PhD Studentship: Broad spectrum antiviral and antibiofilm materials to treat hospital acquired infections

Application Deadline: Tuesday 30 June 2020

Eligibility: UK student with at least a 2:1 in Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Sciences.

Funding: The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3 years. The maintenance grant will be £15,007 pa for 2019-20.

Project Description

Applications will close as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

This project is supported by the Doctoral Training Centre in Biofilms Innovation, Technology and Engineering (BITE) which will train PhD researchers at the interface of Physical and Life Sciences to understand the behaviour of biofilms, which are central to the global challenges of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), Health, Food Security, Clean Water and Energy. BITE is a world class interdisciplinary partnership between Universities of Liverpool, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Southampton, all core founding partners of the National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC).

The current pandemic has demonstrated that despite all of our medical advances, the world is extremely vulnerable to infections for which no therapies exist. It had been predicted that by 2050, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will be the cause of 10 million deaths annually and will burden the global economy by £64 trillion. Furthermore, given this overuse of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is speculation that this timeline has been shortened and that drug resistant superbugs and viruses need new treatments. As such there is an urgent need for alternative approaches to treating for treating drug resistant superbugs and viruses. The aim of this studentship will investigate the development of novel antimicrobials that are not antibiotics that target viruses and drug resistant bacteria without leading contributing to AMR for treating hospital acquired infections.

BITE DTC provides a unique training experience to the next generation of research leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs so that they can deliver breakthrough science and technologies in the cross-disciplinary field of biofilms. The four partner universities, alongside international institutes, major national facilities and a large industrial consortium have come together to deliver the UK’s first graduate training centre that will address the skills and knowledge gap in the biofilms field. Our research will span the fields of physical, mathematical, engineering, life and clinical sciences.

BITE PhD projects will:


• Drive international research challenges by working with leading groups in the partner universities and by encompassing exceptional interdisciplinary to revolutionise training in the biofilms field;
• Involve cohort training with students across the four institutions creating a highly-networked DTC community whose access to a world-leading infrastructure and knowledge-base will enable it to compete with the international best;
• Embed innovation and entrepreneurship to catalyse high impact translation of ideas into technology and enhance the business and career prospects of its students;
• Involve participation of stakeholders, including industry, government departments and laboratories, charities, NHS, external and internal research institutes for example, through NBIC collaborations;
• Instill skills of effective leadership, clear communication and problem solving.
1. Biofilm Prevention – Design of surfaces, interfaces and materials to prevent biofilms.
All research projects fit within the following BITE Research Themes:
2. Biofilm Detection – Innovative sensing, tracking and diagnostic technologies to detect biofilms.
3. Biofilm Management – Kill, remove or control established biofilms from exploiting their life cycle dynamics.
4. Biofilm Engineering – Control and direct complex microbial communities in process applications.
Interested candidates should apply via the University of Liverpool’s online application system.
For information and informal enquiries please contact Dr Raechelle D’Sa.