Plant Science


Sainsbury PhD Studentships

Rigorous selection criteria, generous funding, high expectations and a comprehensive package of training ensure our PhD studentships attract and develop exceptional talent among young scientists who will become tomorrow’s leaders in science.

Sainsbury PhD Studentships
The Sainsbury Plant Sciences PhD programme plays a crucial role in training graduate cohorts from across the UK. Students establish professional networks at the very beginning of their career that they build on in later years whether they stay in research or not. Our goal is to embed plant sciences in as many walks of life as possible.
Jane Langdale FRS, Professor of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford and Chair of the Gatsby Plant Science Advisors

This long-running programme has developed some of the highest quality plant science researchers in universities, and has influenced a large group who now work in teaching, commerce, finance, policy and industry. It is the recognised gold standard for students taking a PhD in plant sciences and Sainsbury students consistently perform at a level above that of their contemporaries. This is in part due to the rigorous selection criteria that identify only the very best students, but is enhanced by the annual training weekend held each Easter in Cambridge, where the students are mentored in giving talks, producing posters, and writing papers and dissertations, and have the chance to interact with speakers on a variety of topics.

Gatsby’s Plant Science Advisors select up to three Sainsbury postgraduate research students each year, after interviewing up to eight candidates. The PhD studentships provide an enhanced stipend comparable to Wellcome studentships, as well as laboratory expenses and university fees for four years. Students are encouraged to spend part of their studentship at another university or institute to gain additional experience.

Recipients of Sainsbury PhD Studentships


  • Christopher Bell, Oxford


  • Arran Horne, Glasgow
  • Henrietta Patterson, John Innes Centre


  • Katie Long, John Innes Centre
  • William Davis, Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge


  • Giovanni Giuriani, Glasgow
  • Maude Grenier, Edinburgh


  • Aaron Ang, JIC
  • Benjamin Fisk, Cambridge
  • Zachary Paling, Leeds


  • Martina De Angelis, Leeds
  • Joshua Joyce, John Innes Centre
  • Imelda Uwase, James Hutton Institue
  • Lindsay Williams, Edinburgh


  • Siegfried Leher, John Innes Centre


  • Zoe Nemec Venza, Bristol 
  • Adeline Sourdille, James Hutton Institute
  • Jessica Upson, Sainsbury Lab Norwich


  • Chiara Perico, Exeter 
  • James Walker, John Innes Centre


  • Alexander Blackwell, Cambridge
  • Jaynee Elizabeth Hart, Glasgow


  • Alice Baillie, Sheffield
  • Sylwia Kacprzak, Southampton
  • Jennifer Walton, John Innes Centre 


  • Patrick Dickinson, Cambridge 
  • Jonathan Hughes, Sheffield

Sainsbury PhD Studentships