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Comparative virology – understanding how picornaviruses replicate


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Friday 14 June 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
Research council
Professor Nicola Stonehouse
Additional supervisors
Dr Morgan Herod
School of Molecular and Cellular Biology
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

This fully funded PhD place provides an exciting opportunity to pursue postgraduate research in molecular virology. <br /> <br /> Before the advent of vaccines, infection by poliovirus was the primary cause of disability worldwide. This was in an era before we had detailed molecular and structural information on these viruses, yet many aspects of the viral lifecycle and interactions with host proteins is not understood. By comparing the replication of related viruses, we can start to build a more complete picture of the viral lifecycle that can inform the design of antiviral strategies. <br /> <br /> Picornaviruses cause a range of animal and human diseases, some of which are of emerging concern. For example, foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) infects livestock and related human viruses, including EVA71, are associated with paralysis and death, especially in SE Asia. Without effective vaccines, these remain a threat to global health and food security.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>This project will involve the analysis of complexes between the proteins involved in viral replication and the parts of the viral RNA genome. Techniques will involve cryo-electron microscopy, protein and RNA labelling and characterisation. The project will focus on foot-and-mouth disease virus, where we have a large collection of tools and expertise in house, allowing comparisons with ongoing projects on related viruses within the research group.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""></a>&nbsp;<br /> <a href="">10.1099/jgv.0.001871</a>&nbsp;<br /> <a href="">10.1128/jvi.00171-23</a><br /> <a href="">10.1099/jgv.0.001283</a>&nbsp;<br /> <a href="">;</a></p>

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

<p>To apply for this scholarship opportunity applicants should complete an <a href="">online application form</a> and attach the following documentation to support their application.</p> <ul> <li>a full academic CV</li> <li>degree certificate and transcript of marks</li> <li>evidence that you meet the University&rsquo;s minimum English language requirements (if applicable)</li> </ul> <p>To help us identify that you are applying for this scholarship project please ensure you provide the following information on your application form;</p> <ul> <li>Select PhD in Biological Sciences as your programme of study.</li> <li>Give the full project title and name the supervisors listed in this advert.</li> <li>For source of funding please state you are applying for a BBSRC Scholarship</li> </ul> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&rsquo;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p>

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

Applicants to this scholarship in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology should normally have an Undergraduate degree of 2:1 or above (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject area. A Master&rsquo;s degree is desirable, but not essential. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Admissions Team prior to making an application.

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

The minimum English language entry requirement for postgraduate research study in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology 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.

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

<p>One full-time/part-time BBSRC DTP Fully Funded Studentship Award is available in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology for Session 2023/24. The studentship will provide academic fees at the UK rate, as well as a stipend matching the UKRI rate (&pound;19,237 for 2024/25) for up to four years, subject to satisfactory progress.</p> <p><strong>Other Conditions</strong></p> <ul> <li>Applicants must not have already been awarded or be currently studying for a doctoral degree.</li> <li>Awards must be taken up by 1<sup>st</sup>&nbsp;October 2024.</li> </ul>

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

<p>For further information please contact the Faculty Admissions Team</p> <p><a href=""></a></p>