University of Leeds Featured PhD Programmes
University of Kent Featured PhD Programmes
King’s College London Featured PhD Programmes

PhD Studentship - Elucidating the impact of prenatal antibiotic exposure on postnatal offspring performance in cattle: a data mining approach

Project Description

Number of awards


Start date and duration

September 2020, 3.5 years duration.


There is a need to develop strategies for effective application of antibiotics in animal production to ameliorate the current threat of antimicrobial resistance affecting animal and human health. Approaches to reduce the use of antibiotics in dairy cattle include the identification of animals at risk of developing disease. The risk of developing disease can be traced back to early life experiences, even before birth. Human and mice studies reported detrimental effects of in utero antibiotic exposure on offspring health. Given that antibiotics are used routinely in the dairy industry for therapeutic purposes, this project will use a data mining approach to assess the consequences of prenatal antibiotic exposure on postnatal dairy cattle performance, including health and productivity.

Data will be collected from commercial farms, including our farms at Newcastle University (NU) (Cockle Park and Nafferton). As such the student will have to engage with farmers (facilitated by the supervisory team).

Throughout the PhD, you will develop the knowledge, experience and expertise necessary to success in an interdisciplinary research environment. You will work at the interface between data science, dairy cattle production and developmental programming. In partnership with your supervisors you will learn and develop cutting-edge statistical methodologies that will be applied to address a topic of relevance for sustainable animal production.

At the end of your PhD you will possesses knowledge and skills for several job sectors, including academia, agri-business (e.g. animal breeding companies), and specialized research institutions.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Miguel Velazquez (
Dr Matt Forshaw (
Dr Matt Leach (

Eligibility Criteria

The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award.

•We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated person with good interpersonal skills and a keen interest in research.
•Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree. Applicants having a background in subjects relating to computing or engineering are particularly welcomed.
•A willingness to acquire biological knowledge related to the project is essential.

•A relevant master’s degree
•Experience of high-quality publication(s) in English
•Experience in handling real-world data sets

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system (

You will need to:
•insert the programme code 8010F in the programme of study section
•select ‘PhD in Agriculture and Rural Development-Animal Science’ as the programme of study
•insert the studentship code NES031 in the studentship/partnership reference field
•attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code NES031 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


For informal enquiries contact Dr Miguel Velazquez ( or Dr Mathew Forshaw (

Funding Notes

Full UK/EU fees (eligibility criteria applies to EU students) and annual living allowance of £15,285

Email Now

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully

FindAPhD. Copyright 2005-2020
All rights reserved.