MPhil/PhD Scholarship

University of Greenwich - Medway School of Pharmacy

Title: Investigating potentially cross-protective neutralizing antibody epitopes in emerging respiratory viruses with pandemic potential.


Human and animal populations are exposed to multiple respiratory virus pathogens due to zoonotic spillover and rapid viral evolution. Whilst current vaccination strategies mitigate seasonal influenza, effective vaccines are needed for avian influenza (H5/H7) and emerging coronaviruses, MERS and SARS-CoV, all WHO/OiE priority agents. With a view to informing new “universal” vaccine strategies, we have recently identified subsets of human sera that contain cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies between seasonal and avian influenza, and more recently between MERS and SARS-CoV, and have putatively identified broad surface glycoprotein regions involved using in-vitro and in-silico methods. The objective of this studentship is to systematically study the viral surface glycoprotein targets of the humoral antibody response using panels of surface-engineered lentiviral vectors (as surrogate viral serological antigens), monoclonal (to delineate new epitopes)/polyclonal (to define antigenicity) antibody preparations, and target cohorts of both animal and patient sera (from unexposed, natural infection and pre/post pre-clinical vaccination).

For further information please contact the primary supervisor: Dr Nigel Temperton, Medway School of Pharmacy, The Universities of Greenwich and Kent at Medway ( The second supervisor is Prof. Xiao-Ning Xu (Imperial College London).

Bursary available (subject to satisfactory performance):

Year 1:  £14,296, Year 2: In line with RCUK rate, Year 3: In line with RCUK rate.

In addition, the successful candidate will receive a contribution to tuition fees equivalent to the university’s Home/EU rate, currently £4,121, for the duration of their scholarship. International applicants will need to pay the remainder tuition fee, currently £8,029, for the duration of their scholarship. This fee is subject to an annual increase. Scholarships are available for three years from the date scholars first register as an MPhil/PhD student with the university. Scholarships are available for full-time study only. Applicants must hold a Master’s degree (UK or UK equivalent) or a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours Bachelor’s in a relevant discipline.

The instructions on how to apply can be found here: and to save you time, I have provided the link for you to start your application No other form of application will be considered.

All applications must include the following information. Applications not containing these documents will not be considered.

  • Scholarship Reference Number (Ref VCS-BUS-05-16) – included in the personal statement section together with your personal statement as to why you are applying
  • A research proposal.
  • A CV including 2 referees.
  • Academic qualification certificates/transcripts and IELTs/English Language certificate if you are an international applicant or if English is not your first language or you are from a country where English is not the majority spoken language as defined by the UK Border Agency.

Upload to the supporting information section of the application form. Attachments need to be in PDF format.

The closing date for applications is midnight (UTC) on 4 November 2016

The scholarship must commence on 3 January 2016.

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