PhD Studentship: How to Build a Biological Decoder – Dissecting Calcium Specificity in Plants

University of East Anglia - School of Biological Sciences

Start Date: 1st October 2018

Supervisor: Dr Ben Miller

Project description: Calcium is one of the most common secondary messengers involved in cell signalling in plants. A first response to a vast array of abiotic and biotic stresses includes changes in cytosolic calcium concentrations that regulate downstream processes. That so many processes seem to be governed by the change in the concentration of calcium has given rise to what has been called the calcium specificity problem: how can one ion species be responsible for conveying such diverse developmental processes and differentially active different pathways?

The aim of this PhD project is to develop a deeper understanding of how calcium signals are interpreted by cells and decoded into specific biological responses in plants. The project will focus on the calcium-dependent protein kinase signalling network in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and will study the mechanism by which calcium-dependent protein kinases are regulated by calcium and how this allows the decoding of specific calcium signals.

This project will combine molecular biology, biochemistry and mathematical modelling, and will provide the student with excellent opportunities for multi-disciplinary training in plant molecular genetics and biochemical techniques, as well as computational modelling approaches.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 9th, 10th or 11th January 2018.

The Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP) offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4 year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website: www.biodtp.norwichresearchpark.ac.uk

Person specification: Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

Funding notes: Full Studentships cover a stipend (RCUK rate: £14,553 pa – 2017/8), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships, which when combined will equal a full studentship. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements. Details on eligibility for funding on the BBSRC website: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/web/FILES/Guidelines/studentship_eligibility.pdf

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England