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PhD Studentship: Characterization of honey bee viral infection and replication in honey bee and the mite

Xi'an Jiaotong - Liverpool University - Department of Biological Sciences

Supervisor Names:

Principle supervisor: Professor Tatsuhiko Kadowaki (XJTLU, Department of Biological Sciences)

Co-supervisor: Dr. Benjamin L. Makepeace (University of Liverpool, Institute of Infection & Global Health)

Project Description:

Our research group has studied host-pathogen/parasite interactions underlying various honey bee diseases. The decline of managed honey bee colonies across the globe is highly associated with the parasitic mite infestation as well as virus (DWV) infection. However, we still don’t understand how DWV infects and replicates in honey bee. We will answer these questions by systemic approach. Detail about the project will be directly discussed with the candidate.


Wu Y, Dong X, and Kadowaki T. Characterization of the copy number and variants of Deformed Wing Virus (DWV) in the pairs of honey bee pupa and infesting Varroa destructor or Tropilaelaps mercedesae. Front. Microbiol. 8, 1558, 2017.

Dong X, Armstrong SD, Xia D, Makepeace BL, Darby AC, and Kadowaki T. Draft genome of the honey bee ectoparasitic mite, Tropilaelaps mercedesae, is shaped by the parasitic life history. GigaScience 6, 1-17, 2017. Press Release by Oxford University Press on Eurekalert ( wtb021617.php).

Yang B, Peng G, Li T, and Kadowaki T. Molecular and phylogenetic characterization of honey bee viruses, Nosema microsporidia, protozoan parasites, and parasitic mites in China. Ecol. Evol. 3, 298-311, 2013. 

Kojima Y, Toki T, Morimoto T, Yoshiyama M, Kimura K, and Kadowaki T. Infestation of Japanese native honey bees by tracheal mite and virus from non-native European honey bees in Japan. Microbial Ecol. 62, 895-906, 2011. 

For more information about doctoral scholarship and PhD programme at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU): Please visit

Eligibility Criteria:

The candidate should have a first class or upper second class honours degree, or a master’s degree (or equivalent qualification), in Biology discipline. Evidence of good spoken and written English is essential. The candidate should have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above, if the first language is not English. This position is open to all qualified candidates irrespective of nationality. 


The student will be awarded a PhD degree from the University of Liverpool (UK) upon successful completion of the program. 


The PhD studentship is available for three years subject to satisfactory progress by the student. The award covers tuition fees for three years (currently equivalent to RMB 80,000 per annum) and provides a monthly stipend of 3500 RMB as a contribution to living expenses. It also provides up to RMB 16,500 to allow participation at international conferences during the period of the award. It is a condition of the award that holders of XJTLU PhD scholarships carry out 300-500 hours of teaching assistance work per year. The scholarship holder is expected to carry out the major part of his or her research at XJTLU in Suzhou, China. However, he or she is eligible for a research study visit to the University of Liverpool of up to three months, if this is required by the project. 

How to Apply:

Interested applicants are advised to email the following documents for initial review and assessment (please put the project title in the subject line).

  • CV
  • Two reference letters with company/university letterhead
  • Personal statement outlining your interest in the position
  • Proof of English language proficiency (an IELTS score of 6.5 or above)
  • Verified school transcripts in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required)
  • Verified certificates of education qualifications in both Chinese and English (for international students, only the English version is required) 
Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Suzhou - China
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: ¥140,000
£15,632.68 converted salary* per annum (Covers tuition fee and stipend).
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 23rd May 2019
Closes: 3rd July 2019
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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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