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PhD Studentship: A Collaborative Approach to Biomarker Discovery for Equine Grass Sickness

University of Surrey - Schools of Bioscience and Veterinary Medicine

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: UKRI standard stipend £19,237 for 2024-25 (with inflationary increase of 6% p.a. for 2025-26), student registration fees are covered. Proteomics short course funding £2,500 and UK conference attendance (x2) £900.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 11th June 2024
Closes: 1st July 2024
Reference: PGR-2324-022

This studentship offers a fully funded training in mass spectrometry-based proteomics which will be applied to biomarker discovery for an often-fatal dysautonomia of horses called equine grass sickness.

This multi-disciplinary project will capitalise on complementary expertise and resources at the Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh and the Schools of Bioscience and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey. The aim of the project is to identify biomarkers for the frequently fatal disease equine grass sickness using state-of-the-art analytical methods. Biological samples from diseased and normal horses will be subjected to detailed characterisation of their protein “fingerprint.” Advanced statistical methods will be used to identify proteins that might be diagnostically useful. The diagnostic utility of the potential biomarkers identified will be investigated in a study that takes serial samples from a group of horses at high risk of equine grass sickness. 

More information about our previous work on equine grass sickness can be found here.

Exciting opportunities will be available for a student with an interest in science communication, to work with the EGS team at Moredun (Equine Grass Sickness Fund – A registered charity in the UK raising funds specifically for research into grass sickness). It is anticipated that this could involve training to establish networks and raise awareness of this disease with inter-disciplinary researchers, equine veterinary practitioners, the equine industry and horse owners, with a focus on the south of England.

Supervisors: Professor Chris Proudman, Dr Sneha Pinto and Dr Beth Wells.

Entry requirements

Open to candidates who pay UK/home rate fees. See UKCISA for further information. Starting in October 2024. Later start dates may be possible – please contact Professor Chris Proudman once deadline passes.

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for our PhD programme.

The successful candidate will have a relevant first degree (e.g. veterinary medicine, biological, biomedical or bioveterinary science), enthusiasm for proteomic science and a willingness to travel within the UK in pursuit of project objectives. Experience with horses is an advantage but not essential.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Veterinary Medicine and Science PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal, you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for, the name of the relevant supervisor, and a brief explanation of how you’re training to date, and previous experience are a good fit with this studentship. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to address this issue in much more detail at interview.

Funding

Open to candidates who pay UK/home rate fees.

Fully funded for 3 years and funded in competition with multiple projects.

UKRI standard stipend £19,237 for 2024-25 (with inflationary increase of 6% p.a. for 2025-26), student registration fees are covered.

Proteomics short course funding £2,500 and UK conference attendance (x2) £900.

Enquiries: Contact Professor Chris Proudman.

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