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Microbial ecology and metagenomics of a foodborne pathogen (MATHERQ20DTP)

   Graduate Programme

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  Dr A Mather  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Campylobacter is the commonest bacterial cause of diarrhoeal disease in the UK, where is it most often associated with poultry, and amongst the top five causes of diarrhoeal disease in low and middle-income countries. Despite this, the detection of Campylobacter is challenging as it is difficult to grow in the laboratory. Metagenome sequencing, which does not require growing bacteria, offers an approach which can be used to examine the total microbial diversity of a sample.

This multidisciplinary project with Dr Mather and Prof Wain will examine the microbial communities
associated with both the presence and absence of Campylobacter on chicken. This may suggest novel mechanisms to reduce the survival of Campylobacter in the food chain. To achieve these goals, the successful candidate will develop skills in state-of-the-art genomics, metagenomics, microbiology, ecology, epidemiology and bioinformatics.

The student will join an interdisciplinary team that will support their training and development. Quadram Institute Bioscience provides a stimulating and supportive environment for research on food, the microbiome and microbes in the food chain. The student will have intellectual input into shaping the project and there will be opportunities to collaborate with partners both within and outside the institute to develop further skills and impact of the project.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRP DTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year 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 (PIPS) during their study. The internship 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.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.
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