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PhD Studentship - Advanced molecular genetic methods for discovery of novel natural product antibiotics

Biosciences Institute

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Prof J Errington No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Number of awards


Start date and duration

27 September 2021 for 3 years.

Application closing date

25 February 2021.


There is an urgent need for novel antibiotics with which to treat the problems of emerging resistance across a wide range of important pathogens. Natural product (NP) molecules, mainly produced by microbes such as actinobacteria, have historically been a rich source of antibiotics. Next generation DNA sequencing has recently revealed that the remarkable gene clusters that encode NPs are far more abundant than had been appreciated, meaning that there is a vast reservoir of untapped genetic potential for NP molecules, sometimes called the “Microbial Dark Matter”, awaiting discovery and exploitation. The central aim of the project, which will be carried out in a large and successful research group, will be to develop advanced new molecular genetic / genomic methods with which to isolate new NP molecules and then screen them for antibiotic action on pathogens or for activity against other interesting therapeutic targets.


Newcastle University

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor Jeff Errington

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in microbiology, biochemistry, or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous.

This award is available to Home and international applicants.

To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

• insert the programme code 8300F* in the programme of study section

• select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Biosciences' as the programme of study

• insert the studentship code BI035 in the studentship/partnership reference field

• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code BI035 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project

• attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications

* The online application system will only allow one application using the programme code 8300F. If you are applying for TWO or more projects using that code then you will need to email our Postgraduate Admissions Service ([Email Address Removed]) with the following information:

Your application number (from the first project application that you submitted online).

Funding Notes

100% of home tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,609 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the home fees and international fees.
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