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Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research: Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance through Non-Invasive Diagnostics

Project Description

As our understanding of treatment protocols becomes more sophisticated, for example, in personalising medicine to match a patient’s response to a drug or in prescribing appropriate drugs for an evolving disease, the requirement to monitor continuously a patient becomes essential. One such approach for continuous monitoring that will be developed in this PhD project is the use of non-invasive sampling of transdermal fluid – that is fluid that sits just below the outer layer of the skin. The focus of this PhD project will be on the development of fluidic sample handling technologies and their integrated into non-invasive transdermal fluid patches.

The specific application focus will be on tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through non-invasive diagnostics where the correct prescribing of antibiotics to a patient ensures the long-term effectiveness of antibiotics. Consequently, the ability of the healthcare profession to treat a range of bacterial infections will not be lost due to poor prescribing practices and subsequent development of drug-resistant strains.

Potential applicants interested in further information are encouraged to contact Prof Nikil Kapur or Prof Christoph Walti.

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 ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements of the University of Leeds. 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 Leeds English language requirements.


Applications should be made through the University of Leeds website:

When completing the application form please select programme code “php-elec-ft” and include Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in AMR Research, the project title, the name of the lead supervisor in section K. We also require 2 academic references to support your application. Please ask your referees to send these references on your behalf, directly to by no later than the deadline. Any queries regarding the project or the application process should be directed to .

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 Leeds. 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


Paranjape, M., et al. "A PDMS dermal patch for non-intrusive transdermal glucose sensing." Sensors and Actuators A: Physical 104.3 (2003): 195-204.
Mukerjee, E. V., et al. "Microneedle array for transdermal biological fluid extraction and in situ analysis." Sensors and Actuators A: Physical 114.2-3 (2004): 267-275.

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