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Life on Mars? Self assembly of biological molecules in extreme conditions

PGR-P-167

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Competition funded
Supervisors
Professor Lorna Dougan
Schools
School of Physics and Astronomy
Research groups/institutes
Molecular and Nanoscale Physics
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

There is a huge interest in the properties of water under extreme conditions of temperature, pressure and solvent environment. This interest ranges from the water vapour jets that emanate from the surface of Europa and Encedalus, fuelling speculation for the existence of vast liquid oceans beneath the icy exterior of these moons of Jupiter and Saturn.<br /> <br /> Somewhat closer to Earth, ice is found in the polar regions of Mars,and there is growing evidence for flows of salty water during the Martian summer, the salt allowing the water to stay liquid at the sub-zero temperatures that are found there. In this project you will gain insight into the structure, thermodynamic stability and self-assembly of model biological systems in extreme conditions relevant for both terrestrial and non-terrestrial environments.<br /> <br /> This will provide new insights into biomolecular assembly and the natural limits of life. It will include experimental techniques such structural studies using neutron diffraction, as well as UV/Vis, fluorescence and differential scanning calorimetry for measuring protein stability.<br /> <br /> This project would suit a student interested in biophysics, learning a range of experimental techniques and engaging with our collaborators in biological sciences and astrophysics.

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/130206/applying/91/applying_for_research_degrees">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Life on Mars? Self assembly of biological molecules in extreme conditions&rsquo;&nbsp;as well as <a href="https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/106/dr-lorna-dougan">Dr Lorna Dougan</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p><strong>Self-Funding Students</strong></p> <p><strong>Funding Eligibility</strong></p> <p><strong>UK/EU</strong> &ndash;&nbsp;Alumni Bursary for previous graduates from the University of Leeds offering 10% discount on Academic Fees, School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Bell Burnell Scholarship award&nbsp;paying Academic Fees and Maintenance matching EPSRC rate of &pound;15,285&nbsp;per year for 3 years</p> <p><strong>International Students</strong> &ndash; Alumni Bursary for previous graduates from the University of Leeds offering 10% discount on Academic Fees, School of Physics &amp; Astronomy Fee Only Scholarship award paying Academic Fees for 3 years and Bell Burnell Scholarship award&nbsp;paying Academic Fees and Maintenance matching EPSRC rate of &pound;15,285&nbsp;per year for 3 years</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding your application,&nbsp;please contact Doctoral College Admissions by&nbsp;email:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:EMAIL@leeds.ac.uk">m</a><a href="mailto:maps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk">aps.pgr.admissions@leeds.ac.uk</a>, or by telephone: +44 (0)113 343 5057</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Lorna Dougan by email:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="mailto:L.Dougan@leeds.ac.uk">L.Dougan@leeds.ac.uk</a></p>


<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>