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Reversing antibiotic resistance and sepsis due to E. coli in the UK via bacteriophage engineering of the human microbiome.


Project Description

The ‘GW4 BioMed MRC DTP’ is awarding up to 18 studentships with an October 2020 start date, aligned with the themes of Infection, Immunity and Repair; Neuroscience and Mental Health; and Population Health. The DTP also places a strong emphasis on cross-cutting skills priorities (quantitative skills, interdisciplinary skills and in vivo skills), and may advertise projects outside these themes. The DTP welcomes students from non-medical backgrounds and can fund additional training to assist discipline conversion. Most studentships will be 3.5 years full time or up to 7 years part-time, and can be longer where additional training is undertaken.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The research project overlaps the areas of antibiotic resistance and sepsis. Both of these areas are of huge National and International importance eg, sepsis caused by E. coli has more than doubled since 2001. The project combines low risk surveys of E. coli strains and bacteriophage carried by the residents of 6 UK and S. Asian cities by sampling sewage. Together with numerous molecular techniques including high end Miseq and Minion sequencing that will focus on the virulence and antibiotic resistance mechanisms and transfer. The project will also use insect and mouse models to assess the feasibility of using bacteriophage to manipulate gut carriage to non-virulent/non-resistant E. coli strains. The project will involve joining a well-funded vibrant research group in excess of 20 members with on-going projects in India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, China, Thailand, Niger and the UK. The group has a long history of publishing cutting edge research and developing new methodologies and concepts and will have added value aspects by including 6-week placements in two other GW4 labs ie Prof Mathew Avison, Bristol and Prof Will Gaze, Exeter.

ELIGIBILITY

The DTP welcomes students from both biomedical and non-biomedical backgrounds (especially in areas of computing, mathematics and the physical sciences) and can fund additional training, including Masters, to assist discipline conversion. Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK in an appropriate degree subject. Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will only be considered if they also have a Master’s degree or have significant relevant non-academic experience.

HOW TO APPLY

You will need to complete both an application to the GW4 BioMed MRC DTP for an ‘offer of funding’ and to Cardiff University for an ‘offer to study’

1) Applying for an ‘offer of funding’
Please complete the online application form https://cardiff.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/gw4-biomed-mrc-doctoral-training-partnership-student-appl by 5pm, 25 November 2019.
The Research Theme Panels will complete the shortlisting and inform applicants by 19 December 2019.

If you are shortlisted you will need to;

• contact your chosen supervisor(s) to discuss your application between 3 and 15 January 2020
• submit two references and a copy of your academic transcript(s) by 17 January 2020
• attend an interview in Cardiff on 21 or 22 January 2020

Further details will be included in the shortlisting letter.
More information on the application process may be found here: http://www.gw4biomed.ac.uk/doctoral-students/

2) Applying for an ‘offer to study’

Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University Online Application Service. http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programme/medicine

Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy Medicine, with a start date of October 2020.
In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from GW4 BioMed MRC DTP.
If are applying for more than one Cardiff University project please note this in the research proposal section.

Funding Notes

This studentship is funded through GW4 BioMed MRC Doctoral Training Partnership. It consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£15,009 p.a. for 2019/20, updated yearly).
Additional research and training funding is available over the course of the programme. This will covers costs such as courses, conferences and travel, and research consumables. Additional competitive funds are available for high-cost or exceptional training.
The research projects listed are in competition with the 87 others - only 18 projects will be taken up as they will be awarded to the best applicants.

References

UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply (Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education. EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study.)

For DTP enquiries please contact the DTP Manager, Erica Lewis at [email protected]
For enquiries about your University application, please contact the Postgraduate Administrator [email protected]

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