Coventry University Featured PhD Programmes
University of Oxford Featured PhD Programmes
University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

Establishment and control of microbiomes at various body sites of dairy cattle.

   PHD Opportunities

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Prof R Dewhurst, Dr Holly Ferguson, Prof S Huws, Prof C Creevey  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Edinburgh United Kingdom Agricultural Sciences Bioinformatics Microbiology Molecular Biology Veterinary Sciences

About the Project

PhD Opportunities on dairy cattle microbiomes at SRUC’s Dairy Research and Innovation Centre, Dumfries and Queens University Belfast


A fully funded PhD studentship is available as part of a €10 million, collaborative European project, “HoloRuminant”, starting in October 2021. The studentship is for 3.5 years and cover stipends at UKRI rates (for 2021/22: £15,609 per year) and home UK domicile tuition fees, with experimental and travel costs covered by the project.

HoloRuminant will explore the role of ruminant-associated microbiomes and their interactions with the host animal in early life, and throughout fundamental life events, such as weaning, which are known to affect health, welfare, and environmental efficiency in ruminant production systems.

The project involves sampling from several sites of dairy cows from birth through to established first lactation and uses metataxonomics approaches to explore patterns of microbiome establishment and possible common control.

The students will gain skills ranging from working with animals to advanced molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques. Whilst being registered at Queens University Belfast and having the opportunity to work in their state-of-the-art molecular and microbial labs and high-performance computational infrastructure the student will work mostly with the world-leading Langhill Genotype x Environment study at SRUC’s Dairy Research and Innovation Centre in Dumfries. Annual progress evaluations and viva voce examinations will be held in Belfast.

The projects will be supervised by Professor Richard Dewhurst and Dr Holly Ferguson at SRUC, as well as Professor Sharon Huws and Professor Chris Creevey at Queens University Belfast. Further details of the facilities and groups can be obtained at:

Students should have at least an upper second class degree (or equivalent) in a life science subject and some awareness of livestock production challenges. A postgraduate qualification would be desirable, but is not essential.

Expected start date is 1 October 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.

To apply, please send us your CV and complete the application and equal opportunities monitoring forms available by clicking on the relevant studentship on our website. List of vacancies | SRUC

Completed forms and any questions about applications should be sent to SRUC’s Postgraduate Administrator [Email Address Removed] quoting reference SRUC/QUB/microbiome/ control.

To have an informal discussion about this studentship, contact Professor Richard Dewhurst; E-mail: [Email Address Removed], telephone: 0131 535 4050.

The closing date for the return of applications is 5pm on 16th August 2021.