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Understanding comparative aspects of implantation in placental mammals

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Dr N Forde, Dr V Pensabene, Dr M. O'Connell  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This innovative project brings together the research areas of placental and uterine biology, computational molecular evolutionary biology, as well as Bioengineering to understand how a fundamental process for pregnancy success occurs. The focus of this project will be to further validate 3D endometrial systems involving organoids, microfluidics, and extracellular scaffolds across mammalian species with different implantation strategies. These will then be used to understand how maternal environmental stresses alter implantation success. 

Specifically, this project will address three main questions:

1)    Do our in vitro 3D endometrial tools recapitulate the in vivo scenario?

2)    What coding and non-coding components of the genome regulate implantation and are these conserved across placental mammals?

3)    How do stresses in the mother alter these interactions?

Collectively these questions will enhance our understanding of the regulation and function of the uterus in early pregnancy in mammals with different placental morphologies.


You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

To apply for this project applicants should complete an online application form and attach the following documentation to support their application. 

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).

To help us identify that you are applying for this studentship please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;

  • Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study
  • When asked for source of funding please make it clear that you are applying for a "White Rose BBSRC DTP Studentship"
  • Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert. You can be considered for up to 3 projects in total.

If you have any further queries regarding this opportunity, please contact [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

This opportunity is funded by the White Rose BBSRC DTP and will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £17,668 (based on the 2022/23 rate). The award will also cover academic fees. This opportunity is available to UK and International fee rated applicants. Please note that any expenses related to the relocation of international students to the UK (visa, insurance, NHS fees, flights, etc) would be their responsibility and are not covered by this award.

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