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Real Time Detection and Management of Antimicrobial Residues in Milk

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Ward
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, are widely used in farming to treat a range of diseases caused by microorganisms. On dairy farms, there is a high risk that milk contaminated with antimicrobial residues contaminates the bulk storage tank and therefore milk destined for commercial use. Contaminated milk can no longer be sold resulting in large financial losses across the supply chain. Additionally, contaminated milk is disposed of in the environment, dispersing antimicrobials and potentially accelerating the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. The tests currently used to screen milk for antimicrobial residues are expensive or time consuming and only detect a limited range of residues.

The project represents an excellent development opportunity for the PhD student, who will gain valuable experience at the interface between research and industry. The results and outcomes of the project will be used as a basis to apply for larger commercialisation grants, ultimately to deliver commercial solutions. Our partnership includes the University of the West of Scotland, who are industry facing and have a strong network to deliver bench top and farm prototypes of the system.
The overall aim of this studentship is to create a low-cost sensor system that could be used to detect the presence of key antimicrobial residues within milk, by developing a low-cost electrochemical sensor platform. For full details, see the further information links at the end. The project is funded through CENSIS: Scotland’s Innovation Centre for sensing, imaging and the Internet of Things technologies and the Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC).

In addition to the project, the student will gain a PG Certificate in Researcher Professional Development, which will help them develop a strong skillset for a career in industry or academia at the end of their PhD.

Funding Notes

Candidates will need at least a 2.1 Bachelor’s degree, Masters or equivalent degree in a physical sciences, engineering or biology related subject. The student will have to be comfortable working on technical engineering problems involving electrochemistry, electronics and biology. Fully funded for UK students and EU students that have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years. Fees and stipend for this studentship are available, but can only be awarded to UK and EU students and not to EEA or International students. Students with full refugee status are eligible for UKRI fees and full stipend.

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FTE Category A staff submitted: 20.20

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