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Fully Funded KESS II MSc By Research Scholarship: Novel Anti-Microbial Metallic Surfaces For Infection Control

Swansea University - Medical Engineering

Location: Swansea
Salary: £11,586 p.a.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 5th March 2019
Closes: 24th May 2019

*This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.* 

Start date: July 2019 

Worldwide antibiotic use rose by 40% between 2000 and 2010, which combined with international travel and migration, has allowed antimicrobial resistant pathogens to spread. The UK government’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has estimated that by 2050, 10 million people a year will die from AMR infections. The impact of AMR will not be seen only in terms of morbidity and mortality but also in the economy with an approximation that if no new antimicrobial treatments are found then by 2050 the world economy will have lost 7% of its GDP, $100.2 trillion. 

The problem is compounded by the lack of novel agents in development and a lack of alternative strategies to reduce microbial spread, and is predicted to lead to annual death rates of ten million people a year globally by 2050. New ways of preventing the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria especially amongst vulnerable populations, such as those in the healthcare system could reduce the number of healthcare associated infections and reduce antibiotic treatment. 

This project in collaboration with an external company will seek primarily to identify different surface systems (nano-reservoirs) to make metallic and organic coated surfaces inherently anti-microbial. The systems will be smart release and will provide protection over a sustained period of time. The efficacy of the chosen surface will be robustly tested, where the capability of reducing or preventing microbial growth will be quantified experimentally. We envisage the applicant will have experience of techniques, such as, bacterial growth and microscopy. The student will conduct appropriate biological tests and analysis to quantify the bacterial sensitivity over a range of concentration and exposure to the test materials. 

Identification of an effective surface will allow the company to incorporate the system into new products, allowing growth within the company and also allowing them to market the system as an effective way of preventing the spread of hospital infections with a view to increasing sales. 

Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SMEs and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 1 year funding with a 3 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 30 credit award. 

Eligibility 

Academic requirements:

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree Microbiology/genetics/biochemistry or a related subject. 

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/englishlanguagerequirements/ 

Residency criteria: 

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

   
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