Fully Funded Studnetship

School of Chemistry (UEA)

Structure and Function of Anammox Enzymes – Key Players in Waste-Water Treatment and Global Nitrogen Cycling. (BUTT_U14DTP)

29 November 2013. Available from 1 October 2014. 

Professor Julia Butt


The Project:

Anaerobic ammonium oxidation or ‘anammox’ is the most recent addition to processes recognised in the biogeochemical nitrogen cycle (1,2). Originally discovered in a Dutch waste-water treatment plant, anammox bacteria combine nitrite and ammonium to make N2 in the absence of O2. It has since become clear that these bacteria are metabolically dominant in O2-minimum zones across the world’s oceans and may produce one out of every two N2 molecules released annually into the atmosphere. Despite the environmental and biotechnological importance of anammox there is very little knowledge of the enzymology that underpinning the process.

This exciting and ambitious project builds on recent success in the purification of novel anammox enzymes and has the aim of resolving the structural, catalytic and redox properties of these enzymes. The successful applicant will develop advanced skills in the characterisation of redox enzymes by spectroscopic, electrochemical and voltammetric methods under the supervision of Prof Julea Butt and Dr Myles Cheesman in the School of Chemistry at the University of East Anglia (3,4). The project will be performed in collaboration with Dr Jan Keltjens, Dr Boran Kartal and Prof Mike Jetten, Nijmegen University, NL.

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1] Kartal et al (2013) FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 37:428

2] Kartal et al (2011) Nature 479:127

3] Marritt et al (2008) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 130:8588

4] Bradley et al (2011) J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133:19676

Entry Requirements:

2:1 or 2:2 plus Masters. English Language – IELTS 6.5 overall with 6 in each category. 

Funding for PhD studentships from BBSRC is available to successful candidates who meet the UK Research Council eligibility criteria including the 3-year UK residency requirements. These requirements are detailed in the BBSRC eligibility guidelines:


In most cases UK and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course are eligible for a full-award. Other EU nationals may qualify for a fees only award. All candidates should check to confirm their eligibility for funding.

The current stipend for 2013/14 is £13,726 per annum.

Making Your Application:

For further information and to apply, please visit the ‘How to Apply’ page on our website: http://biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk/how-to-apply

Additional Information:

In keeping with the postgraduate training policy of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) all students recruited onto this programme will be required to undertake a three months internship during the second or third year of their study. The internship will offer exciting and invaluable experience of work in an area outside of research, and full support and advice will be provided by a professional team from the UEA.

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This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) – a collaboration between the Norwich Biosciences Institutes and the University of East Anglia. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the Studentship Competition. The interview dates will be the 14th and 15th January 2014.

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