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EPSRC PhD studentship in "Ultra-Sensitive Enhanced Nano-sensing of Antimicrobial Resistance"

Newcastle University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009 annual living expenses plus tuition fees paid
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 9th May 2019
Expires: 9th August 2019
Reference: CL116

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,009 (full award). Significant additional funds also available to cover research costs and local, national and international travel. 

Number of awards


Start date and duration

September 2019, funding covers a 3.5 year PhD studentship.

Application closing date

Open until a suitable candidate is appointed, so apply as soon as possible.


Are you interested in tackling the re-emerging problem of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance? The aim of this project is to develop agile and globally impactful Point-of-Need diagnostics for antimicrobial resistance. Treating a disease is much easier and cheaper if its presence can be detected early in the lifecycle. In order to treat diseases caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria it is not enough to simply identify the bacterial species, it is also necessary to know whether the causative bacteria are resistant to the antibiotics commonly prescribed.

The Diagnostic and Therapeutic Technologies research group, within which the successful applicant will be embedded, is involved in two major collaborative projects which address this research theme namely; i-sense and u-sense. The PhD studentship will produce a miniaturised, cost-effective, rapid device which will allow clinicians to make informed treatment choices earlier. The developed system will be suitable for use outside of a centralised laboratory, in a variety of clinical settings thereby promising a major impact on human health and disease management. The technology to be developed relies on bioinformatics to generate the sequence signatures necessary for the development of molecular isothermal amplification assays using various readout systems. Bioinformatics components of the project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Anil Wipat in the ICOS group ( To limit cost and for ease of use the assays will be performed in paper based microfluidic cartridges. The student will also collaborate with Imperial College London (Professor Molly Stevens) and Strathclyde University (Professor Duncan Graham), which will require occasional travel to the associated labs.


Fully funded by the EPSRC.

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr N Keegan, Institute of Cellular Medicine.
Professor A Wipat, School of Computing

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in a Biomedical Sciences related area, but preferably a first class Honours degree. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes may be advantageous.

This project is available to UK/EU applicants. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 7 with at least 6.5 in the written component, or equivalent.

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 programme code 8300F in programme of study section.
  • select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Cellular Medicine' as the programme of study.
  • insert studentship code CL116 in the studentship/partnership reference field.
  • attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote studentship reference code CL116 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.


Informal enquiries:

Dr N Keegan
Telephone: +44 (0) 1912083678

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