Imperial College London Featured PhD Programmes
University of Southampton Featured PhD Programmes
Queen’s University Belfast Featured PhD Programmes

How plants coordinate responses to nutrient availability (PATRON_E22DTP)

   Graduate Programme

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

Click here to search for PhD studentship opportunities
  Dr Nicola J Patron  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Nitrogen (N) is a critical nutrient for plant growth and yield. While N supply in the form of fertilisers has been facilitated through the energy-intensive Haber-Bosch process, over-application of has drastic ecological and environmental consequences. To develop high-yielding crops with less chemical inputs, we need to understand the networks of genes that control complex traits such as plant growth in response to N. However, the complexity of these networks has made them challenging to investigate using traditional genetic approaches. In recent work, we have we experimentally validated a subnetwork of transcription factors (TFs), gaining evidence for their role in coordinating the expression of a large number of genes involved in nitrate assimilation and plant growth. This project will investigate the function of a key TF within that network, probing how it contributes to the regulation of growth in response to changes in nutrient availability. The project will progress in collaboration with research groups at the University of California and the University of Durham. The project will use a wide range of plant molecular biology, physiology, biochemical and bioinformatic techniques. All necessary training will be provided.

The Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) is open to UK and international candidates for entry October 2021 and offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year PhD 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 placement (PIPS) during their study. The placement 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.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the NRPDTP programme. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed on Tuesday 25th January, Wednesday 26th January and Thursday 27th January 2022.

Visit our website for further information on eligibility and how to apply:

Our partners value diverse and inclusive work environments that are positive and supportive. Students are selected for admission without regard to gender, marital or civil partnership status, disability, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or social background.

Funding Notes

This project is awarded with a 4-year Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) PhD studentship. The studentship includes payment of tuition fees (directly to the University), a stipend for each year of the studentship (2021/2 stipend rate: £15,609), and a Research Training Support Grant for each year of the studentship of £5,000 p.a.


Gaudinier et al (2018) Transcriptional regulation of nitrogen-associated metabolism and growth. Nature. 563: 259– 264.
Alon (2012) Network motifs: theory and experimental approaches. Nat Rev Genet. 2007;8:450–461.
Vidal et al (2015) Transcriptional networks in the nitrate response of Arabidopsis thaliana. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 27:125-32.
Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.

PhD saved successfully
View saved PhDs