BBSRC PhD studentship: Evolutionary ecology of fungal killers

Supervisors: Dr Ivana Gudelj and Professor Ken Haynes, Biosciences, University of Exeter

We are looking to recruit a highly-motivated and dedicated student with a real interest in applying evolutionary biology to antimicrobial resistance and we are inviting applications for this BBSRC-funded PhD studentship to commence September 2013.

Fungal diseases devastate human lives. Bloodstream infections are the second biggest killer of hospital patients with almost 50% of infections proving fatal, leading to 1.5 million patient deaths worldwide each year. However, fungal infections are not well-understood and there is much less public awareness than for diseases caused by bacterial and viral infections.

We therefore urgently need to understand how fungal pathogens evolve, adapt to different environments and become resistant to drugs. This is the research goal of a fully-funded PhD scholarship in Biosciences at the University of Exeter. The successful applicant will participate in a lively research environment where we combine mathematical modeling with an experimental evolutionary approach to build new theories and test them in the lab. We are looking for PhD students, either experimental or theoretical with a biological or a physics background, to join our interdisciplinary team in a unique environment where theoreticians and experimentalists share a common research vision.

We expect to apply diverse experimental and theoretical tools, from the molecular and genetic to the evolutionary and ecological, depending on the successful candidate and full training will be provided as appropriate.

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Funding notes: You must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in Biology, Physics, Mathematics or a relevant subject. The studentship will cover a stipend for up to four years at the standard Research Council rate (£13,726 per annum for 2013-2014), research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for students who meet the residency requirements outlined by BBSRC (see Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award.

Application procedures: Please upload the following documents to the studentship application formClick here to apply (see

  • CV
  • Covering letter (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
  • 2 references (if your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 725150/723706/723310. Project specific queries should be directed to the supervisor.

The closing date for applications is midnight on Thursday 27 June 2013.

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