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National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) – Multiple PhD Projects.

Biological Sciences Research

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Monday 31 December 2018
Reference:  966718BJ

PhD Supervisor/co-supervisors: PhD supervisors drawn from collaborating institutions within NBIC consortium (lead by the Universities of Southampton, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Nottingham together with a UK-wide consortium of partnering Universities, research institutes and industry hub).                   

Application Deadline: Varies by project. 

Interviews will be held in: Varies by project.


PhD Description:  

Biofilms are central to some of the most urgent global challenges and exert considerable economic impact across industry sectors.  They are a leading cause of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), forecast to cost $100tn in world GDP and 10m deaths by 2050. Biofilms are also a major cause of chronic infections, costing the NHS £2bn p.a. Contamination, energy losses and damage by biofilms impact on the £70bn UK foods industry, the $2.8 trillion consumer products sector, and $117bn global coatings industry. Biofilm management is essential to deliver clean and globally sustainable drinking water and food safety and security. 

The National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC) is a BBSRC and Innovate UK-funded Innovation and Knowledge Centre. Launched in Nov 2017, NBIC will bring together world-class research and industry to deliver breakthrough technologies in the control and exploitation of biofilms. 

Working with our industry partners, NBIC PhD projects will work across 4 strategic themes: to prevent, detect, manage and engineer biofilms. Examples of PhD project areas include (but are not limited to):

Prevent: Prevention of early stage microbial adhesion and colonisation events at surfaces. Advanced techniques to create knowledge-based design of next-generation surfaces and biofilm prevention strategies.

Detect: Accurate, quantitative biofilm detection and metrology across multiple scales through innovative sensing, tracking and diagnostic technologies. Identify and exploit new and known biofilm-specific biomarkers including those for AMR resistance gene monitoring.

Manage: To kill, remove or control established biofilms by understanding and exploiting their life cycle dynamics and development across a range of environments and levels of complexity.

Engineer: Harness the benefits of complex microbial consortia from knowledge of their composition, function, ecology and evolution. Exploit biofilm understanding at the interface with engineering and process applications e.g. wastewater technology, biotechnology, resource recovery, microbial fuel cells, aerobic and anaerobic biorefinery. 

Each of our core institutions (Southampton, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Liverpool) has an international track record in basic and translational research in biofilms and each partner brings distinctive expertise and infrastructure, placing interdisciplinary excellence across the core of the NBIC.  NBIC’s research collaboration spans the UK: our (currently) 14 associate partners   represent many of the leading biofilm research groups across the UK providing a powerful critical mass of basic scientists, engineers and clinicians. Most projects will be joint with industry and PhD students will have  unique opportunities for highly multidisciplinary and intersectorial training.  

Projects will be funded for either three or four years and NBIC welcomes applicants from the UK and EU who have or expect to obtain at least an upper second class degree in Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Materials Science or allied subjects. Funding will cover fees and a stipend at current research council rates per annum for 2017/18, subject to rise for 2018/19 entrants. 

Due to funding restrictions this position is only open to UK/EU applicants

Potential candidates who are interested in a PhD with NBIC should register at www.biofilms.ac.uk and you will be informed of new and upcoming PhD opportunities.   

Applications will be considered in the order that they are received, and the positions will be considered filled when a suitable candidate has been identified

[The NBIC Universities all hold Athena Swan Silver or Bronze Awards, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.   Due consideration will be given to applicants who have taken a career break. University benefits include onsite childcare facilities, state-of-the-art on-campus sports, arts and culture facilities, a full programme of events and a range of staff discounts].

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