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Research Studentship in Super resolution microscopy

   Department of Engineering Science

  ,  Friday, December 09, 2022  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Research Studentship in Super resolution microscopy

Project: Super resolution microscopy for rapid identification of antibiotic resistant bacteria

3.5-year DPhil (PhD) studentship starting October 2023


Professors Eleanor Stride, Dario Carugo (UCL) and Ricardo Bastos (Oxford Nanoimaging)

The UN Interagency Coordinating Group on Antimicrobial Resistance estimates that drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths each year by 2050 and an annual economic cost of £69 trillion. There have been significant efforts by national and international agencies to raise awareness of AMR and reduce antibiotic use, but there is still an urgent need to intensify these efforts and, crucially, to develop better diagnostics and alternative therapeutic options.

The aim of this project is to explore the feasibility of using super resolution optical microscopy for the rapid identification of antibiotic resistant bacteria. This approach will provide a powerful diagnostic technique that avoids the need for time consuming bacterial culture and/or testing with multiple drugs. This will address the lack of techniques for rapid and precise diagnosis of infections – one of the leading factors behind the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and a key challenge for antibiotic stewardship.

The project will be conducted in collaboration with Oxford Nanoimaging (ONI) who have developed unique small footprint systems for super resolution microscopy. It is part of a wider EPSRC funded programme grant on developing novel solutions to the growing challenge of antimicrobial resistance Antimicrobial Therapy (

The project will involve the development of software for image analysis specifically directed towards bacterial identification that can be implemented on existing super resolution imaging systems; and eventually the development of a bespoke diagnostic device. Suitable applicants could come from a range of backgrounds (engineering, physics, applied maths) provided that they have interests in microscopy and image analysis. The Department is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and is keen to attract applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to the following criteria:

A first class, or strong upper second class, honours degree in a relevant scientific discipline.

Demonstrated competence in microscopy and image analysis.

Interest in (and preferably some background in) super resolution microscopy.

Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English


Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Professor Eleanor Stride ().

Formal applications are to be made using the online Graduate Application Form that is accessible through the admissions page for the DPhil in Engineering Science ( - click the “Apply” button on the “How to Apply” tab).

When filling out the fields of the Graduate Application Form, please observe the following guidance.

On the “Course” tab:

Proposed field and title of research project: Super resolution microscopy for rapid identification of antibiotic resistant bacteria

On the “Funding” tab:

Are you applying for an advertised studentship competition(s): Yes

Advertised reference code: 23ENGBI_ES

Application deadline: 9 December 2022

Start date: October 2023

Funding Notes

This studentship is open to Home students (full award – home fees plus stipend).
There is very limited flexibility to support international students. If you are an international student and want to apply for this studentship please contact the supervisor to see whether the flexibility might be available for you.
Award Value
Course fees will be covered at the level set for Home students (£8620 p.a. in 2022-23) and a stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) (at least £16,062 p.a.).

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