PhD Studentship - Towards Sustainable Antimicrobial use in Agriculture: Quantifying the Risks of Emergence of Antimicrobial Pathogens

University of Nottingham - Mathematical Sciences

Location: University Park
Supervisors: Professor Michael Tretyakov (Mathematical Sciences), Dr Dov Stekel & Dr Jon Hobman (Biosciences)

Do you have a passion for sustainability? 

Would you like to apply mathematical research to help improve resource security? 

Modelling and Analytics for a Sustainable Society (MASS) is a Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships programme at the University of Nottingham that aims to tackle the ongoing global problems of food shortages, water scarcity and insufficient clean energy by using mathematics to help understand and optimise resource use through predictive modelling and statistical analysis. 

Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat both to human and animal health. The majority of antibiotic use is in agriculture, thus the threat of antimicrobial resistance, and the appropriate use of antibiotics, are essential to sustainable agriculture and food production. The aim of this project is to develop mathematical models that can improve our capacity to predict the risk of emergence of antimicrobial resistant pathogens within a sustainable agriculture context. Specifically, the student will develop and analyze both spatially homogeneous and heterogeneous stochastic models for the spread of antimicrobial resistance between populations of bacteria in dairy slurry. The model will be based upon the real dairy slurry system in the University of Nottingham farm in Sutton Bonington.

In addition to being based in the sustainability programme, the project will be supported by on-going research in antimicrobial resistance in agriculture and will benefit from experimental measurements carried out by colleagues in Biosciences, Pharmacy and Engineering.

For more information, including details of other available research projects, please visit:

The Leverhulme Doctoral Scholars, who will be based in the new £7m Mathematical Sciences Building, will be exposed to an outstanding and vibrant research environment in mathematics, resource science, engineering and social sciences, with excellent opportunities for international engagement. At the end of their PhD, the Scholars will be eligible to apply for an additional one-year post-doctoral prize, funded by The University of Nottingham, to help establish their independent research careers. 

Summary: The scholarships are for four years and will cover PhD tuition fees for UK/EU students, plus a tax-free stipend of £14,553 per annum (2017/18 rate). While the scholarships may be held by students of all nationalities, the Leverhulme Trust has a particular interest in supporting UK or EU students. International students would be expected to cover the difference between international and UK/EU tuition fees (currently approximately £9,500 per annum).

Eligibility: Appropriately motivated students should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or good 2:1 honours degree and/or a distinction or high merit at MSc level in Mathematics or a subject with a strong mathematical component (e.g. physics, engineering, computer science). 

Apply: Please visit the MASS web page and identify up to three projects of interest. Then apply via the University of Nottingham application page, using the personal statement section to indicate that you are applying to the “Mathematics for A Sustainable Society” programme, making sure to list your preferred projects, and uploading a CV of no more than two pages. 

Studentships are available from September 2018 and will remain open until filled, early application is encouraged. 

For any enquiries please email: 

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Midlands of England