PhD Studentship in Cystic Fibrosis-related Diabetes

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in Cystic Fibrosis-related Diabetes, which is funded by the CF Trust UK. Candidates should hold a first or upper second class honours degree, or masters degree in Biomedical Sciences or a cognate area. Applications will be considered on a competitive basis with regard to the candidate’s qualifications, skills and experience. The successful candidate will enrol on a full-time programme of research studies leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Ulster.

The studentship will comprise fees (Home and EU) and an annual stipend of £19,919. It will be awarded for a period of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress. The studentship is tenable in the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences, where the successful applicant will undertake their research between the University of Ulster Coleraine Campus and C-TRIC on the Altnagelvin Site.

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 20th December 2013.

Interviews will be held during in early January 2014 with a proposed start date of January 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Further details of the research project:
People with cystic fibrosis (CF) inherit a genetic defect that significantly shortens life-span. At present, approximately 9,000 people in the UK suffer from CF, and on average, do not live beyond their mid-30s. The genetic defect in CF causes a build-up of thick and sticky secretions particularly affecting the lungs and digestive tract. In the digestive tract, this causes high blood sugar levels and notably CF patients often develop diabetes (where 50% of patients over the age of 30 have diabetes). While the cause remains unknown, the development of diabetes accelerates lung disease, which is the primary cause of death among CF patients. This study aims to unravel primary mechanisms underlying CF-related diabetes (CFRD) focussing on the pancreatic beta-cells which play a primary role in regulating blood sugar levels. The research will be conducted in state-of-the-art facilities utilizing a range of core and advanced research methodologies, providing an excellent experience for the successful candidate. This PhD project will study in detail how the genetic defect in CF impacts on pancreatic beta-cell function and further understanding on the development of CFRD to aid clinical management of this important disorder.

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The applicant should ideally have good practical laboratory, computer, and communication skills, and show their enthusiasm plus commitment to work diligently on all aspects the research project to completion under the leadership of his/her supervisors.

For further information on the project please contact: Dr Catriona Kelly, c/o School Office, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, BT52 1SA. Tel: +44(0)28 7032 4944; Fax: +44(0)28 70324965; Email:

For further information on the application process please visit our website:

Applicants can apply online via the ‘Apply’ button below where they can upload supplementary documents onto the System.

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