£6,000 FindAPhD Scholarship | APPLICATIONS CLOSING SOON! £6,000 FindAPhD Scholarship | APPLICATIONS CLOSING SOON!

Novel insect derived biofertilisers for the sustainable protection of crops against insect attack

   Department of Biosciences

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  Prof A Sadanandom, Dr E Fitches  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project would appeal to students interested in the field of sustainable agricultural biotechnology and crop protection. This is an ideal project for students keen to gain experience across a broad range of molecular biology, biochemical, entomology techniques in an internationally recognised research group with a track record of expertise in plant immunity. As the CASE partner, Agrigrub, is one of a growing number of UK based SME insect producers this project will also appeal to students interested in conducting research to support the emergence of a new farming sector that has potential to contribute to enhancing the sustainability of UK agriculture. Whilst appealing to students interested in fundamental research, the opportunity to work with Agrigrub also makes this project appealing to students who have a longer term interest in working in industry. Whilst providing significant academic challenge the project has the potential to produce far reaching real-world impact and the breadth of exposure to current techniques and technologies will provide excellent post project, employability prospects both within and outside of academia.

The studentship should be commenced before the end of 2022.


Applications should be made by emailing [Email Address Removed] with:

·        a CV (including contact details of at least two academic (or other relevant) referees);

·         a covering letter – clearly stating your first choice project, and optionally 2nd ranked project, as well as including whatever additional information you feel is pertinent to your application; you may wish to indicate, for example, why you are particularly interested in the selected project(s) and at the selected University;

·        copies of your relevant undergraduate degree transcripts and certificates;

·        a copy of your passport (photo page).

A GUIDE TO THE FORMAT REQUIRED FOR THE APPLICATION DOCUMENTS IS AVAILABLE AT https://www.nld-dtp.org.uk/how-apply. Applications not meeting these criteria may be rejected.

In addition to the above items, please email a completed copy of the Additional Details Form (as a Word document) to [Email Address Removed]. A blank copy of this form can be found at: https://www.nld-dtp.org.uk/how-apply.

Informal enquiries may be made to [Email Address Removed]. The closing date for applications is Friday 8th July 2022 at 12noon (UK time).

Funding Notes

CASE studentships are funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for 4 years. Funding will cover tuition fees at the UK rate only, a Research Training and Support Grant (RTSG) and stipend. We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK and are able to offer a limited number of bursaries that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants. These full studentships will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this scheme. Note that home (UK) candidates may also apply to this studentship.


SUMO conjugation to the pattern recognition receptor FLS2 is required to trigger intracellular signalling in plant innate immunity. Nature Communications. 2018, 9(1): 5185
SUMO Suppresses the Activity of the Jasmonic Acid Receptor CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1. Plant Cell. 2018 Aug 16. pii: tpc.00036.2018. doi: 10.1105/tpc.18.00036.
Functional analysis of a Wheat Homeodomain protein, TaR1, reveals that host chromatin remodelling influences the dynamics of the switch to necrotrophic growth in the phytopathogenic fungus Zymoseptoria tritici. New Phytologist. 2015 Apr;206(2):598-605. doi: 10.1111/nph.13323.
Post-translational modifications in priming the plant immune system: ripe for exploitation? FEBS Lett. 2018 Jun;592(12):1929-1936. doi: 10.1002/1873 3468.13076.
Insects as Animal Feed; Novel Ingredients for use in Pet, Aquaculture and Livestock Feeds; CAB International (2021)
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