdoctoral research associate before starting his independent research career in 2016 based in the MIB (Department of Chemistry, The University of Manchester), where he is a BBSRC David Phillips Research Fellow, holder of an ERC Starter Grant and a reader in organic and biological chemistry.

Current research

Anthony’s research focuses on the development of innovative protein engineering strategies to deconstruct complex biological mechanisms, and to create enzymes with functions not found in nature. In particular, Anthony’s group combine genetic code expansion, computational enzyme design and directed evolution to embed new catalytic mechanisms into protein active sites. Anthony also works closely with global chemical companies and philanthropic organizations to translate methodology developed in his lab into real world applications. The research carried out in Anthony’s group is highly interdisciplinary and draws on specialist expertise from across organic chemistry, protein engineering, structural biology, biophysics, computational biology and mechanistic enzymology.

Our support

Here the MIB offers a unique infrastructure to support such programs, and is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for automated enzyme engineering and structural, biochemical and biophysical enzyme characterisation. More importantly, the MIB provides a collegiate research environment where research groups with complementary expertise can work together to tackle ambitious programs. Research is the MIB is further supported by senior experimentalists with specialised knowledge and expertise, who play major roles in the successful delivery of our research programs and contribute to the scientific development of our group.

Sarah Lovelock

Sarah Lovelock

Academic background

Sarah was awarded her PhD from The University of Manchester where she worked under the supervision of Professor Nicholas Turner. Shortly after completing her PhD she took a position as a Senior Scientist at GlaxoSmithKline where her primary focus was engineering enzymes for use in manufacturing processes. In 2017 she moved back to academia where she secured a position as a BBSRC / MRC Innovation Fellow working in Dr Anthony Green’s lab. As part of this fellowship she spent time as a visiting scientist in the lab of Professor David Baker at the University of Washington where she learnt to use Rosetta computational algorithms to design enzymes with activities not represented in Nature. In 2020, Sarah was awarded a Presidential Fellowship allowing her to start her own independent research group.

Current research

Sarah’s research focuses on the development of versatile biocatalytic approaches for the synthesis of therapeutic oligonucleotides. Therapeutic oligonucleotides bind to mRNA to modulate the production of disease related proteins and have emerged as a potential new drug modality for the treatment of a whole range of disease areas. However, current methods of chemical synthesis are not scalable and current marketed therapies are limited to the treatment of rare diseases. In order to synthesise high volume oligonucleotide products required for the treatment of more common diseases, more scalable and sustainable methods are required. Sarah’s research involves engineering DNA modifying enzymes using directed evolution for applications in oligonucleotide manufacturing, and applying these biocatalytic strategies to the discovery of second generation therapeutics.

Our support

The MIB is a world-leading interdisciplinary research centre with state-of-the-art infrastructure for accelerated enzyme evolution, including automated liquid handling robots, a colony picker and a suite of high throughput analytical facilities, making it the perfect host institute for her Fellowship. Moreover, the MIB attracts numerous industrial partnerships and has an excellent track record of translating basic scientific discovery into industrial applications.