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Contribution of wild birds to antimicrobial resistance in the environment and on farm (WILBR) medical / environmental science – PhD (Funded)


About This PhD Project

Project Description

The University of Exeter’s College of Medicine and Health, in partnership with the Animal and Plant Health Agency is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in November 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,009 for 3 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.

Project Description:
The propagation and spread of microorganisms resistant to antimicrobials is a global phenomenon that is affecting both human and animal health, limiting therapeutic options available for treatment of disease.
Applications are invited for an exciting multi-disciplinary PhD studentship exploring the role of wild birds in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and transmission to livestock on farms and potential transmission to humans through the food chain. State of the art genomic and metagenomic approaches will be used alongside traditional culture based approaches used in clinical and veterinary surveillance. The PhD is fully funded through the One Health European Joint Programme (https://onehealthejp.eu/) and will be commencing in October/November 2019. The studentship will be supervised by Dr Muna Anjum, who is Head of the Bacterial Characterisation Unit and leads the Antimicrobial Resistance Research at the APHA, and Prof William Gaze at the University of Exeter who leads one of the largest research groups internationally on the environmental dimension of antimicrobial resistance focusing on evolution, ecology and transmission. The project will also collaborate closely with colleagues in the Wild Life Team, Veterinarians and Epidemiologists at the APHA, as well as Dr Stefan Borjesson, at the National Veterinary Institute in Sweden (SVA), where the student will be expected to spend some time.

The successful applicant will be registered with the University of Exeter and based at APHA in Surrey with opportunities for research placements at the SVA and the University of Exeter’s Cornwall campus working with experts in AMR and wildlife disease. This is a 3 year project, commencing in October/November 2019. The successful candidate will be trained in all relevant microbiology, molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques, including both wet laboratory and in silico techniques for analysis of whole genome sequences and metagenomic data.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend. For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £15,009 per year tax-free stipend. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend.

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3 years of full-time study to commence in November 2019. The collaboration with the named project partner is subject to contract. Please note full details of the project partner’s contribution and involvement with the project is still to be confirmed and may change during the course of contract negotiations. Full details will be confirmed at offer stage.

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