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PhD Studentship in Biosciences Institute – Understanding the role of transcription in organisation of bacterial chromosome

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, February 05, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Number of awards

Start date and duration
28 September 2020. An early start date is possible

The funding covers a three year PhD.

Transcription – the synthesis of RNA based on genomic DNA sequence– is the first step in gene expression process. In a bacterial cellular context, actively transcribed genes have to be exposed at the surface of the nucleoid in order to interact with the protein synthesising machinery, while inactive genes are thought to be buried inside the nucleoid. Transcription process is, thus, a key player in determining the cellular, three-dimensional organisation of the bacterial chromosome. However, the mechanisms driving the cellular localisation of differentially expressed genes are currently unknown. This PhD project will use cutting-edge super resolution and single molecule fluorescence microscopy to analyse this key cellular process, and the molecular players involved.

The successful candidate will have Maters degree or equivalent in molecular biology, microbiology or a related discipline, and extensive lab experience. The project offers training in a wide range of molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, and imaging techniques (see for example our recent papers: Molecular Cell (2018) 72:263; Nature Communications (2017) 8:15774; Nature Communications (2015) 6:8728, Nature Communications (2014) 5:3442, Science (2013) 340:1577). The project will be based in the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology of Newcastle University, the world-leading centre dedicated for understanding biology of bacteria at cellular and molecular levels. The Centre is housed at a new building fitted with the state of the art equipment, and provides a unique scientific environment.

Newcastle University

Name of supervisor(s)
Prof Nikolay Zenkin (https://bit.ly/2PBLlMo)

Eligibility Criteria
You must have, or expect to achieve, MSc or MRes degree in biochemistry, microbiology or a related area.

This award is available to UK/EU and international applicants (successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees).

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 (https://bit.ly/36SiPfu). To do this please ‘Create a new account’. Please also send a copy of your CV and cover letter to

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 BI002 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 BI002 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
Applicants should also send a copy of their CV and covering letter directly to Prof Nikolay Zenkin

For further details, please contact:
Prof Nikolay Zenkin (https://bit.ly/2PBLlMo)
Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology(https://bit.ly/2SbfK5R)
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3227

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,009 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees

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