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Advanced agent-based modelling of biofilms

PGR-P-275

Key facts

Type of research degree
PhD
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Funding
Non-funded
Additional supervisors
Dr David Head
Schools
School of Computing
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Biofilms are surface-associated microbial communities that can be detrimental or beneficial to human habitation. Wastewater treatment plants crucially require biofilms to function, and we would be exposed to a wide range of pathogens if not for the protection provided by our resident microbiome, which is largely biofilms. On the other hand, biofilms are also the root cause of many chronic infections, and biofouling in industry causes substantial economic losses. There is a growing need to control (rather than simply kill) biofilms, and here computational modelling can help by predicting the effects of external changes and interventions on the composition, and therefore pathogenicity, of naturally occurring biofilms much more rapidly than (costly, lengthy) experiments.<br /> <br /> In this project, the student will help enhance a high-fidelity computer model of biofilms that is being developed in collaboration with the School of Dentistry (dental plaque is a biofilm that can be good or bad depending on e.g. influx of dietary sugars). There are many ways the model could be advanced, such as including fluid-structure coupling, relevant to many real-world problems, or numerically optimising for parallel architectures, which is challenging given the complex nature of this hybrid (particle plus continuum) model. Contact with Dentistry is expected and may raise the student&#039;s appreciation of this important application domain.

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

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="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;Advanced agent-based modelling of biofilms&rsquo;&nbsp;as well as&nbsp;<a href="engineering.leeds.ac.uk/staff/542/Dr_David_Head">Dr David Head</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 6.5 overall with at least 6.5 in writing and at 6.0 in reading, 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 are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK&nbsp;students</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/138-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2021-january-deadline">Leeds Doctoral Scholarship (January deadline)</a>&nbsp;and the <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/53-school-of-computing-scholarship">School of Computing Scholarship&nbsp;</a>are available to UK applicants. <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK students</strong>&nbsp;&ndash; The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/53-school-of-computing-scholarship">School of Computing Scholarship&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;is available to support the additional academic fees of international applicants. The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council-university-of-leeds-scholarships-2021">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China. The&nbsp;<a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/73-leeds-marshall-scholarship">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p>

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

<p>For further information please contact Doctoral College Admissions by&nbsp;email:&nbsp;<a href="mailto:phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk">phd@engineering.leeds.ac.uk</a>, or by telephone: +44 (0)113 343 5057.</p>


<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>