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Characterising the Risk for Wildlife of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment. Biosciences - PhD (Funded)

University of Exeter - Biological Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Exeter
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Funding Minimum: Home or International tuition fees and a tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 per year
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 14th September 2021
Closes: 30th October 2021
Reference: 4194

Academic Supervisors:

Professor  Charles Tyler, University of Exeter

Dr Ross Brown, University of Exeter

The University of Exeter’s College of Life and Environmental Sciences is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence as soon as possible and at the latest January 2022.  For eligible students the studentship will cover tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student would be based in Biological Sciences in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

This is a 3.5 year PhD studentship funded in part by the pharmaceuticals company Servier linked with the EU project PREMIER: Prioritisation and Risk Evaluation of Medicines in the Environment.  This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 875508. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.

Project Description

Pharmaceuticals in the environment is a hot topic as there are examples of links between exposure to human pharmaceuticals and adverse effects in wildlife.  As part of a recently funded EU project Prioritisation and Risk Evaluation of Medicines in the Environment (PREMIER), and in partnership with the pharmaceutical company Servier, we are offering a 3.5 year fully funded innovative PhD seeking to better understand the potential risks of human pharmaceuticals in the environment to prioritise those of greatest concern for rigorous assessment in wildlife species. The research will involve assessing the effects of selected active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in fish through in-life studies, in vitro cell based assays, bioinformatic analyses and modelling. The in vitro assays will be primarily focused on understanding drug bioavailability. The student with thus receive extensive training in in-life ecotoxicology, cell culture and molecular biology methods, bioinformatics, and modelling. The studentship will also offer opportunity for international travel, including to work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine, based in  Hanover Germany, for developing skills in data mining,  modelling for assessing the likelihood that critical effects observed in one species could occur in a range of vertebrate taxa. Ultimately, the  work from this exciting studentship will be used to better understand the potential risks for exposure to the selected API for supporting environmental protection. The student will join the large and vibrant research team led by Prof Tyler with access to exceptional facilities, expertise and support. Working as part of the PREMIER with stakeholders from across Europe should greatly enhance the successful student’s long-term career prospects.

The conditions for eligibility of home fees status are complex and you will need to seek advice if you have moved to or from the UK (or Republic of Ireland) within the past 3 years or have applied for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Funding Details

Home or International tuition fees and a tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 per year

International applicants need to be aware that you will have to cover the cost of your student visa, healthcare surcharge and other costs of moving to the UK to do a PhD.

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