Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
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Establishment of germline-specific DNA methylation in plants (FENGJ20DTP)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, November 25, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Our recent work demonstrated distinctive DNA methylation occurs at hundreds of genes across the entire male germline in plants. This germline-specific methylation is catalysed by a ubiquitous methylation pathway, and regulates meiosis by controlling gene expression and splicing. However, it is unclear how genes become methylated specifically in the germline. This PhD project aims to uncover the mechanisms underlying methylation reprogramming in plant germlines, and address one of the most fundamental questions in DNA methylation regulation - how specific genes become methylated in specific cells. Using a combination of genetics, molecular and cell biology, pigenetics and genomics, this multidisciplinary work will demonstrate, for the first time, how an epigenetic pathway can be tailored in a specific lineage of cells to convey precise biological functions, laying a foundation for the study of epigenetic regulation of plant development.

Working at the interface of developmental biology and epigenetics, you will greatly benefit from the
scientific trainings in both fields. This project involves state-of-the-art techniques of molecular biology, flow cytometry, microscopy, high-throughput sequencing, and bioinformatics (eg. dealing with epigenomic data). You will receive support from a multidisciplinary group funded by ERC, BBSRC and EMBO Young Investigator Programme, and be encouraged and funded to attend conferences. JIC has a world class PhD training programme, providing not only top infrastructure and academic environment for your research, but also a number of training courses on transferable skills such as project management, presentation and leadership skills to promote your all-around development and employability.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRP DTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second-class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website: https://biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: View Website. Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

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