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Masters by Research Opportunity: Mycoremediation of contaminated soil with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

   Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership (HKEP)

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  Dr Simon Baines, Dr Esther Garcia-Cela  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

MRes studentship with Myconeos Ltd. and the Department of Clinical, Pharmaceutical and Biological Sciences, University of Hertfordshire

This is an exciting opportunity to undertake a 1-year Master by Research funded jointly by the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Myconeos. This 1-year study aims to investigate the use of P. roqueforti strains for the bioremediation of soils. The student will focus on the application of high throughput screening techniques for the identification and commercial-scale production of strains with beneficial attributes for soil fertility and remediation. The research will be carried out mainly at UH’s College Lane Campus but will also include short visits to Myconeos’s facilities in Biocity, Nottingham.

Key responsibilities and duties:

  • Conduct primary research that will underpin the goals of the project, and to perform microbiological, biochemical experiments. 
  • Plan and oversee the day-to-day technical running of the research work.
  • Assist in the interpretation of results.
  • Communicate information effectively, as required, and ensure the accurate completion of documentation, records and reports in order to comply with research quality standards.
  • Monitor Health and Safety in the performance of all duties by assessing the risks of the planned activity and performing the tasks having considered, and acted to secure, the safety of yourself and others.



  • A first- or second-class UK honours degree or equivalent in any sciences related discipline (bioscience, biotechnology, biology etc.) including elements of mycology/microbiology and biochemistry.
  • Standard laboratory techniques and procedures; good microbiological laboratory practice; use of general lab equipment; existing skills in microbial culture.
  • Analytical ability to interpret testing requirements.
  • Problem solving skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Good time management skills and organization ability.
  • Excellent oral and written English communication skills, including the ability to communicate with clarity on complex information.
  • Good IT literacy.
  • Ability to work independently and within a team.
  • Able to record information from meetings in a written format
  • Applicants must be self-motivated and be interested in applied scientific research.


  •  Previous knowledge about statistical analysis and dedicated software

Our research environment is enriched by the diversity of our staff and students and we take a responsible approach towards further progressing inclusivity. Overall, 35% of our postgraduate research students are of minority ethnic heritage; 65% self-identify as females; and 16.4% have declared a disability. We recognise that subject level trends differ and that nationally, there is much more to be achieved in addressing diversity in the pipeline to success in a research career. That is why we whole heartedly encourage applications from people who identify with a protected characteristic; those from areas with traditionally low participation in higher education; and people who are the first in their family to study at university.

Supervisor Information

  • Simon Baines, PhD, University of Hertfordshire (primary)
  • Esther Garcia-Cela, PhD, University of Hertfordshire (secondary)
  • Jacek Obuchowicz, PhD, Myconeos Ltd.
  • George Aston, PhD, Myconeos Ltd.

How to apply

Applicants are required to provide the following documents:

  • a completed application form
  • two academic references to be provided by referee directly to the doctoral college
  • copies of qualification certificates and transcripts
  • a copy of passport photo page
  • Certification of English language competence (minimum IELTS 6.5 or equivalent) for candidates for whom English is not their first language

Please send completed applications to the Doctoral College at , using the following format in the email subject line: Myconeos Masters by Research HKEP Associate application.

The closing date for applications is 13th August 2021. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an online interview W/C 23rd August 2021.

If you have not had a reply within 3 weeks of the deadline, you have unfortunately been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Informal Enquiries

Informal enquires should be addressed to Esther Garcia-Cela () or Jacek Obuchowicz (). Please note that applications sent directly to these email addresses will not be accepted.

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