Description :

Supervisor: Michael Jones

Secondary Supervisor: Andrew Millard (Leicester), Chris Hudson

Subject Area:Microbiology

Research Title
Assessment of Role and Risk of Phage in AMR Transfer Between Agricultural and Clinical Organisms

Research Description

This project, along with 'Cooking with Gas: Can Anaerobic Digestion Reduce the Prevalence of Antimicrobial Resistance in Cow Manures and Slurries?' and 'Farm Management for Reduced Antimicrobial Resistance', has a singular shared scholarship that will only be awarded to one applicant from all three projects.

Bacteriophage are involved in horizontal gene transfer between bacteria. They can facilitate trans-family transduction of genes between different microbiomes and gene exchange between different hosts and environmental niches. Bacteriophage therefore pose a risk from transfer of AMR and virulence genes between agricultural and human clinical bacteria. The risk assessment of the risk of AMR transfer between agriculture and clinical medicine is limited by the lack of data on circulating transducing and AMR carrying phage. Our preliminary dairy-microbiome data identifies circulating AMR genes and the potential for phage to disseminate and maintain these not only on-farm but to transduce them to human/clinically relevant bacteria. This project will combine metagenomics, phage-isolation and characterisation to understand the risk from phage for on-farm spread of AMR between medically important organisms. You will investigate the prevalence and characterise transducing phage in dairy environments. Once characterised you will develop profiling tools for common phage across environments linked to specific genera (bacterial and phage). This will allow profiling of common phage types between agricultural and clinical sites. Training will include laboratory based microbiology (phage and bacteria), metagenomic approaches to study microbial populations and the development of statistical approaches to interpret these data sets. The successful candidate will be embedded in the BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership at Nottingham which will provide additional training opportunities and local student cohort activities.

This project is one of three projects being advertised for a single scholarship at the University of Nottingham from the MRF (Medical Research Foundation) National Training Programme in AMR.

Keyword Search
Antimicrobial resistance, bacteriophage virus, bioinformatics

Award Start Date: 01/09/2018

Duration of Award: 48 months

Terms and Conditions

The successful applicant will receive a scholarship for full fees (UK/EU only) and enhanced stipend for four years (£16,500 in Year 1, increasing in following years; UK students only).

Applicant Qualification Requirements

Minimum 2.1 in undergraduate degree or Merit in Masters degree

How to Apply

Apply here: 

Please give the project title and name of the main supervisor. You do not need to provide a research proposal as requested on the form; instead indicate that you are applying for a Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Programme in AMR Research funded project. For informal enquiries or help with the application, please contact

Closing Date: 31/01/2018

Closing Date: 31 Jan 2018
Category: Studentships

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