Research Opportunities

  • Details of funding opportunities will be advertised on this page when they become available, or look at research opportunities across the whole university.

  • Applications are invited to undertake an exciting opportunity to work at the interface between academia and industry. 

    1.  Characterisation of the aphid nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene family   
    Dr A Jones, Prof Isabel Bermudez, Mr James Goodchild. 

    Deadline for second intake is the 9th of March 2018.

    In order to apply applicants need to download and complete the application form from here and send it with a CV to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk.

    Applicants may contact Dr Andrew Jones for any programme-related inquiries, and contact Research Administrator for any non-academic queries.


    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) mediate fast synaptic transmission in insects and are targets of effective insecticides such as neonicotinoids. For protecting crops, neonicotinoids have become the most widely used class of insecticides in the world. However, their use has been restricted in the European Union amidst fears that they are having adverse effects on pollinators such as the honey bee, Apis mellifera. This has resulted in the use of an older class of pesticides, pyrethroids, to which pests have become resistant. There is thus the need to develop novel pest control agents that have higher selectivity for pests over beneficial species and which allow more effective resistance management strategies. 

    The successful candidate will functionally/pharmacologically characterise nAChRs of the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, which is a major pest of crops, and of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, which is an important pollinator of crops. The aim is to determine aphid-specific features that can be exploited for the future development of insecticides that are highly selective towards pest species whilst sparing beneficial insects. The project will provide opportunities for training in skills from several diverse disciplines including molecular biology, pharmacology, electrophysiology, modelling of protein structure and ligand-binding dynamics. 

    The research will take place at Oxford Brookes University with a placement at Syngenta’s International Research Centre at Jealott’s Hill in Berkshire.   

    This project is supported through the Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) studentship programme. The student recruited to this project will join a cohort of students enrolled in the DTP’s interdisciplinary training programme, and will be able to take full advantage of the training and networking opportunities available through the DTP. For further, details please visit  http://www.biodtp.ox.ac.uk<2>

    About The Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership:

    The  Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) programme is a 4-year DPhil*/PhD programme that aims to equip a new generation of researchers with the skills and knowledge needed to tackle the most important challenges in bioscience research.

    We provide an innovative, individually-tailored training programme that includes taught courses in interdisciplinary skills and the opportunity for students to undertake two exploratory research projects with prospective supervisors in their first year before choosing their main 3-year research project. Students also undertake a 12-week professional internship to gain direct experience of the areas of work into which they can apply their skills.

    Oxford Brookes University are offering places on the BBSRC funded DTP within the Department of Biological & Medical Sciences in the areas of plant cell biology, virology, insect and spider development, mammalian cell biology, molecular biology, metabolic modelling/systems biology, parasitology and bioimaging. The successful candidates will enjoy access to our state of the art facilities, including newly refurbished laboratories and bioimaging suite.

    In addition to their choice of PhD project at Oxford Brookes University, the student will be able to undertake their exploratory research projects at any of the seven world-class research institutions that make up the DTP:

    The programme is supported by the  Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) with additional support from within the Partnership.


    Funding notes:

    BBSRC eligibility criteria apply. EU nationals who do not meet BBSRC residence criteria are encouraged to contact the programme administrator to check their eligibility for BBSRC funding before submitting a formal application. Successful students will receive a stipend of no less than the standard RCUK stipend rate, currently set at £14,777 per year, which will usually be supplemented by the industrial partner.

    PhD Logos

    Applications are invited to undertake an exciting opportunity to work at the interface between academia and industry. 

    2.  Gene regulation in baculovirus-infected insect cells    

    Professor Linda King

    Deadline for second intake is the 9th of March 2018.

    In order to apply applicants need to download and complete the application form from  here and send it with a CV to hlsapplications@brookes.ac.uk.

    Applicants may contact Professor Linda King and Dr David Carter for any programme-related inquiries, and contact Research Administrator for any non-academic queries.

    The Department of Biological & Medical Sciences has a fully-funded 4 year iCASE studentship starting September 2018.  We welcome applications from final year Bioscience students expecting to graduate with a 2.1/1st or Master’s students.

    This iCASE award is with Professor Linda King in the Insect Virology Research Group and is in collaboration with OBU spin-out company Oxford Expression Technologies Ltd (www.oetltd.com), who are based in the Tonge Bioinnovation Hub and are providing a top up to the normal BBSRC bursary.

    The project involves studying the control of expression of baculovirus genes that are used to drive high levels of recombinant protein production in insect cells.  The baculovirus expression system is used to make VLPs and other protein complexes as vaccines, however, baculovirus particles often co-purify with VLPs.  This project aims to understand gene regulation so that we can potentially switch off core virus particle production during scale-up of protein production for vaccine use.  The project provides good experience of a broad range of modern bioscience research techniques as well as their application in biotechnology. 

    This project is supported through the Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) studentship programme. The student recruited to this project will join a cohort of students enrolled in the DTP’s interdisciplinary training programme, and will be able to take full advantage of the training and networking opportunities available through the DTP. For further, details please visit www.biodtp.ox.ac.uk

     

    About The Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership:

    The Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership programme provides training for graduates from a life science or physical science background who wish to conduct leading edge bioscience research. Research areas within the programme include integrative animal and plant biology, mechanistic molecular and cellular biology, agriculture and food security, and industrial biotechnology and bioenergy. 

    You will undertake a four-year doctoral training programme (leading to in this case a PhD at Oxford Brookes). In your first term you are based at the Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) at the University of Oxford and undertake an individually-tailored training programme that includes training in research skills such as mathematics and statistics, programming, imaging and image analysis, bioinformatics, and modelling biological processes and systems. You will also undertake 2 x 3 month research projects and can also access a wide variety of additional training provided across the partnership (which includes Oxford Brookes) throughout your doctoral studies.

    The DTP’s core training programme draws on expertise in all seven partner organisations and you will have the opportunity to visit different sites and learn about the facilities and expertise available across these organisations during the initial training phase.

    Years 2-4 will be spent in the Insect Virus Research Group with about 6 months within OET Ltd.

    The programme is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) with additional support from within the Partnership.

    Funding notes:

    BBSRC eligibility criteria apply. EU nationals who do not meet BBSRC residence criteria are encouraged to contact the programme administrator to check their eligibility for BBSRC funding before submitting a formal application. Successful students will receive a stipend of no less than the standard RCUK stipend rate, currently set at £14,777 per year, which will usually be supplemented by the industrial partner.