PhD Studentship in Quantitative Genetics of Maternal Effect

Closing Date: Friday, 29th November 2013

The Department of Mathematics at the University of Surrey invites applications from enthusiastic and well-qualified students for a PhD studentship in the Quantitative Genetics of Maternal Effects.

Maternal effects can be described as the effects of a mother’s phenotype on her offspring’s phenotype through pathways other than direct genetic transmission, for example through epigenetic changes in the DNA, resource transmission in the womb, or behavioural responses to offspring behaviour. The aim of this project is to develop quantitative genetics models of the evolution of maternal effects in response to environmental change and examine the interplay between maternal effects and within-generation phenotypic plasticity.

The project will be supervised by Prof Rebecca Hoyle in the Biosystems Group. The successful candidate will join this group which has an excellent international reputation and a lively community of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. Academic members of the group have extensive collaborations and links with other research institutions from around the globe as well as world-leading industries.

In general, the Department of Mathematics hosts four vibrant and highly rated research groups with interests focusing on themes on the interface between pure and applied mathematics. In the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the Department was ranked 7th out of 42 in the UK for its world-leading research outputs.

For further information about the Biosystems Group, see and about the department, see For details about our PhD Programme please refer to

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Entry Requirements.

A good MMath, MPhys or MSc degree or a first class honours degree in mathematics, physical sciences or engineering. A particular interest in biology is desirable.


The PhD studentships include the tuition fees and a tax-free stipend of about £14,000 p.a. All PhD students have access to funding for travel to meetings and conferences.

How to Apply.

Applicants should complete the on-line application form at

This application must be accompanied by the following:

  • Cover letter (one A4 page maximum)
  • CV including names of academic referees (two A4 pages maximum)
  • Personal statement including research interests and experience (one A4 page maximum)
  • Copy of certified transcript including expected or actual degree class (no page limit)

Accepted minimum font size is 11pt. Once the application form is completed, applicants should confirm their submission by e-mail to

For full consideration, applications should be received no later than Friday, 29th of November 2013. The reviewing process of the applications commences shortly after the deadline.

Informal Enquiries.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to the project supervisor Prof Rebecca Hoyle (

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