PhD Studentship - Development of Microbiome and Immune-based Biomarkers of Poultry Gut Health (NARBAD_Q18ICASE2)

University of East Anglia - School of Biological Sciences

Start Date: October 2018

No. of positions available: 1

Supervisor: Primary supervisor Prof Arjan Narbad

Project description:

The animal gastrointestinal tract contains trillions of microbes that play a critical role in their health and wellbeing. Poultry birds reared under intensive conditions are exposed to environmental stresses that disturb their gut microbiome and adversely impact on their health. This studentship will investigate the impact of environmental stresses on the structure and function of the gut microbiome as well as on the immune status with the objective of identifying biomarkers of poultry gut health.

This will enable selection of birds that can withstand these stresses and also identify vulnerable populations before they succumb to the negative impact of stresses on the bird performance and welfare. Ultimately this project can potentially reduce loss of birds, improve feed conversion and reduce cost associated of veterinary drugs required for disease treatment.

The student will be hosted in the new Quadram Institute (QI) with state-of-the-art facilities for microbiome research. The project will provide stimulating academic research and training environment in QI as well as in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University where the student will undertake Immunology experiments under the supervision of Prof Adrian Smith. Student will also gain experience of industry relevant research provided by the CASE partner Aviagen. The student will acquire excellent training in gut microbiology, microbial ecology, immunology and animal welfare studies that will make the candidate highly suitable for employment in academia or industry.

This Industrial CASE 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 on the 11th April 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. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply. For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Person specification:
Minimum UK Bachelors (Hons) 2:1 & Eng Lang SCI level

English Language requirements are UEA Faculty of Science requirements found via the below link:

Funding notes:

Studentship covers a stipend (£15,777pa; RCUK 18/19 rate: £14,777pa + £1000 CASE enhancement), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and are available to UK/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. For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website:

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