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Queen’s University Belfast Microbiology PhD Projects, Programs & Scholarships

We have 33 Queen’s University Belfast Microbiology PhD Projects, Programs & Scholarships

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  Archaeal polyphosphate cycling: novel enzymes to drive new technologies
  Dr J Chin, Prof J Mcgrath
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Phosphorus is a globally important resource used particularly by the agricultural industry in fertiliser, enabling the growth of enough crops to feed the world’s increasing population.
  Emerging Infectious Diseases – Surveillance and Biosecurity
  Dr N Marks, Dr P McVeigh
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. A continued increase in both the geographical range of existing pathogens and the transmission of novel pathogens into the human population poses a challenge for the effective control of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and biosecurity.
  Evaluation of natural plant based botanicals as alternative to therapeutic antibiotics
  Dr C Situ
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

It has become widely recognised that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the biggest health threats that mankind faces, encompassing huge health and economic burdens on governments and societies in every region of the globe.
  Gene mining useful biocatalysts from paleosols
  Prof C Allen, Dr C Law
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Paleosols are often sediments that are relatively unaffected by the Anthropocene. While there is much research on the microbial community structure found in urban and agricultural soils, these relatively undisturbed soils are very different in a geological and physical context.
  Genome scale evolution of biofilm contained Klebsiella pneumoniae in response to sub-lethal antibacterial stress exposure - development of novel biomarkers for near-patient testing
  Prof S Fanning, Prof B Gilmore
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogenic bacterium found in several niches, being often encountered in a biofilm.
  How does biodiversity contribute to multiple forms of stability in stressed marine invertebrate communities?
  Prof M Emmerson, Dr S Helyar, Dr P Caplat
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. We now know that biodiversity is important because different species simultaneously contribute to multiple ecosystem processes through time and space (Gamfeldt et al.
  How does Clostridium difficile control the gut microbiome? Molecular dissection of nutrient control strategies
  Prof G McMullan, Dr B Graham, Prof J Mcgrath
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Clostridium difficile is a Gram positive, spore forming, anaerobic bacterium that is the main cause of hospital-acquired and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.
  Influence of farm hygiene standards and management practices on Johne’s disease progression in selected NI dairy herds
  Prof I Grant, Prof N O'Connell
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Johne’s disease is present in dairy herds in Northern Ireland. However, the true herd prevalence is uncertain, and probably underestimated, because currently used diagnostic tests lack sensitivity.
  Investigation and exploration of health and therapeutic benefits of plant-derived secondary metabolites
  Dr C Situ, Prof J Bengoechea
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Plants and their products have revolutionarily shaped human development throughout history. The traditional plant-based medicine continues to play an essential role in the treatment of disease and in healthcare systems in many parts the world.
  Microbial interactions in unique chemosynthetic ecosystems –an integrated ‘Omic approach
  Dr D Kumaresan, Prof J Mcgrath, Dr R Doherty
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Despite the lack of photosynthetically-fixed carbon, the Movile Cave ecosystem hosts a diverse range of invertebrates.
  QUADRAT DTP: Genomics approaches to explore the secrets of remarkable plants: Soil/root microbiome interaction and edaphic stress adaptation
  Dr C Meharg, Dr G Norton, Prof A Meharg
Application Deadline: 22 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Background. The wild grasses Holcus lanatus, Agrostis capillaris and Deschampsia cespitosa are characterised by their extensive environmental range and resilience to environmental stress.
  QUADRAT DTP: Identifying Environmental Factors for Soil Transmitted and Food Borne Helminth Diseases in Border Regions of Northern Thailand
  Dr G Gobert, Dr S Telfer
Application Deadline: 22 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Parasitic worm infections (helminthiases) of humans greatly impact low to medium income countries such as Thailand, by undermining health and agricultural productivity.
  QUADRAT DTP: Temperature regulation of crop - rhizosphere ecology
  Dr J Dalzell, Dr C Gubry-Rangin, Dr FL Liu
Application Deadline: 22 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Crop plants manipulate rhizosphere interactions and community structure through the release of root exudates. Whilst root exudates can attract beneficial microbes, they are also exploited by pathogens and plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs).
  QUADRAT DTP: Unravelling the freshwater microbial phosphorus cycle
  Prof J Mcgrath, Dr C Gubry-Rangin, Dr J Chin, Dr B Spears
Application Deadline: 22 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Eutrophication of freshwater environments via anthropogenic phosphorus (P) input is one of the most serious global water management issues.
  Rewiring of host cell protein complexes by pathogen effectors - mass spectrometry-based methods and applications in infection biology
  Dr B Collins, Prof J Bengoechea, Dr G Schroeder
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Bacterial pathogens, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Legionella pneumophila, residing inside host immune cells such as macrophages, must subvert host cell defences in order to avoid destruction.
  SAFENUT: Cold plasma as an Intervention technology to ensure a safe and nutritious groundnut supply
  Prof P Bourke, Prof C Elliott, Prof B Gilmore
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L., Peanut) is an important oilseed and food crop, playing a significant role in global food and nutrition security as a source of non-animal protein.
  Schistosome blood flukes and bacteria: How pathogens interact with other pathogens, and the host
  Dr G Gobert, Dr J Megaw
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Parasitic schistosome flukes reside in the blood stream of the host, causing significant chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people in tropical and sub-tropical countries.
  Targeting yeast epigenetics to combat anti-fungal resistance
  Dr E Hyland, Dr C Law
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. One consequence of climate change is the increased incidence of fungal disease, as global temperatures become more aligned with optimal fungal growth conditions.
  Temperature regulation of non-coding RNA and crop - rhizosphere interactions
  Dr J Dalzell, Dr FL Liu
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Crop plants manipulate rhizosphere interactions through the release of root exudates. Whilst root exudates can attract beneficial microbes, they are also exploited by pathogens and plant parasitic nematodes (PPNs).
  The marine phosphorus cycle and the methane paradox
  Prof J Mcgrath, Dr J Chin
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Marine microorganisms play major roles in regulating climate and driving global biogeochemical cycling. It has long been recognised that phosphorus (P) availability plays a major role in these processes by controlling marine primary productivity.
  The rice paddy microbiome and its impact on plant mineral nutrition
  Dr C Meharg, Prof A Meharg
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Rice is an important cereal crop.
  Uncovering the Hidden Human Milk Microbiome
  Dr S Cameron, Prof S Huws, Dr J Megaw
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Until recently, human milk (HM) was considered to be sterile and free of microorganisms in healthy mothers. We are now beginning to understand the importance of the microbiome of HM and its role in developing the naïve immune system of new-born babies.
  Understanding Biofilm Formation in the Domain Archaea
  Dr J Megaw, Prof B Gilmore
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Biofilms - structured and organised microbial communities - represent one of the most successful forms of life.
  What drives early-life “programming” in the rumen microbiome?
  Prof C Creevey, Dr K Theodoridou, Prof S Huws
Application Deadline: 16 December 2019

Funding Type

PhD Type

Project details. Manipulation of microorganisms in the rumen of cattle, sheep and deer is a promising strategy for lowering their environmental impact while increasing their efficiency.
  Exploiting the protein O-glycosylation pathway in opportunistic bacteria as a novel antimicrobial target
  Research Group: Centre for Experimental Medicine
  Prof M Valvano, Dr G Lopez-Campos
Application Deadline: 20 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Antibiotic resistance is a global health problem of epidemic proportions, especially for infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria.
  QUADRAT DTP: Assessing the restoration of UK Carbon sinks using geophysics and microbiology
  Dr R Doherty, Dr J C Comte
Application Deadline: 22 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

Occupying just 3% of the Earth’s land surface, peatlands are our largest carbon store on land. Worldwide they store 550 gigatonnes of carbon, representing 42% of all soil carbon and exceeds the carbon stored in all other vegetation types, including the world’s forests.
  QUADRAT DTP: Investigation of the growth of molds (fungi and bacteria) in bio-based materials made from agro-waste food
  Dr M Sonebi, Dr Q Gan
Application Deadline: 22 January 2020

Funding Type

PhD Type

The production of insulating materials for buildings obtained from the valorization of agro-resources is a promising way both in terms of ecology and hydrothermal performances of these composites.
  Adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in people with bronchiectasis during chronic inhaled treatment
  Dr L Sherrard, Dr M Tunney
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

Some individuals with bronchiectasis have respiratory infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa which may lead to a worse clinical trajectory.
  Antimicrobial prescribing in hospice and palliative care
  Dr C Parsons, Dr D Gilpin
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

Terminally ill patients are at high risk of infections and antimicrobial exposure near the end of life. However, the evidence-base to guide prescribers in the use of antibiotics for the treatment of infections in patients receiving hospice and palliative care is currently lacking.
  Determining the microbiome of the homes of people with chronic respiratory diseases
  Dr D Gilpin, Dr D Downey
Applications accepted all year round

Funding Type

PhD Type

In recent years, our understanding of the microbial world in and around us has radically changed. The idea that we live with a complex and diverse community of microbes, has moved us away from a “hygiene hypothesis”, where having less bacteria was, to put it simply, better.
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