School of Veterinary Medicine and Science


Home and EU funded studentships

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham has a dynamic, vibrant and highly stimulating teaching and research environment with an international blend of students and researchers who are committed to innovative learning and scientific discovery.

PG Certificate studentships   

Postgraduate Certificate Studentship


Project title:

Development of a Differentiation of Infected from Vaccinated Animals (DIVA) diagnostic test for use in conjunction with inactivated louping ill virus vaccine and application to field surveillance.

Principal supervisor:

Dr Janet Daly

Other supervisors:  

Dr Mara Rocchi (Moredun Institute), Dr Kevin Gough (SVMS)


The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science (SVMS) undertakes research on many key aspects of companion animals and livestock health and production. Research at the School is integrated into the University structure with established world class research in biomedical sciences within the other University Schools.  Research undertaken at the School is relevant to both Veterinary Medicine and Science and Comparative and Human Medicine.

Project description:

Louping ill virus (LIV) is a tick-borne virus that is endemic in the Scottish uplands. It causes neurological disease in sheep, which can be fatal. The most effective control measure against LIV is vaccination. Surveillance and vaccine effectiveness studies in the field are hampered by the difficulty in determining whether antibodies detected by the traditional haemagglutination inhibition test are a result of infection or vaccination. Recombinant vaccines that do not express all of the viral proteins allow a diagnostic test to be developed that detects antibodies to proteins only present during natural infection enabling a ‘distinguishing infected from vaccinated animals’ (DIVA) strategy to be employed. However, development of such vaccines is costly and inactivated virus vaccines continue to predominate in livestock vaccination programmes.
The traditional technique of phage display has been revolutionized by combining it with next generation sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. In this project, the next generation phage display approach will be applied to identify peptides recognized by LIV- infected but not vaccinated sheep. These peptides reflect subtle differences in the virus proteins that result from the effect of the chemical treatments used to inactivate the virus for inclusion in the vaccine. The peptides identified will be synthesized and used to develop and validate an ELISA-based assay to detect infection-specific antibodies. This assay will be applied in surveillance studies to evaluate the true prevalence of LIV infection in the field.

The 3 year project is split between two sites, the University of Nottingham’s Sutton Bonington campus and the Moredun Institute, Edinburgh. It is anticipated that the majority of the time will be spend at the Nottingham site initially, with the final stages being conducted at the Moredun Institute.

Further information and Application:

Applicants should have a minimum of a 2.1 undergraduate degree or a minimum of a 2.2 degree and a master’s degree in biological or veterinary sciences or similar subjects. 

Informal enquiries may be addressed to the principal supervisor: 

Candidates should apply online and include a CV.  Queries regarding the application process should be addressed to Postgraduate Admissions (email:

Start Date: 

1st October or as soon as possible thereafter.

Closing date: 

31st July 2017.

Eligibility for Funding:

Must be eligible for Home/EU fees. The standard UK/EU postgraduate stipend applies.


Postgraduate Certificate studentship (Teaching Internship) - One fully funded studentship

Project title:

Postgraduate Certificate Studentship (Teaching Internship) in Veterinary Education.


The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham was the first brand new, purpose-built veterinary school in the UK for over 50 years and it is our intent to make significant leading contributions to both veterinary research and teaching within the context of valid relevance and application to the wider veterinary profession.

Project description:

Are you a veterinary surgeon with a passion for teaching, wishing to enhance your skills in a dynamic and supportive environment? If so, a funded studentship with stipend and fees could be the perfect career move!

The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at Sutton Bonington has developed an exciting 12 month postgraduate certificate programme for new and recent graduates to develop teaching skills. There may also be opportunities to develop clinical skills with our clinical associate practices.

This programme is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in pursuing a career in veterinary education or who wishes to broaden their skill set and enhance their employability. Training in teaching methods, learning and assessment in the veterinary undergraduate curriculum is provided through an experiential programme supervised by experienced veterinary academics and will present opportunities for engagement with all aspects of veterinary education including curriculum development, assessment, teaching delivery and resource development. As part of the Educational Research Group in the school, you will carry out a small project as part of a University PG Certificate qualification.


A stipend of £14,057 (tax free) and paid fees is provided. However there are funding restrictions for non-EU applicants.

Further information and Application:


Applicants must:

1. Hold, or be expecting to hold, a veterinary degree and be members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

2. Be eligible for UK or EU higher education tuition fees.

3. Provide evidence of your competence in English, where this is not your first language in the form of an IELTS score of at least 7.5 (with no less than 7.0 in any element), TOEFL IBT score of at least 109 (with no less than 25 in any element) or TOEFL paper based requirements score of 630 with 5.0 in the TWE.

4. Provide evidence that they have conducted 26 weeks of clinical extra mural studies during their undergraduate training, or equivalent post graduate experience (being a graduate from UK or Ireland is sufficient evidence for this).

Further details can be found at: 


Due to the level of clinical supervision this programme it is not possible to complete the RCVS post-graduate development phase (PDP) during this course.

Candidates should apply online at including a CV and covering letter.  Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Liz Mossop ( Application queries should be addressed to Rebecca Baucutt - Postgraduate Admissions Officer, (

Start Date:

January and May.

Closing date:

The position will be filled when suitable candidates have been identified. Early application is strongly encouraged.




Anatomic Pathology Resident Position

Principal supervisor:

Dr Simone de Brot, DiplECVP, Dr. med. vet., MRCVS

Other supervisors:

  • Dr Kerstin Baiker DiplECVP, Dr. med. vet., MRCVS
  • Dr Llorenç Grau Roma, BSc, DiplECVP, PhD, MRCVS


The School of Veterinary Medicine and Science at the University of Nottingham is the first brand new, purpose-built veterinary school in the UK for over 50 years and it is our intent to make significant leading contributions to both veterinary research and teaching within the context of valid relevance and application to the wider veterinary profession.

The Pathology unit of SVMS provides a diagnostic in a wide range of animals, mainly companion animals and is involved in clinical teaching of year 5 veterinary students. Three European boarded pathologists oversee surgical and post-mortem case submissions.

Position description:

Applications are invited from veterinary graduates to undertake a three-year training programme (residency) in Veterinary Anatomic Pathology. The successful candidate will focus on companion animal pathology with some exposure to avian and farm animal anatomic pathology and clinical pathology. 

The trainee will be registered for the Masters of Veterinary Medicine degree of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and will undertake a Masters-level research project on an aspect of Anatomic Pathology.

The training programme encompasses small group teaching, seminars, research and diagnostic duty. Completion of the programme (36 months) meets the eligibility requirements for the Board examinations of the European College of Veterinary Pathology subsequent to graduation as a veterinarian and an “internship” of a minimum of 12 months.

Further information and Application:

Graduates with at least one year’s experience, preferably with some exposure to Veterinary Anatomic Pathology, are invited to apply for this combined Scholarship and Master’s degree.  Applicants must be a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, or hold a veterinary degree qualifying them for membership.  There is an annual tax-free stipend of £21,000 that is continued for three years subject to satisfactory annual assessment.

The University is keen to ensure all of its students are prepared to succeed in their programmes of study.  Applicants whose first language is not English must achieve an appropriate level in an approved test in English before they can register (IELTS≥7.5 with no less than 7.0 in each element).

Informal enquiries may be addressed to:  

Candidates should apply online and include a CV. Any queries regarding the application process should be addressed to Postgraduate Admissions Officer (email:

Deadline for applications:

15th of October. Early application is strongly encouraged. 

Expected start date:

15th November 2017



International and self-funded studentship opportunities

We are always keen to talk to individuals with relevant interests about PhD, postdoc or fellowship research. If you are interested and able you should look for appropriate funding either locally or for scholarships available from the University of Nottingham University Scholarships or from other sources.

Epigenetic reprogramming of cell fate by oocyte molecules

Project description:

The discovery that cellular states can be reprogrammed to a different fate has opened new avenues for research in regenerative medicine and cancer biology. Cellular reprogramming relies on the ability of resetting the epigenetic landscape of cells to a new reprogrammed state. Oocytes have the natural ability of reprogramming sperm cells to pluripotency after fertilisation and somatic nuclear transfer experiments have shown that this capacity extends to reprogramming of somatic and cancer cells. We have shown that oocyte extracts can directly remodel the chromatin of somatic cells to an embryonic stem cell state and we have also demonstrated that they can induce reprogramming of cancer cells inducing tumour reversion. Finding how oocyte molecules can induce such reprogramming is our major goal. The aim of this project is to identify novel candidate reprogramming factors that can be used to reprogram somatic cells to stem cells and/or cancer cells to non-tumorigenic cells. Novel reprogramming factors will also be used to increase the efficiency the iPSC technology. This approach will lead to the development of small molecule technologies to be used in regenerative medicine and cancer treatment.


We have recently obtained the full transcriptome of axolotl oocytes and have identified oocyte-specific genes that could be involved in cellular reprogramming. Expression libraries will be constructed and tested in the reprogramming of somatic and cancer cells using read-out reporters. Candidate genes from the initial screening will then be tested in reprogramming assays via protein-based delivery.  The successful candidate will work closely with Centre of Genetics and Genomics at the University of Nottingham.


Sequence analysis, comparative genomics, cell culture, molecular biology, protein biochemistry.

Informal enquiries should be made to 



Insights into natural host innate immune resistance to influenza A viruses

Project Description:

Influenza virus infection is a major disease of global dimension that continues to threaten livestock production and human health.  The dangerous features of the virus are its very broad host range of mammals and birds, and its ability to undergo frequent mutational changes. Current anti-influenza drugs, e.g. oseltamivir, are of limited efficacy and are made less effective by the rapid emergence of viral resistance. We are making major inroads into understanding the robust innate resistance to influenza virus infections exhibited in certain natural host species, namely pigs, ducks and bats. Such fundamental knowledge could pave the way for the development of anti-viral therapy that targets host proteins to resist infection thus largely circumventing the current problem anti-viral drug resistance. Our exciting and promising programme is focussed on (1) understanding the mechanisms of host resistance to virulent influenza virus, including highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses, and (2) assessing host targets as candidates for drug targeting to promote host resistance to infection.  A prospective PhD student can look forward to applying a comprehensive range of cutting edge research tools (including use of primary cell cultures, gene over-expression, knock-down and knock-out studies, virus cultures, RNA-seq and bioinformatics) to answer fundamental and strategic questions of applied importance.   

More information and publications 

Informal enquiries should be made to



Influenza viruses: pathogenesis and disease


Influenza A viruses are able to infect a range of species and are an important cause of both animal and human disease. Infections with Influenza A perturb host signalling pathways and may predispose to secondary bacterial infections which add to disease morbidity. Disease outcome is influenced by both viral and host factors and infection with other pathogens may exacerbate disease.


We use a variety of cell culture and tissue explant models to study infection with influenza viruses in important host species (for example, avian, equine and human). This allows the host response to virus infection to be monitored in order to understand how influenza infection results in different outcomes in different species. In combination with these techniques, reverse genetic systems can be used to manipulate the virus genome to study the effect of particular virus proteins on virus infection, replication and host responses.


Cell and explant culture, virus infection, qRT-PCR analysis of host responses, exploitation of reverse genetics to dissect mechanisms of viral pathogenesis.

Informal enquires should be directed to or



Big Data Analytics in Animal Health


Prof Richard Emes

Project Aim:

The availability of wide ranging and complex data relating to animal health such as disease history, genetics and production makes this a hugely exciting time to study animal health. We use computational methods to combine these data and try to extract meaning from them for the use of vets, farmers and scientists. Working with the Advanced Data Analysis Centre. This PhD would suit those from a computational background with interest in animal health or those from a biological background with interest in developing their analytical skills. 


Bioinformatics, Genomics, machine learning. 

Informal enquiries should be made to 



Retroviruses in genomes


Dr Rachael Tarlinton

Project aims:

Retroviruses (such as HIV in humans or FIV/FeLV in cats) have an unusual lifecycle where they integrate a copy of themselves into their host’s genome. If these viruses are integrated into a germ line cell they become inherited just like any other genetic element, where they are known as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). This process is very common in genomic evolution, for instance up to 8% of the human genome consists of pieces of retrovirus from historical infections and all vertebrate genomes studied to date contain ERVs.  Parts of some of these viruses have become co-opted for their host’s normal function, either as proteins or as transcription and translation regulators. Their host’s genomes have also evolved regulatory networks to prevent uncontrolled replication of ERVs. My groups work focusses on what happens as these retroviruses make the transition from an infectious virus to a genome inhabitant and what ERVs do once integrated into their host’s genome.  We work on a variety of species with current projects including the role of HERVs in immune mediated diseases in people, the effects of integration of koala retrovirus (KoRV) into the koala genome, the interaction between FIV and the endogenous and exogenous forms of FeLV in cats and large scale genomic screening and phylogenetics of ERVs in rodents with a particular focus on the identification of viruses that have recently (or have the potential to) jump species or become infectious.  


We can potentially tailor projects to a species or virus of interest however all of these projects would use very similar methods (just applied to the particular species or problem of interest). Namely: genome mining for ERVs using an established bio-informatics pipeline, mapping of RNAseq data to identify ERVs that are transcribed in particular tissues or disease states and “wetlab” molecular virology (RT-PCR, virus culture, PCR, sangar sequencing) techniques to confirm in-silico findings or to extend them to species where genomic data is not available.   The ideal candidate for this project would have the ability to work in a Linux/Unix operating system, basic programming/coding/scripting experience, molecular virology skills (virus culture, RT-PCR etc) and a background in Virology, genetics and immunology. 

Informal enquiries should be made to  

Infection and Immunity


Prof David Haig

Project aims:

Our research focusses on the host-pathogen interface in a range of important diseases caused by viruses in particular or combinations of viruses and bacteria. These include, but are not limited to, herpesvirus infections of ruminants, orbivirus infection of animals and bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in cattle. 

By using state of the art methods, we study the pathogenesis of disease and mechanisms of disease control, mainly by vaccination. For this, the group has an internationally-acknowledged excellent reputation.

We also study ways of improving vaccines by identifying new adjuvants that direct immune responses towards protection against infection. In particular, we are looking at innate immune mechanisms and the activity of pattern recognition receptors on cells. We have been successful in both generating new and also improving existing vaccines.

We have a 100% record of producing quality postgraduates with good degrees, gaining expertise in important skills for furthering their careers.

Informal enquiries should be made to



School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415