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PhD Studentship in Biosciences: Studying glycan acquisition by keystone members of the human microbiota

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  • Full or part time
    Prof B Van Den Berg
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Number of awards

Start date and duration
Project Start Date: 28 September 2020
The funding covers a three year PhD.

Do you want to work in one of the hottest fields in microbiology and are you interested in how our gut microbiota functions and contributes to human health? This project will advance our understanding how keystone Gram-negative members of the human microbiota acquire nutrients derived from dietary fibre (glycans).

Members of the phylum Bacteroidetes are highly abundant in the human gut and play a key role in the utilisation of dietary fibre from our diet, thereby conferring various health benefits. Dietary glycans are taken up via highly specialised machines on the cell surface that function as nanoscale processing plants for glycans. In this project you will determine the structure and function of these machines.

The work is highly multidisciplinary, and will involve X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to determine protein structures, various biophysical approaches such as isothermal titration calorimetry to study protein-ligand interactions, as well as a range of microbiological techniques and membrane protein biochemistry.

Faculty of Medical Sciences – Wellcome Trust

Name of supervisor(s)
Professor Bert van den Berg

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

This award is available to UK/EU 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

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 bi021 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 bi021 --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)
the second studentship code and its corresponding title
a two page covering letter for the second project
Our Postgraduate Admissions Service will then forward this information to the relevant selector in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

Professor Bert van den Berg
Biosciences Institute
E-mail: [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,285 (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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