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University of Reading Featured PhD Programmes

The circadian clock in the ageing plant

Department of Biology

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Dr D Ezer , Prof S J Davis No more applications being accepted Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Plants respond to environmental signals in a time-of-day dependent manner,
but we do not yet know how this process is affected by age. In the long term,
we would like to predict how changes in weather throughout a growth season
will influence a plant, so farmers can plan their harvests even under
unpredictable weather patterns caused by climate change.

This PhD project will investigate how the genetic targets of the circadian clock
change as plants age, with a focus on environmental signaling and
developmental genes. We are looking for a candidate that wants to develop
into a well-rounded computational and experimental scientist. For instance, a
great candidate could be a statistics or computer science graduate who wants
some exposure to experimental work or a biology student who wishes to focus
their PhDs on bioinformatics and statistics.

From a ‘data science’ perspective, the project is interesting because it will
include ‘time series’ of ‘time series’ across different time scales
(developmental time series of circadian time series). From a biological
perspective, it focusses on a fundamental question: how is circadian
regulation of gene expression affected by aging?

Funding Notes

This is a BBSRC White Rose DTP studentship fully funded for four years and covers: (i) a tax-free annual stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£15,009 estimated for 2020 entry), (ii) research costs, and (iii) tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.


Entry requirements: Students with, or expecting to gain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. The interdisciplinary nature of this research project means that we welcome applications from students with backgrounds in any biological, chemical, and/or physical science, or students with mathematical backgrounds who are interested in using their skills in addressing biological questions.

ELIGIBILITY: This studentship is only available to UK/EU students who have been residing in the UK for at least three years continuously prior to the start date of the PhD.

Interviews expected to take place on a date to be confirmed in February 2020.
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