PhD Studentship Protein modification of commercial biocatalysts to direct protein stabilisation

A PhD studentship is available (as soon as possible) in collaboration with the University of Exeter and Unilever to understand how the modification of commercially important biocatalysts can affect protein stabilisation. The student will work in the Biocatalysis Centre within Biosciences (Streatham Campus, Exeter) at the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter. The principle supervisor will be Dr Clive Butler. The second supervisor will be Professor Jenny Littlechild and the industrial supervisor at Unilever will be Dr Dietmar Lang.

Techniques will involve bioinformatic analysis, gene cloning, protein modification, thermal shift analysis, protein structure and molecular modelling. A range of biochemical techniques will be used ranging from protein engineering to applied performance characterisation of selected proteins.

The student would be expected to have experience in some of these techniques and must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, and/or an MSc, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in biochemistry, chemical biology, biotechnology or related subject.The studentship will cover a stipend (£13,726 per annum for 2013-2014) and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment of the tuition fees plus a small contribution for living costs. Studentships will be awarded on the basis of merit and are awarded for three years of full-time study (part-time pro-rata). The student will work alongside a postdoctoral fellow at Exeter University and research staff at the Unilever laboratories at Port Sunlight.

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The closing date for applications is midnight on Wednesday 10 July 2013.

Application procedures:

Please upload the following documents (as.pdf files) to the studentship application form -via the apply link below (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 725150/723310. Project specific queries should be directed to the supervisors.

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