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Structural characterisation of cellular mechanisms for the valorisation of water resources


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 1 June 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK and EU
Competition funded
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Professor Alison Baker and Dr Yoselin Benitez Alfonso
Additional supervisors
Dr. Rene Frank
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Water is a valuable resource essential for all living organisms. As a consequence of climate change, the incidence of drought and flooding periods are increasing while, on the other hand, depletion of nutrients such as phosphorus (P) demand the use of fertilizers in agriculture which are major contaminants of water bodies. A potential solution to the P problem is to optimize the mechanisms for phosphate acquisition in photosynthetic organisms (algae and plants) which can have a double impact: 1) reduction of fertilization in agricultural soils and 2) exploitation of sustainable systems for purification of waste water. In this project you will use cryogenic correlative light and electron microscopy and other structural techniques to investigate the mechanisms of P signaling, transport and accumulation in plants and unicellular algae. This is an exciting and novel cross-disciplinary area of research that take advantage of new techniques and evolutionary divergent systems to identify new strategies for the efficient use of limited P by plants and the use of solar powered microalgae to recover P from waste water and recycle it into agriculture. The work will be supported by world class facilities within the Faculty of Biological Sciences and the Astbury Centre for structural characterization using cryoelectron-microscopy and electron-tomography and by a supervisory team with complementary expertise in molecular, structural and cell biology in different model organisms.

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

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">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 Structural characterisation of cellular mechanisms for the valorisation of water resources as well as Dr. Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso&nbsp;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><a href=""></a></p> <p>This project is also available for students with their own funding (both UK/EU and Overseas)</p>

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

<p>For further information please contact the Graduate School Office</p> <p>For further information please contact the&nbsp;<a href="">School</a>&nbsp;you wish to study in.</p> <p>Or contact Postgraduate Scholarships e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;t:&nbsp;+44 (0)113 343 34077</p>

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