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The biochemical and physiological responses of maize to a low temperature stress during germination and emergence

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Barrero-Sicilia
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

The University invites applications for a PhD student to join our Hertfordshire Knowledge Exchange Partnership (HKEP) scheme. This four-year project requires a PhD student to undertake a collaborative research project with support from University academic supervisor(s) and company scientists.

The project begins with a Knowledge Exchange year in which you are based in the company. Successful completion of the first year will require the submission of a scientific report, research proposal and an oral examination. The successful candidate will then begin a three-year PhD research project in an area of interest to the company.

Duration: 4 years

Company: Plant Impact, Rothamsted, Harpenden


Starts at £14,777 per annum plus approved expenses. All students will also receive a maximum contribution towards their individual tuition fees that is equivalent to the Home/EU student fee in each year of registration.

Project Overview

This project focuses on the biochemical and physiological responses of maize to a low temperature stress during germination and emergence. Using modern genomic and metabolomic methods, a mechanistic model of signalling pathway responses to low temperatures will be developed. The Associate will develop a detailed understanding of the underlying biochemistry and gene regulatory networks associated with the chilling response upon seed germination.

Supervisor Information

• Dr Cristina Barrero-Sicilia, Academic Supervisor
• Professor Bruce Fitt, Academic Co-Supervisor
• Dr Matt Audley, Company Supervisor


The successful candidate’s CV will need to demonstrate the following:

• Minimum upper 2.1 honours in a relevant BSc degree, or equivalent;
• IELTS 6.5 (or above)/TOEFL 79 (if international student);
• Strong written and oral communication skills in English to produce clear, concise and accurate reports are essential;
• Applicant must demonstrate ability to project manage, undertake research through the preparation, setting-up, conducting and recording the outcomes of experiments and field work;
• Must be able to demonstrate sufficient breadth and depth of knowledge within particular research field;
• Demonstrate experience of undertaking research in plant or crop studies, including data collection and presentation of findings;

This studentship is part funded by:
• Ability to prioritise work independently and also as part of the wider research group to deliver research objectives;
• Good interpersonal skills as well as managing competing interests and maintain engagement;

• Interest in agricultural industry and working in a commercial environment;
• Experience of studying or undertaking research in a different country, as well as some experience of land-based industry;
• Knowledge of statistical approaches to experimental design and analysis.

Successful applicants will need to re-locate to the UK; have a willingness and ability to undertake international and/or industrial placements as and when appropriate, and to travel flexibly to attend training activities when required.

Application Process

For further information and to apply for this role please email [Email Address Removed].

Informal enquires should be addressed to Dr Cristina Barrero-Sicilia ([Email Address Removed]). Please note that applications sent directly to these addresses will not be accepted.

If you have not heard within 3 weeks of submitting your application, you have unfortunately been unsuccessful on this occasion.

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