Virology Training at the Centre for Virus Research

Virology Training at the Centre for Virus Research

The CVR offers a variety of training opportunities in Virology including an MSc in Infection Biology, the CVR MRC PhD programme, and a Clinical Research Fellowship programme. We also host research visits and summer vacation studentships for both Medical and Veterinary undergraduates.

We are also keen to hear from researchers who currently hold, or wish to apply for, an externally funded fellowship to join the CVR – please refer to ‘Fellowship Sponsorship at the CVR’ for further details.

We are currently advertising an Industrial Partnership PhD Studentship in collaboration with JEOL UK

Title: Cryo-EM of virus-host interaction

Annual Stipend: £17,009

Start Date: October 2019. Duration: 3.5 years

Application Deadline: 21st June 2019

Interview Date: 30th July 2019


Cryogenic transmission electron microscopy has recently emerged as a powerful tool for the structural analysis of macromolecular complexes at close to atomic resolution.  This project will investigate the structures of medically important viruses as they interact with host-encoded ligands, such as cellular-receptors and components of the innate immune-system.  With a particular focus on asymmetrically organised features of icosahedral viruses, we aim to produce atomistic descriptions of these interactions, with a view to defining potential targets for intervention, or improving our understanding of virus biology. 

The MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research is home to Scotland’s national cryo-EM Centre; the Scottish Centre for Macromolecular Imaging.  A significant aim of this studentship is to exploit the new capabilities of SCMI.  The centre’s primary instrument is the newly designed JEOL CryoARM 300 - a fully automated 300 keV cryomicroscope that is equipped with a cold-FEG emitter, phase-plates, in-column energy filter and a Direct Electron DE64 camera. 

The project is an Industrial Partnership PhD (IPP) studentship which combines the experience and expertise of academic researchers (Bhella Group   Spagnolo  MRC-UoG CVR) with the microscope manufacturer JEOL and will provide an opportunity to undertake a mini-project in Japan, working closely with JEOL applications specialists.


"The discoveries and therapies of the future are only possible if we nurture our promising talent in the present" - Massimo Palmarini, CVR Director

The CVR is based in the vibrant research community of the University of Glasgow and is the largest dedicated virology centre in the UK, bringing together investigators and scientists with a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise. Nurturing the next generation of virology researchers is a key mission statement of the CVR. We have therefore created a specialized PhD programme to include an intensive training course to support the development of the next generation of world leaders in virology research. This course aims to ensure that all students have a fundamental understanding of modern virology and consists of lectures, seminars, and practical tutorials delivered by leading virologists from the University of Glasgow.

JEOL (UK) Ltd are a leading supplier of scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), transmission electron microscopes (TEMs), scanning probe microscopes (SPMs), mass spectrometers, NMR spectrometers, and semiconductor tools for scientific and industrial purposes.  They provide applications-specific solutions from routine analysis of organic and inorganic specimens to breakthroughs in nanotechnological development.

Admission Requirements

A minimum 2:1 BSc degree in life-sciences, chemistry or physics is required.  Previous laboratory experience in structural biology is advantageous.

Eligibility for payment of full Tuition Fees 

This Programme will support full tuition fees, RCUK Rates for candidates from the UK and EU.    The Programme is unable to support the tuition fees for non-Home/EU candidates.

The deadline for applications is 21st June 2019.


Application Process

Please follow the link to Apply Online

When applying, please ensure the following details are entered:

Title: MVLS - Cryo-EM of virus-host interactions

Supervisors: Prof David Bhella and Dr Laura Spagnolo


For the ‘Support Documents’ section, applicants are asked to upload the following:

Essential Documents

  1. CV
  2. Personal Statement/Covering letter (1 A4 page maximum)
  3. 2 references on headed paper (academic  and/or professional) or submitted directly to us (

Advisable Documents

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document.

We recommend that you also email the essential documents above (CV, personal statement/covering letter and references) directly to


Interview Process

Following selection for interview, you will be invited to come to Glasgow to visit the CVR on 30th July 2019 for a panel interview.  Reasonable travel and accommodation expenses will be reimbursed.  Please be available on this date.

Whilst at the CVR, time will be spent visiting the laboratories, meeting current CVR PhD students (and being interviewed!).  If you receive an offer, we will ask you to decide to join the CVR within a reasonable and negotiable timeframe (according to your circumstances) at the beginning of October 2019.

Any questions about the IPP studentship or eligibility requirements should be directed to