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Development of microbiome and immune-based biomarkers of poultry gut health (NARBADQ18ICASE2)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, March 12, 2018
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The animal gastrointestinal tract contains trillions of microbes that play a critical role in their health and wellbeing. Commercial poultry birds are exposed to a range of environmental stressors which have the potential to disturb their gut microbiome and adversely impact gut function and health. This studentship will investigate the impact of environmental stressors on the structure and function of the gut microbiome and immune status with the objective of identifying novel biomarkers of poultry gut health. This will not only give a greater understanding of the gut health complex but also enable the development of novel phenotypes for use in poultry breeding programs to allow selection of birds with improved intestinal robustness when faced with these stressors. Ultimately this project will impact in the area of sustainable food production within the context of high welfare farming with associated potential to reduce the need for antibiotic treatments.

The student will be hosted in the new Quadram Institute(QI) with state-of-the-art facilities for microbiome research. The project will provide stimulating academic research and training environment in QI as well as in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford where the student will use state of the art immunological methods to assess immune development under the supervision of Prof Adrian Smith. The student will also gain experience of industry relevant research with the CASE partner Aviagen, the world’s leading primary poultry breeder. The project will provide excellent training in gut microbiology, microbial ecology, immunology, commercial poultry production and animal welfare that will make the candidate highly suitable for employment in academia or industry.


This Industrial CASE 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 on the 11th April 2018.
The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) 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. 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: http://biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/the-programme/industrial-case

Funding Notes

Studentship covers a stipend (£15,777pa; RCUK 18/19 rate: £14,777pa + £1000 CASE enhancement), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK/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, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: View Website

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