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Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research: Modelling the Risks of AMR from Agricultural Waste to Animal and Human Health

Project Description

This project will use mathematical modelling to evaluate the risks to human and animal health of antibiotics and antimicrobials given to farm animals. In particular, we are concerned about the risks associated with application to land of slurry or manure, which contain antibiotics and antimicrobial resistant bacteria because of that use. You will look at two systems: the risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria in crops grown for human food; and the risk associated with sheep transferring resistance around fields that have received slurry.

Two different modelling paradigms will be compared: Bayesian Network models, that allow for probabilistic description of impact of different factors on outcomes; and Dynamical Systems models, that consider changes in populations over time. The project will benefit from extensive data we have generated both on characterising dairy slurry and its impact upon soil, and on resistance in sheep hooves, as well as data from other laboratories.

To apply for this PhD, you should have a BSc and/or MSc degree in a quantitative subject, such as mathematics, statistics, physics or computer science, and a strong interest in applying your quantitative skills to a biomedical problem of huge public importance.
Potential applicants interested in further information are encouraged to contact Professor Dov Stekel

Benefits of joining the Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in AMR Research:
• All PhD projects will be based within interdisciplinary research consortia funded by the UKRI Cross-Council AMR Initiative.
• All students will have access to enhanced training opportunities including residential skills and training courses, cohort-building activities, and annual conferences. All are designed to expose students to a range of discipline-specific languages and interdisciplinary research skills, which are essential for enabling them to thrive as multidisciplinary AMR researchers.
• PhD students will undertake a fully-funded 3-month interdisciplinary AMR project allowing them to work outside of their primary research area or an elective placement in industry, publishing, media, policy development or in AMR-relevant charities and organisations.
• All Medical Research Foundation-funded PhD students will also be part of a wider cohort of 150 PhD students from across the UK who are also studying AMR. The cohort will have access to a bespoke, innovative online learning environment, which will facilitate peer-to-peer networking, question setting and mentoring.
Further information can be found on our website:

Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least a 2.1 honours degree in a relevant subject and/or a Merit in a Master’s degree. Applicants must ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements of the University of Nottingham.

To qualify for Home tuition fee status, you must be a UK or EU citizen who has been resident for 3 years prior to commencement. Please note that overseas students not eligible for Home (UK/EU/EEA citizens) tuition fee status will be eligible for funding through this Programme but the student must pay the difference between the annual Home tuition fee and the tuition fees required for overseas students. Overseas students should be able to demonstrate adequate financial support to cover the difference between the Home/EU fee and the overseas fee. Applicants are also required to meet the University of Nottingham’s English language requirements.


Please give the project title and name Professor Dov Stekel as the main supervisor. You do not need to provide a research proposal as requested on the form; instead indicate that you are applying for a Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in AMR Research funded project. Please contact Professor Dov Stekel if you are intending to make an application so that your application can be processed quickly. You can also contact Professor Dov Stekel with informal enquiries or help with the application.

Funding Notes

This is 4 year fully-funded PhD studentship funded jointly by the Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in AMR (led by the University of Bristol) and the University of Nottingham. The studentship covers:

• Annual tuition fees at the Home/EU rate
• Stipend at MRC ’plus’ rate £17,000 (2019-20) rising to £18,500 (tax free)
• Yearly travel allowance
• Research costs
• Interdisciplinary 3-month research project/placement allowance

How good is research at University of Nottingham in Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 111.45

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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