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Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research: Hobby Farming: Exploring Human-Animal Interactions, Disease Management and Antimicrobial Resistance on Smallholder Farms

Project Description

This 3.5 year, fully funded PhD, seeks to examine the relationships of hobby farmers with their animals and with animal disease, with a distinct focus on antimicrobial use and resistance. Questionnaires detailing general livestock management as well as details of hobby farmers’ relationships with their animals will be designed and carried out. Antimicrobial use on a number of farms, most likely in South West England, will be delineated using quantitative recording of on-farm antimicrobial use. Establishment of patterns of antimicrobial resistance on hobby farms and comparison to current data being collected on dairy farms as well as within the companion animal population (especially dogs) within a similar geographic region (via the OH-STAR project is one of the aims. Establishment of factors associated with resistance patterns will be explored using risk factor analysis. Qualitative data collection (semi-structured interviews and focus groups) will be used to investigate the relationships between hobby farmers and their livestock as well as the awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance by hobby farmers, and comparison with extant literature on farmers. These different data streams will be brought together using triangulation principles in order to provide a well-rounded understanding of the part hobby farming may play in the development of antimicrobial resistance and transmission between animals and humans in a One Health context.

This project may appeal to students with cross-disciplinary interests in veterinary sciences, social sciences, epidemiology and microbiology but does require a veterinary degree as previous qualification.

Potential applicants interested in further information are encouraged to contact Dr Kristen Reyher at or Prof Henry Buller at

For more information on the Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research please click here:

Please make an online application for this project at As part of your application, you need to choose: Faculty of Health Sciences under the ‘Faculty’ section, and then Veterinary Science_(PhD) under the ‘programme choice’ section. Additionally, under ‘funding’ and ‘Research Details’ section, please indicate that you are applying for a Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in AMR Research funded project and give the project title and names of the supervisors.

Funding Notes

The studentship covers:
• Annual tuition fees paid at the 'Home' UK/EU rate
• Stipend at MRC ’plus’ rate £17,500 (2020-21) rising to £19,000 (tax free)
• Yearly travel allowance/Research costs/Interdisciplinary 3-month research project/placement allowance

Please see View Website for more information and eligibility requirements. Non-UK/EU citizens are eligible for funding through this scheme but you will need to pay the difference between the annual ‘Home’ (i.e. UK/EU-based) tuition fees and the International fees required for yourself.

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