PhD studentship-Translational Food Safety: Synthesising Foodborne Pathogen Evidence to Horizon-Scan Risks across the Food-System and Impacts of Foodborne Disease in People

   School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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  Dr Marie McIntyre  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Award Summary

100% of home fees, minimum tax-free living allowance of £18,622 (2023/24 UKRI rate)


Interested in food safety and applying academic research rigour to real-world problems? Would you like to use quantitative skills to solve food-system problems?

Collaborating with Food Standards Agency (FSA), this desk-based PhD focuses on creating horizon-scanning analytical pipelines to understand foodborne pathogen and antimicrobial resistance risks in the food-system and impacts on people.

Most foodborne disease is preventable, with pathogens transmitted in food, water or via bad hygiene/sanitation. However, foodborne pathogen research often focuses on limited parts of the food-system. Pathogen transmission as food products move through food-systems from farm-to-fork (during production, transport, processing, packaging, at retail, following consumption) and its implications for public health are understudied. As lots of pathogen evidence is published, disparate information needs synthesis in horizon-scanning processes to understand how and where pathogens persist.  

The studentship will investigate evidence for foodborne pathogens and disease across the food-system, addressing the questions:

   • For which foodborne pathogens is there greatest evidence at different points in/across the food-system?

   • What evidence is there for indicators of antimicrobial resistance in food?

   • What mechanisms (drivers) cause these pathogens to spread?

   • Using these risk factors, what is their incidence across food-systems?

   • How much foodborne disease will they cause in the UK population, with what impact?

The student will receive training in fundamental skills e.g., study-design, planning, data-gathering and interrogation, execution of statistical analyses and coding (R) relevant to veterinary epidemiology, food safety and public health, ethical approval and data security, Expert Elicitation techniques.

Number Of Awards


Start Date

January 2024

Award Duration

Four Years


Newcastle University Partnership Academic Track (NUPAcT) scheme, FSA 


Dr. K.Marie McIntyreDr Mark Shirley and Professor Steve Rushton, MEP group, Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University

Professor Kathryn Arnold, Environment and Geography, University of York

Dr Anthony Wilson, FSA  

Eligibility Criteria

You must have (or expect) a minimum 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in a relevant subject (biology, environmental sciences, food/human nutrition, mathematics, microbiology, statistics, veterinary or human medicine).  

Applicants whose first language is not English require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills.

This studentship is only available to applicants with Home fee status (UK and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status, meeting residency criteria).

How To Apply

All applicants should complete the University’s Apply to Newcastle Portal -

Once registered select ‘Create a Postgraduate Application’.  

Use ‘Course Search’ to identify your programme of study:  

  • please apply for the 2023 academic year for January 2024 start.  
  • search for the ‘Course Title’ using the programme code: 8020F
  • the Research Area is: Biological Sciences 
  • ·select PhD Biology (full-time)' as the programme of study 

You will then need to provide the following information in ‘Further Details’:  

  • a ‘Personal Statement’ (mandatory field) - upload a document or write a statement directly in to the application form  
  • the studentship code SNES271 in the ‘Studentship/Partnership Reference’ field  
  • when prompted for how you are providing your research proposal - select ‘Write Proposal’. You should then type in the title of the research project from this advert. You do not need to upload a research proposal.  

Contact Details

Dr. K.Marie McIntyre,

Email: [Email Address Removed]

Biological Sciences (4) Computer Science (8) Food Sciences (15) Mathematics (25) Medicine (26)
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 About the Project