IOI’s training and education programmes are designed to support early-and mid-career researchers to advance science, develop insights, and foster interdisciplinary approaches required to address the wide-ranging challenges of AMR.

INEOS Oxbridge Doctoral Initiative

The INEOS Oxbridge Doctoral Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance is a fully funded DPhil programme that enables selected candidates to study at both Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

We are currently accepting applications for seven projects. The programme is funded by the IOI for a duration of 3.5 years (fixed term).

3 studentships will be awarded in Oxford (DPhil) and 4 will be awarded in Cambridge (PhD), with students encouraged to train in both Universities. This provides the chance to experience the best of both academic environments and their established networks.


At the heart of the initiative is an ambition to nurture a diverse cohort of outstanding young scientists who will become equipped to deal with the global challenges posed by the rapidly emerging threat from antimicrobial resistance.

Professor Julian Parkhill, University of Cambridge

The programme offers:

  • Immersion in both Universities
    Although registered in either Oxford or Cambridge as their home base, all students will have ample opportunity to spend periods of time as a visitor in the second University, taking part in ongoing collaborations
  • Collaboration
    Each project is distinct and unique for that student, but there will be the opportunity to collaborate with other students and projects within the initiative, with the additional possibility of input from industry.
  • Funding
    Our studentships are fully funded for three and a half years, through the generous support of the Ineos Oxford Institute. This funding covers UK/international University of Cambridge & Oxford fees in addition to living costs (stipend), which will be equivalent to the standard Wellcome stipend rate.
  • Future prospects
    By the time you graduate, you will have acquired skills that are in high demand worldwide. This includes expertise in drug discovery, machine learning and analysis of big data. Such skills will support your future ambitions wherever these take you, including academia, pharma and private-sector companies.

Projects for 2024/2025 academic year:

A total of seven projects are available in this round:

Project: Detecting the emergence of Antimicrobial Resistance threats in routine microbial genomic surveillance
Registered in University of Cambridge. PhD in Genetics.
Primary supervisor: Professor Kate Baker email: (University of Cambridge) 

Co-supervisors: Dr Nicole Stoesser email: (University of Oxford) and Claire Jenkins  email: (United Kingdom Health Security Agency)

Project: A threat in plain sight: the genomics and evolution of antimicrobial resistance in the most common hospital pathogens.
Registered in University of Oxford. DPhil in Biology
Primary supervisor: Professor Sam Sheppard email: (University of Oxford)

Co-supervisors: Professor Andres Floto email: (University of Cambridge) and Dr Lilly Cummins email: (University of Oxford)


Project: Using Hospital Safety Investigations to Inform and Operationalize System-Based Solutions for Antimicrobial Stewardship
Registered in University of Oxford. DPhil in Clinical Neurosciences
Please note for this project, applicants should quote reference IN24NDCN in their applications.

Primary supervisor: Associate Professor Helen Higham email: (University of Oxford)

Co-supervisors: Professor Jane O’ Hara email: J.O' (University of Cambridge) and Professor Alison Noble email: (University of Oxford)

Collaborators: Professor Nick Yeung email: University of Oxford), Professor Charles Vincent email: (University of Oxford)


Project: Detection of AMR in chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections
Registered in University of Cambridge. PhD in Biological Sciences.
Primary supervisor: Dr Josie Bryant email: (Wellcome Sanger Institute)

Co-supervisor: Professor Prof Craig MacLean email: (University of Oxford)


Project: Food systems and AMR – Reforming food systems and food system biosecurity to reduce AMR risk
Registered in University of Oxford. DPhil in Biology.
Primary supervisor: Professor Andrew Farlow email: (University of Oxford

Co-supervisors: Dr Gareth Pearce email: (University of Cambridge), and Professor Sam Sheppard email: (University of Oxford)

Collaborators: Professor Tim Walsh email: (University of Oxford), Dr Chioma Achi email: (University of Oxford), Professor Hermine Mkrtchyan, email: (University of West of London), Professor Jennifer Cole email: (University of London), Dr Sebastian Haller email: (Robert Koch Institute), Dr Tim Eckmanns (Robert Koch Institute)


Project: Machine learning-powered design of novel antibiotics.
Registered in University of Cambridge. PhD in Engineering and Medicine.
Primary supervisor: Professor José Miguel Hernández-Lobato email:

Co-supervisor: Professor Andres Floto email: (University of Cambridge)

Collaborators: Professor David Spring email: (University of Cambridge) and Professor Chris Schofield Christopher Schofield email: (University of Oxford)


Project: Elaboration of an indole hit identified in a phenotypic screen against Mycobacterium abscessus
Registered in University of Cambridge. PhD in Chemistry
Primary supervisor: Professor David Spring email: 

Co-supervisors: Professor Chris Schofield Christopher Schofield email: (University of Oxford) and Professor Andres Floto email: (University of Cambridge)


Application process

The application window is open from Thursday 16 November 2023 until 11:59pm GMT on Friday 05 January 2024. 

To apply, please submit a formal application via the relevant University’s (Oxford or Cambridge) application portal.

As part of the application process, some departments may require a 500-word research proposal or personal statement. Applicants will need to comply with all departmental requirements for a DPhil or PhD application by the respective/participating departments in order to be considered.

If you require further information about any of the projects, contact the primary supervisor of the project you are interested in. Emails details are shown in the project descriptions above.

Additional information about the different departments, courses and graduate application portals can be found at:

University of Oxford:

University of Cambridge:

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact the graduate admissions office of the department of the project you’re interested in. 

For general enquires please contact


Do I apply to an Oxford department for a Cambridge-based project, or do I need to apply through Cambridge instead? 
Applicants for Cambridge-based project can only apply through Cambridge. 


If I also want to be considered for more than one project, what is the best way of going about doing that?
Candidates who wish to be considered for more than one of the Oxford INEOS projects, need to submit only one DPhil application for a programme of study linked to their first-choice project, and explain their interest in (an)other Oxford project(s) in their personal statement.


If the main supervisor is at Cambridge, and not at Oxford, can I still apply through Oxford?
If the main supervisor is at Cambridge, then it means that the project is based in Cambridge. Therefore, applicants for Cambridge-based projects must apply via the Cambridge application portal.


Some of the projects have been registered with the University of Cambridge. If I wish to apply for one of these projects, do I need to apply through the Oxford DPhil Programme regardless of the university at which the project is registered?
No. Applicants for Cambridge-based project can only apply through Cambridge application portal and applicants for Oxford-based project can only apply through Oxford application portal.


Candidates wishing to apply for the INEOS Oxbridge Doctoral Initiative in the Department of Biology at Oxford should apply for the DPhil Biology. However, DPhil Biology requires a 500-word research proposal. Would applications for the above programme also require a research proposal or would a personal statement work?
Applicants wishing to apply for the INEOS Oxbridge Doctoral Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance, need to comply with all departmental requirements for a DPhil application by the respective/participating departments.


If I decide I want to apply to one or more of Oxford DPhil courses, will there be additional documentation I need to submit? 
Applicants who have already applied for one of the Oxford DPhil programmes, whose research topics are related to any of the advertised projects and who now wish to make an application to the INEOS Doctoral Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance, can email the graduate admissions offices of the respective department and express their interest in any of the new projects in a personal statement (quoting the reference number).


Can I apply for the studentship for part time DPhil /PhD courses.
No only full time DPhil courses are eligible