PhD Studentship Opportunities

NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Gastrointestinal Infections

Conventional approaches to controlling diarrhoeal diseases have not reduced the overall disease burden or the associated inequalities. Developing new means of understanding and investigating diarrhoeal diseases in the context of people’s lives remain an urgent priority for their control. A novel research programme that will integrate the best in natural science and social science methodologies will be employed. The NIHR HPRU Gastrointestinal Infections will explore and explain the distribution of diarrhoeal diseases in the population, establishing for whom the disease burden is greatest and why. We will resolve how best to deploy novel technologies and develop and apply new methodology for investigating outbreaks and detecting pathogens in the environment. The NIHR HPRU will generate new models to show how diarrhoeal diseases are transmitted, and investigate how pathogens interact with normal gut microbiota in health and disease. An integrated, inter-disciplinary research programme will generate new strategies for control, meeting Public Health England’s main objectives of addressing inequalities, protecting the country from infectious diseases, and being an evidence-led organisation that provides answers to public health problems.

The NIHR HPRU in Gastrointestinal Infections combines the complementary strengths of the Universities of East Anglia (UEA), Liverpool, Oxford, and the Institute for Food Research in partnership with Public Health England to create the critical mass of internationally recognised researchers to deliver world-leading health protection research in gastrointestinal infections.

We offer research projects covering a broad spectrum including: health economics, epidemiology, health protection, medicine, microbiology, molecular biology, public health, social sciences, and statistics. Studentships available across the HPRU partner organisations are:

  • People: exploring socio-economic and behavioural factors in gastrointestinal infections - University of Liverpool
  • Places: elucidating the role of environment in gastrointestinal disease outbreaks - University of Liverpool
  • Tracking disease in the population: developing novel methods for disease surveillance and outbreak investigation - University of Oxford
  • Pathogens: exploiting recent advances in genomics - University of Oxford
  • Pathways: understanding transmission of gastrointestinal infection to and between people - University of East Anglia
  • The microbiome: the role of microbial communities in gastrointestinal disease - Institute of Food Research

The positions may be based at either, The University of East Anglia, The University of Liverpool, The University of Oxford, Public Health England (Colindale/ Porton Down) or at the Institute of Food Research, depending on the project. For some projects regular travel between these sites may be required.

Entry requirements:

We invite applications from candidates who have a 2.1 or 1st class degree in a relevant biological science or population science discipline. A Masters degree in a relevant discipline would be an advantage.

Applicants are requested to send a full CV (including the names and email addresses of at least two academic referees), and personal statement. This should state:

  • the theme for which they are applying
  • the project they would be interested in pursuing and an outline of how this programme of research and training will benefit from their past experience and impact upon their career aspirations.

Further Information:

For further information please email, stating your area of interest.

Funding Notes:

This studentship covers the research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements only.