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FUNGI-ON-A-CHIP: Deciphering the Secret Life of Soil Fungi using Novel Microfluidic Platforms

Department of Bioengineering

Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
London United Kingdom Bacteriology Bioengineering Cell Biology Environmental Biology Microbiology

About the Project

Project Description

The Microbiome, Microscopy and Microfluidics Lab at the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London – the UK’s leading Bioengineering department – has a fully funded PhD studentship from The Leverhulme Trust to develop FUNGI-ON-A-CHIP microfluidic technology to gain deeper insights into interactions involving fungal networks and bacteria at the cellular level in real time.

This project aims to pursue the next frontier in soil microbiome research by combining microfluidics and microscopy to untangle microbial interaction and communication in the rhizo- and hyphosphere. The overall objective is to engineer microenvironments – using FUNGI-ON-A-CHIP microfluidic technology – to investigate the influence of the physicochemical environment upon the function of mycelial networks. This highly novel and interdisciplinary research project aims to enhance our understanding of important processes in soils and is expected to have a significant impact on the agricultural industry, as well as the health and food industries.

Successful completion of the PhD will equip candidates with the skills required for in-demand careers within academia or industry including: cell culture techniques, soil-on-a-chip technology development, cleanroom microfabrication, microscopy, computer-assisted design, statistical analysis, problem solving, experimental design, scientific writing/presentation skills and project management.

The project will be supervised by Dr Claire Stanley and will involve close collaboration with the lab of Prof. Pilar Junier (Lab of Microbiology, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland; To find out more about the Microbiome, Microscopy and Microfluidics Lab and our research interests please visit us at

Application Process To apply, please submit a one-page personal statement detailing your academic background and research interests, a CV and contact information of two professional/academic references to Dr Claire Stanley via email () in one single pdf file. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Expected start date: on/after 1st July 2021.

Should you require any further details about the position please contact Dr Claire Stanley.

Funding Notes

This PhD studentship in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London will cover 3 years of tuition fees (Home Fee Status) and provide a 3 year, tax-free stipend at the standard Research Council rate.

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