About Us

The Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery (Kavli INsD) is a groundbreaking interdisciplinary science institute focused on world-class nanoscience research. Established in April 2021 as the 20th institute funded by the esteemed Kavli Foundation, we are proud to be the University of Oxford's first institute spanning the life, medical, and physical sciences.





Led by the distinguished Professor Carol Robinson, a renowned chemist specializing in mass spectrometry and the study of protein structures, Kavli INsD is committed to making significant contributions in critical areas such as antimicrobial resistance, brain and mental health, infectious diseases, and malaria. Additionally, we strive to develop cutting-edge instrumentation that brings the analytical power of the physical sciences into the realm of cellular exploration.

At Kavli INsD, our exceptional team of faculty and researchers represents diverse backgrounds in structural biology, biochemistry, pathology, chemistry, physics, physiology, and engineering. United by our shared focus on the nanoscale—the scale of proteins, viruses, and DNA—we are at the forefront of unraveling the mysteries of the most fundamental unit of life: the cell.

Together, we are shaping the future of nanoscience, fostering an inclusive and collaborative working culture, and driving breakthrough discoveries that have the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the world around us.






Kavli Management Committee 
Director: Professor Dame Carol Robinson (Chemistry)
Co-Deputy Director: Professor Achillefs Kapanidis (Physics)
Co-Deputy Director: Professor Dame Molly Stevens (DPAG)
Professor Vladyslav Vyazovskiy (DPAG)
Professor Justin Benesch (Chemistry)
Professor Kevin Talbot (NDCN)
Professor Stuart Peirson (NDCN/SCNi)
Professor Simon Newstead (Biochemistry)
Associate Professor Lindsay Baker (Biochemistry) 
Dr Dominika Gruszka (Physics)
Kavli Senior Leadership Council 
Kavli Director: Carol Robinson (Chemistry)
Kavli Co-Deputy Director: Professor Achillefs Kapanidis (Physics)
Kavli Co-Deputy Director: Professor Dame Molly Stevens (DPAG)
Heads of Divisions: ex-officio
Professor Gavin Screaton (Medical Sciences) 
Professor James Naismith (Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences)
Heads of Departments
Professor Ian Shipsey (Physics)
Professor Francis Barr (Biochemistry)
Ex-officio: Professor Matthew Freeman (Dunn School of Pathology)
Kavli Scientific Advisory Board 
Professor Wolfgang P. Baumeister
Director, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Munich, Germany
Professor Albert J. R. Heck
Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University 
Dr Lori Passmore
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge, UK
Professor Bart De Strooper
UK Dementia Research Institute, Francis Crick Institute, University College London, UK
Professor Pietro Cicuta
Head of Biological and Soft Systems, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge UK
Professor Elspeth Garman
Professor of Molecular Biophysics, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford


The Kavli Application for Research Development (K.A.R.D) Fund*, established at the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery (Kavli INsD), represents our commitment to fostering innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and teamwork among our early career researchers. 

Launched in September 2023, this fund serves as a crucial steppingstone for researchers by providing seed funding for a proof-of-principle project. Through the K.A.R.D FUND, we aim to catalyse bold scientific exploration and support the next generation of researchers in their pursuit of cutting-edge discoveries. 

*Note: Funds are only available to current Kavli INsD based researchers


To catalyse synergies between the different physical, engineering and biological activities, Kavli INsD funds short-term fellowships to cement interdisciplinary interactions. Kavli Fellowship applications are viewed favourably for those who wish to retrain in a different discipline. This is expected to be a longer-term process than for those remaining with the subject of their degree.

A key aspect of the Institute working environment is its ability to provide training and support to allow Fellows to transition to independent careers. As such, the Kavli program of mentorship extends to training on different equipment, on sample handling techniques as well as on soft skills including preparing experimental data, writing for publications, applying for funding, and honing presentation skills for different audiences.


We are pleased to invite applications for the DPhil (equivalent to a PhD at other universities) program in Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics at the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery, University of Oxford. This opportunity is specifically extended to Ukrainian students who have been displaced due to the conflict in their home country.

Eligibility: students from Ukraine displaced by the war.

Program Details:

  • Location: The student will be based at the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery (KINsD) and the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics (DPAG).

  • Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery (KINsD): KINsD is a cutting-edge research center at the forefront of nanoscience and interdisciplinary research. It is renowned for its state-of-the-art facilities and collaborative environment, making it an ideal setting for innovative research endeavors.

  • Supervision: The student will be supervised by Professor Vladyslav Vyazovskiy, a leading expert in the field.

  • Research Focus: The project will explore the neurobiological aspects of cortical control of sleep. This includes studying the neural circuitry involved, the influence of circadian rhythms, and environmental factors such as light.

  • Scholarship: This 3-year scholarship is jointly funded by The Kavli Foundation USA and DPAG. It covers tuition fees, provides a stipend for living expenses (at least the UKRI rates), offers a research consumables budget, and includes a generous contribution towards conference travel and training.

  • Start Date: The student will commence their studies in the academic year 2023/24.

  • Application Deadline: Please submit your application by noon on Friday, 1st December 2023. We strongly encourage prospective applicants to consult with Professor Vyazovskiy and the DPAG graduate studies administrator before applying.

For additional information, please refer to: 

Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25

How to apply

Contact DPAG graduate administrator: graduate.studies@dpag.ox.ac.uk

Read more about the award here.