School of Pharmacy
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EU/UK Funded Vacancies

Funded by research councils, charities and industry, these studentships cover tuition fees and, for most UK and some EU students, provide more than £13,000 per year towards living expenses. They last four years, or three if you already have an MRes, MSc or other postgraduate degree.

Male student working with a microscope

 

How to use the table

We've listed specific positions with secured funding in the table below. Clicking on a member of staff's name will take you to their personal home page whereas clicking on a PhD title will show more details about that particular project. If your research interest isn't listed, please contact us to talk about potential opportunities.

Abbreviations: (AMHT) Advanced Materials and Healthcare Technologies, (BSMC) Biomolecular Science and Medicinal Chemistry, (MTF) Molecular Therapeutics and Formulation, (PPP) Pharmacy Practice and Policy, (RMCT) Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapies 

Research Opportunities (EU/UK students)

DivisionMember of StaffTitle

PPP

Claire Anderson, Tracey Thornley and Matthew Boyd

Patients’ interactions with community pharmacists 

AMHT

Dong-Hyun Kim, Dave Barrett

Monitoring bacterial metabolism using advanced metabolomics mehtods

BSMC

Sebastiaan Winkler, Anca Pordea

PhD Biotechnology (4 years): Genetic engineering of isoprene synthase

BSMC 

Michael Stocks

Synthesis and evaluation of lung tissue-retentive prodrugs

MTF 

Phil Williams

Computational Approches to Determining Biomaterial Design Rules

RMCT 

James Dixon

Transient Immortalisation for Patient Stem Cell Expansion and Therapeutic Application

 

Ricky Wildman , Christopher Tuck 

Design and fabrication of thermo-hygro responsive materials for on demand topography

AMHT 

Morgan Alexander

Design and fabrication of thermo-hygro responsive materials for on demand topography

MTF 

Frankie Rawson, Cameron Alexander and Phil Hill

Cellular-Redox Driven Fabrication of Biomimetic Polymers

MTF

Phil Williams

Interdisciplinary High Performance Computing

 

Current research opportunities 

Patients’ interactions with community pharmacists 

Supervisors: Prof Claire Anderson, Prof Tracey Thornley and Dr Mathhew Boyd

An opportunity exists to undertake a PhD which is being jointly funded by the University of Nottingham and Boots UK. 

With an ageing population, and increased number of multiple long term conditions, patients’ needs and expectations are changing. The NHS is embracing new technology to help support the increase in demand (which includes how people access advice and services, management of prescriptions, and sharing of records to facilitate person centred care). This PhD will evaluate the different ways that patients get advice about their medicines (face to face, digital portal, combination), specifically focusing on how patients interact with pharmacists now and in the future, and their changing behaviour towards medication access, self-care and advice. The student will be expected to conduct both qualitative and quantitative analysis, including some health economic analysis around the benefits to patients and the NHS of the different modes of access. 

The successful student will have a standard stipend of £14,553 pa per year. Please note that this is a full time PhD. The stipend payable is standard for students, and is not on top of normal wages. It will be up to the successful student if they wish to take on an additional part time job to supplement their income. 

The PhD starts in autumn 2017, and will be supervised by Professor Claire Anderson, Professor Tracey Thornley and Dr Matthew Boyd 

Interested applicants should apply via the on-line application form 

Any questions then please contact Professor Claire Anderson (Claire.anderson@nottingham.ac.uk)   Closing date for applications is Oct 31


 

Monitoring bacterial metabolism using advanced metabolomics methods

Supervisors: Dr Dong-Hyun Kim, Prof Dave Barrett

SYNBIO

Project Description

The University of Nottingham seeks an enthusiastic PhD candidate to work on an exciting multi-disciplinary project that brings together the techniques of synthetic biology, analytical science and systems biology. 

This 4-year PhD project is part of a University-funded Doctoral Training Programme in Synthetic Biology and associated with Nottingham’s new BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre. Students will benefit from a training in a range of widely applicable techniques, including through specialist workshops, lectures and seminars, as well as participation in Nottingham’s yearly BBSRC DTP Spring School event. This studentship will be based in the School of Pharmacy with collaborative links to the School of Life Sciences and the School of Mathematical Sciences. 

The project will focus on understanding bacterial cell metabolism under specific growth conditions and predicting metabolic phenotypes after genetic and/or environmental perturbations. Experimental work will involve the development and application of metabolic flux analysis based on LC-MS based metabolomics data. Quantitative models will built based on generated data in order to monitor the metabolism of a variety of bacterial species. The overall aim is to integrate metabolomics data into the systematic development of metabolic engineering strategies. 

For further information about this studentship, please contact Dr Dong-Hyun Kim (dong-hyun.kim@nottingham.ac.uk). 

To apply on-line, please access: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/apply-online.aspx 

Funding Notes

This 4-year PhD studentship will includes tuition fees for home/EU students and an annual stipend equivalent to current Research Council rates. This opportunity is available with stipend and tuition fees payable to UK and EU candidates. 


 

PhD Biotechnology (4 years): Genetic engineering of isoprene synthase

Supervisors: Dr Sebastiaan Winkler (School of Pharmacy) amd Dr Anca Pordea (Faculty of Engineering)

This project will use protein engineering to improve enzymes required for the efficient production of isoprene from renewable resources. Isoprene is an industrial chemical widely used in the polymer industry, and mainly produced from petrochemical feedstocks.  Sustainable solutions for isoprene synthesis have been proposed, which rely on the engineering of biosynthetic isoprene pathways in microbes. These pathways use isoprene synthase (IspS) to convert dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP) into isoprene. IspS is relatively inefficient, with low turnover and high KM, as well as poor soluble microbial expression. To achieve commercially relevant yields of isoprene, improvement of IspS is necessary.

The aim of this project is to develop an isoprene synthase with improved solubility and catalytic efficiency, to be integrated into an engineered pathway for the microbial production of isoprene. First, you will investigate the isoprene production ability of a range of plant isoprene synthase candidates. Codon optimised IspS genes will be synthesised and their soluble expression in E. coli will be investigated. After identification of a suitable candidate, site-directed mutagenesis based on homology models will be used to improve catalytic activity and solubility. Medium-sized libraries will be screened on lysates for the conversion of DMAPP to isoprene, using established GC methods.

The project will involve skills relevant to enzyme engineering for biotechnology applications, including molecular biology and microbiology, protein expression and purification, computational methods, and competence in analytical techniques (especially HPLC, GC, GCMS). Training will be provided where necessary. Good communication skills are important.

This PhD project is part of a University-funded Doctoral Training Programme in Synthetic Biology and associated with Nottingham’s new BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre. Students will benefit from a diverse range of training opportunities, including specialist workshops, lectures and seminars, as well as participation in Nottingham’s yearly BBSRC DTP Spring School event.

Applications are invited from UK/EU nationals with a background in chemistry, biochemistry, (bio)chemical engineering or a related discipline, who have or expect to graduate with a first-class or good 2:1 honours degree, or a distinction or high merit at MSc level (or international equivalent). The studentship will cover full PhD tuition fees and a tax free stipend for four years for UK/EU students.

To make an application, please contact Anca Pordea  directly, with a covering letter stating clearly how you fulfil the requirements of the studentship and your research interests, and include a CV, an academic transcript, and the names and addresses of two academic referees. The position will remain open until filled.


 

Synthesis and evaluation of lung tissue-retentive prodrugs

Summary:

Supervisors: Michael Stocks and Cynthia Bosquillon

The PhD studentship is an industrial EPSRC iCASE  in collaboration with the GlaxoSmithKline inhalation Therapeutic Area Unit. Inhalation is an increasingly important delivery approach for therapeutic agents to the lung. The project seeks to prepare novel pH-triggered lung tissue-retentive prodrugs to deliver drugs in a more efficacious and safe manner and involves chemically linking a set of drug molecules to a lung tissue-retentive groups, generating a set of prodrugs that become activated through a novel pH-sensitive linking group. The main objectives for this project lie in synthetic organic/medicinal chemistry with the design and synthesis of conjugate prodrugs that are activated at pH >6.5, the pH of the lung surface environment, to release the drug over a time course of up to 12-24 hours; coupled with the establishment of analytical methods to define the mechanism of the pH-sensitive activation and measure the decomposition of the prodrugs over the experimental time course. The project will have a strong synthetic chemistry focus, with the student gaining specific training on the use of key experimental techniques and equipment employed in modern synthetic organic medicinal chemistry. Training will be provided in synthetic organic medicinal chemistry giving the research student a strong platform to launch their future career. The work will be based at the School of Pharmacy in Nottingham.  Informal enquiries to: Dr Michael Stocks  and Dr Cynthia Bosquillon

Funding Notes:

The project is available from 1st October 2017 and will be of 4-year duration and is open to UK and EU students with a 2(i) degree in chemistry, pharmacy or a related discipline. This award includes University tuition fees for a student with EU/UK citizenship, and a stipend at standard EPSRC rates.  Due to funding restrictions this studentship is only open to UK/EU students.  EU students are only eligible to receive tuition fees (no stipend), unless they fulfil residency criteria. More details about eligibility criteria. Applications accepted until post is filled.

Key words:

Synthetic chemistry; medicinal chemistry; organic chemistry.


 

Computational Approaches to Determining Biomaterial Design Rules

Supervisor: Phil Williams

Project Description

A funded PhD studentship is available at the University of Nottingham. The successful candidate will be linked to the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Programme Grant in Next Generation Biomaterials Discovery ( http://tinyurl.com/BiomaterialsDiscovery ). This studentship will be based in the School of Pharmacy. 

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/biomaterials-discovery/ 

Computational Approaches to Determining Biomaterial Design Rules: 
 The role of material attributes in controlling cell response (such as adhesion, differentiation, growth, death) can be captured in structure-property relationships (SPRs). Developments in mathematics have identified efficient feature selection and nonlinear mapping methods that are well matched to the problems of identifying complex SPRs in the data generated in physical, chemical and biological experimental research. One approach we are adopting to discovering this mapping of features of experimental results to cell fate is through regularized neural networks. Previously, we have demonstrated the applicability of computed descriptors and experimental measurements to modelling the relationships between the surface chemistry of polymers and the response of cells exposed to the planar surface of these materials. To increase the power of such modelling and reveal greater insight of the relationships between the response of cells in a 3D environment of the new materials that we are discovering requires the generation of new and better molecular descriptions that cover the widening spectrum of physical, chemical and biological properties. 

This project aims to significantly expand knowledge of molecular descriptors and their use in materials design by application of computational approaches (chemoinformatics, bioinformatics, in silico evolution, etc.) to identify SPRs in our high throughput materials synthesis and characterisation research. The project will utilize the extensive computational facilities available locally at the University of Nottingham and the new Tier-2 HPC Midlands Plus computational facilities. 

Advanced biomaterials are an essential part of meeting healthcare challenges facing society, such as antimicrobial resistance and realising the potential of regenerative medicine to treat chronic disease. This Programme Grant aims to realise the vision of materials screening and discovery in 3D. This will allow us to move beyond the existing limited range of bioresorbable polymeric drug and cell delivery agents and medical device materials to bespoke biomaterials identified for specific applications. These studentships will also link with existing CDTs (Centres for Doctoral Training) including: CDT in Advanced Therapeutics and Nanomedicine, CDT in Regenerative Medicine and CDT in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing. 

Interested applicants should contact Phil Williams (Phil.Williams@nottingham.ac.uk ) and Elizabeth Hudson (Elizabeth.Hudson@nottingham.ac.uk) for more information and to send them a copy of your application. To apply please complete the online application form available at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/how-to-apply.aspx including a CV and quoting “EPSRC PG PhD”. 

Funding Notes

The funded PhD project will be undertaken for the full 4 years of PhD funding with concurrent transferable skills training (includes tax free stipend: £14,057 in 2015/16). This opportunity is available with stipend and fees payable to UK or EU candidates.


 

Transient Immortalisation for Patient Stem Cell Expansion and Therapeutic Application

Supervisor: James Dixon

Theme:

Precision Medicine: Pathology to Population Health 

Abstract:   

Human adult stem cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs; derived from tissues such as bone marrow, fat or circulating blood) have low proliferative capacity and a finite life-span. Many regenerative medicine applications employ hMSCs; however lack of expandability and senescence significantly inhibits their autologous clinical adoption. This is even more evident from diseased or elderly donors. Using a peptide-mediated delivery system for RNA created in our group, we demonstrated enhanced cell proliferation by transient delivery of immortalisation factors as RNAs. This process ‘resets’ cellular senescence without heritable genetic modification. 

This MRC DTP PhD project will apply this technology to hMSCs derived from ‘problematic’ patient clinical groups. We have generated cells with doubling times of circa 2 days which compares with low passage hMSCs which double every 3 to 4 days dependent on health and age of donor. The student will focus on elderly and diabetic donor hMSCs and aim to ‘reset the clock’ so they can be efficiently expanded. This research will allow transformative patient-specific cell therapy approaches that would not presently be achievable for those donors that are likely to demonstrate problems in stem cell expansion. 

For applications to the MRC IMPACT DTP at Birmingham, please follow this link:

http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/mds-graduate-school/scholarships/mrc-impact/index.aspx

Full details of projects are listed under themes, together with information on how to apply and eligibility to apply.  The application deadline is 16 January 2017

James E. Dixon, Ph.D  
UKRMP Senior Research Fellow in Stem Cell Technologies 
Tissue Engineering Group
Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling (STEM)
Centre for Biomolecular Sciences (CBS), B59
School of Pharmacy
University Park
University of Nottingham
Nottingham
NG7 2RD
UK 


 

Design and fabrication of thermo-hygro responsive materials for on demand topography

Supervisors: Ricky Wildman, Christopher Tuck

Combinations of thermo and/or hygro responsive material will be screened for cell affinity and control and for properties facilitating 3D printing. Promising candidate materials will be formulated into inks that can then be formed through ink jet based 3D printing into multimaterial structures that have a defined material response. Combinations of materials can be layered or distributed in a manner informed by design optimisation techniques that will allow on demand creation of topography, potentially enabling the control of cell function on the fly.

The successful candidate will be linked to the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Programme Grant in Next Generation Biomaterials Discovery  

Advanced biomaterials are an essential part of meeting healthcare challenges facing society, such as antimicrobial resistance and realising the potential of regenerative medicine to treat chronic disease. This Programme Grant aims to realise the vision of materials screening and discovery in 3D. This will allow us to move beyond the existing limited range of bioresorbable polymeric drug and cell delivery agents and medical device materials to bespoke biomaterials identified for specific applications. The studentship will also link with existing CDTs (Centres for Doctoral Training) including: CDT in Advanced Therapeutics and Nanomedicine, CDT in Regenerative Medicine and CDT in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing.

Funding:

The funded PhD projects will be undertaken for the full 4 years of PhD funding with concurrent transferable skills training (includes tax free stipend: £14,057 in 2015/16).Eligibility: This opportunity is available with stipend and fees payable to UK or EU candidates. 


Interested applicants should contact Prof Morgan Alexander and Elizabeth Hudson for more information and to send them a copy of your application. To apply please complete the online application form including a CV and quoting “EPSRC PG PhD”.


 

Design and fabrication of thermo-hygro responsive materials for on demand topography


Advanced biomaterials are an essential part of meeting healthcare challenges facing society, such as antimicrobial resistance and realising the potential of regenerative medicine to treat chronic disease. This Programme Grant aims to realise the vision of materials screening and discovery in 3D. This will allow us to move beyond the existing limited range of bioresorbable polymeric drug and cell delivery agents and medical device materials to bespoke biomaterials identified for specific applications.


Combinations of thermo and/or hygro responsive material will be screened for cell affinity and control and for properties facilitating 3D printing. Promising candidate materials will be formulated into inks that can then be formed through ink jet based 3D printing into multimaterial structures that have a defined material response. Combinations of materials can be layered or distributed in a manner informed by design optimisation techniques that will allow on demand creation of topography, potentially enabling the control of cell function on the fly. 


This funded PhD studentship is available at the University of Nottingham and the successful candidate will be linked to the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Programme Grant in Next Generation Biomaterials Discovery. This studentship will be based in the School of Engineering at the University of Nottingham.


This studentship will also link with existing CDTs (Centres for Doctoral Training) including: CTD in Advanced Therapeutics and Nanomedicine, CDT in Regenerative Medicine and CDT in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing.

Funding:

The funded PhD project will be undertaken for the full 4 years of PhD funding with concurrent transferable skills training, starting September 2016 (includes tax free stipend: £14,057 in 2015/16).


Eligibility: 

This opportunity is available with stipend and fees payable to UK or EU candidates with a relevant First class degree. 


Closing Date: 

The deadline is 22 July 2016.


Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to make early contact with Elizabeth Hudson (Elizabeth.Hudson@nottingham.ac.uk) for more information and to send a copy of your application (CV, covering letter and academic transcripts).

Please note that we are unable to assess applications without academic transcripts. More information on the EPSRC Programme Grant can be found by following this link.

Please complete the online application form including a CV and quoting “EPSRC PhD”.


 

Cellular-Redox Driven Fabrication of Biomimetic Polymers

Supervisory Team: Dr Frankie J Rawson (School of Pharmacy), Prof Cameron Alexander (School of Pharmacy) Dr Phil Hill (School of Biosciences)

Applications are invited for this 4-year PhD project which is part of a University-funded Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) in Synthetic Biology and associated with Nottingham’s new BBSRC/EPSRC Synthetic Biology Research Centre. Students will benefit from a diverse range of training opportunities, including specialist workshops, lectures and seminars, as well as participation in Nottingham’s yearly BBSRC DTP Spring School event.

Magennis, EP et al (Nature Materials 2014)1 recently reported that bacterial redox systems have been exploited to induce a copper-mediated radical polymerization of synthetic monomers at cell surfaces. The aim of this PhD will be to develop a new synthetic biology approach for the synthesis of biomimetic polymers, by genetic engineering of cells with iron reducing proteins to facilitate redox driven cell surface synthesis of polymers via iron mediated polymerisation.

The project is available from 1st October 2016 and is open to UK and EU students with a 2(i) degree in chemistry, pharmacy, biochemistry, or a related discipline. The work will be based at the School of Pharmacy and School of Biosciences in Nottingham and may involve travel to collaborators (Prof Mitsuo Sawamoto and Associate Prof Makoto Ouchi) from Kyoto University, Faculty of Engineering Polymer Chemistry, Japan.

The supervision team for this project is multi-disciplinary, enabling training in a wide-range of subjects and techniques spanning chemistry and biology.

Informal enquiries to Dr Frankie Rawson  

References

(1) Magennis, E. P.et al Nat Mater 2014, 13, 748.


 

Studentships in Interdisciplinary High Performance Computing

The University of Nottingham’s doctoral training centre in Interdisciplinary High Performance Computing was established to meet the national and international need for strong physical scientists and engineers with advanced skills in the theory and application of high performance computing to applied areas, and provide a comprehensive training programme and facilitate leading-edge research in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences. 

iHPC underpins the University’s strong position in the Physical Sciences and Engineering, that are ranked 4th nationally in RAE 2008.

For more information about these studentships and for application details please contact Professor Phil Williams, tel: 0115 9515025 or email phil.williams@nottingham.ac.uk

School of Pharmacy

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

For all enquiries please visit:
www.nottingham.ac.uk/enquiry