Marie Curie PhD Fellowship on Mammalian Mitochondrial Gene Expression

Newcastle University

Value of award

An annual stipend will be paid to cover fees at Home rates and living expenses. The amount of stipend will vary depending on where the students appointed are from and their current circumstances.

Number of awards: 1
Start date and duration: Start date to be agreed. The funding covers a three year PhD.
Application closing date: Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.


Professor Lightowlers (Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research) invites applications from highly qualified and motivated students.

This project is part of an International Marie Curie funded Innovative Training Network centred on the regulation of mitochondrial expression (REMIX) and will focus on mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes. Why do these differ so substantially from other ribosomes? As approximately half of the human mito-ribosomal proteins (MRPs) have no bacterial orthologues this project aims to characterize the roles of certain MRPs for which there is no assigned function. Further, assembly of cytoplasmic ribosomes requires >200 factors but only a few have been reported for mammalian mitochondrial ribosomes. This project, therefore, aims to verify and analyse potential mitoribosome assembly factors and how dysfunction during this process can cause human disease.

The Fellow will integrate into the interdisciplinary environment of the WT Mitochondrial Research Centre, which comprises six groups with >50 researchers investigating projects on clinical, diagnostic and fundamental science. Career development will benefit from excellent training in scientific and transferable skills through the internships and training courses organised within the network with academic and industrial partners in Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands and UK. Students from all REMIX laboratories will meet at summer schools and workshops as part of their training.


Marie Curie Innovative Training Networks

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor R N Lightowlers, Institute of Cell and Molecular Biosciences

Eligibility Criteria

As part of an EU mobility programme all applicants to Newcastle University must be moving from another European country to take up this opportunity. For this reason UK residents are not eligible.

Candidates must have a high quality Master’s degree or equivalent, enthusiasm for life science research, strong motivation to learn and be part of a team, good communication and writing skills in English, knowledge of mitochondrial biology and protein synthesis.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code 8300F in the programme of study section 
  • select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences - Neuroscience' as the programme of study 
  • insert the studentship code IN086 in the studentship/partnership reference field 
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code IN086 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications


For further information please email Professor R Lightowlers.

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