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Sequencing the m6A (epi)transcriptome of C. elegans (AKAYU20DTP2)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, November 25, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Regulation of gene expression is essential for the development and survival of organisms and RNA is at the centre of many gene regulatory processes. There are more than 150 diverse chemical modifications found on RNA. Recent discoveries have shown that RNA modifications are dynamically regulated and they play key roles in gene regulatory mechanisms. Research in our RNA (epi)genetics group focuses on the role of RNA methylations in germline development and germ cell proliferation using the nematode C. elegans as an animal model.

The PhD project is aimed at comprehensive identification of m6A (N6-methyladenosine) modified transcripts during C. elegans development using the latest RNA-sequencing approaches. In addition, the project will combine C. elegans genetics with sequencing approaches to identify the target RNAs of the m6A methyltransferase METT-10 (human METTL16). METT-10 is an essential m6A methyltransferase required for germ cell proliferation. This is a highly exciting area of molecular biology and the project will generate novel data that will benefit many other research groups and will lead to important insights into how m6A modified transcripts affect germ cells.

We offer a multidisciplinary and supportive environment. The student will be jointly supported by our group and the group of Dr Wilfried Haerty at the Earlham Institute. The student will have a wide range of support to learn different techniques (molecular biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics) and will interact with national and international laboratories working on RNA modifications.

The student will attend conferences, seminars and our annual laboratory retreat. The student will be given internal and external mentorship and career development support. Our new RNA (epi)genetics laboratory is funded by a prestigious UK Research and Innovation funding and provides generous resources and instruments.

Project supervisor:
Project sponsor: Norwich Research Park Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership
Type of programme: PhD
Start date: 1 October 2020
Mode of study: Full-time
Studentship length: 4 years


- First degree (2:1 or above) in relevant subject
- English language (IELTS 6.5 overall, 6 in each section)


This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRP DTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: View Website. Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

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