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Role of vitamin D in the recurrence of bovine tuberculosis (Master's Degree by Research)


   School of Biological Sciences

  ,  Monday, August 15, 2022  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Funded by the HEA shared Island initiative to drive the formation of new partnerships between research organisations across the Island or Ireland, this novel and exciting 18 month project (for a Master's Degree by Research) is part of an international collaborative network to target bovine tuberculosis between University College Dublin, Queen’s University Belfast and Agri-Food Biosciences Institute.

Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) continues to cause significant economic and animal welfare issues across Ireland and UK. As it also has zoonotic potential, eradication efforts are a priority. Our preliminary findings suggest a potential role for vitamin D in the activation of an effective immune response against mycobacteria which cause bTB. Through the use of novel epidemiological and immunological approaches, the project will aim to examine the extent of vitamin D insufficiency in TB-infected herds across the Island of Ireland with focus on recurrence of infection, and by doing so contribute towards the control of this important disease. 

The student will be registered at QUB, but the applicant will be expected to contribute to on farm sample collection on specific farms across Ireland. Training on cutting edge molecular biology and vitamin D assessments will be provided by UCD. Therefore, a flexible work schedule will be offered in return for multi-disciplinary training across 3 leading research institutes in Ireland and the UK. This project represents a very exciting opportunity to contribute to new knowledge of relevance to infectious disease susceptibility with practical significance.

Applicants should have a 2.1 degree or higher in veterinary medicine, molecular biology, immunology, agricultural or natural science, or a related subject.

Award of the studentship will be subject to receipt of two satisfactory references (details of referees to be provided by the candidate in the online application process).

Start Date: 4 January 2023

Duration: 18 months

How to apply: Applications must be submitted (under Application Type Postgraduate Research) via: https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php

Applicants must upload a letter of interest and CV in the Proposal section of the online application.

For informal enquiries please contact either Dr Kieran Meade () or Professor Ilias Kyriazakis ().


Funding Notes

Stipend is valued at £15,896 / €18,389 per annum, plus an additional payment for fees.
Applicants must qualify as UK or ROI, i.e. must qualify for "Home" fees at Queen's University Belfast:
- UK national and ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to September 2022;
- Non-UK national ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to September 2022, with settled status or indefinite leave to remain in the UK;
- Irish national resident in the Republic of Ireland (provisional - subject to publication of Northern Ireland Assembly student fees regulations).
For further information, please see: View Website

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