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PhD in Science and Technology Studies

Doctoral students based at Innogen receive cutting-edge research training, mentorship and internship opportunities.

Students have the opportunity to:

  • Acquire skills to analyse and assess innovation in the life sciences
  • Learn methods to articulate and address social challenges created by life science and biotechnology innovation
  • Develop new frameworks to conceptualise and anticipate future challenges
  • The PhD programme is usually pursued over three or four years (full-time) or up to six years (part-time).
  • Students are required to submit a dissertation of up to 100,000 words at the end of their period of study, which is read by two examiners and defended in a viva. A doctorate is awarded if the thesis is judged to have made a definite and original contribution to the field of knowledge.
  • Innogen attracts scholars from across five continents with a range of academic and practical experience in fields including social science, economics, natural science and law.

Booklet: PhD in Science and Technology Studies PDF, 831KB

Areas of research expertise

Innogen's research links the study of innovation in the life sciences and biotechnology with the University of Edinburgh's strengths in medicine, law, new biology and agricultural systems and the Open University's expertise in international development, public engagement and social policy.

Innogen staff offer supervision to students across a wide range of topics and areas in science and technology studies, including:

  • Translational research: the changing relationship between public and private
  • The emerging new fields of systems biology and synthetic biology
  • Life science innovation and health equity
  • Internationalisation of the pharmaceutical and life science industries
  • Global public private partnerships for neglected diseases
  • Biosciences and institutional transformation of global agricultural and health organisations
  • Regulation and governance of life science technologies
  • Intellectual property and life science innovation
  • Interdisciplinary methodologies of genomics innovation
  • Innovation and regulation of clinical stem cell therapies

Innovative proposals for PhD research that relate to developments in genomics and society are also welcomed. Co-supervision with colleagues from other departments can be arranged.


Internship opportunities at Innogen reflect the diversity and breadth of Innogen staff, students and its network. Students are encouraged to seek out placements with industry, policy makers and research centres.

Recent PhD placements include a research fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, a placement at Lloyd's of London insurance market and a research internship at the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

How to apply

University of Edinburgh

For information on entry requirements, fees and the application procedure, please see Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh.

Studying in STIS: Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh

For all other enquires, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Advisor by email -

Open University

For information on entry requirements, fees and the application procedure, please visit the link below -

PhD programme, Development Policy and Practice, Open University

For all other enquires, please email -