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Can a superfood for bacteria be created by understanding its optimum diet?

Get paid to do a PhD with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation at Lancaster University

Funded PhD linked with Active Bacterial Solutions Limited Ref. No. LU003
  • Get paid £1,455 per month tax-free until June 2023.
  • Your UK/EU tuition fees are paid (international candidates will need to pay remaining fees).
  • Be part of the multi award winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation within a cohort of talented graduates working on exciting business-led research. The Centre was declared “The outstanding knowledge exchange and commercialisation initiative in the UK”.
  • This project is based at Lancaster University, so you will gain your PhD from a Top Ten University, recognised as The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2018 and International University of the Year 2020. You will also work alongside colleagues at partner institutions across the North West.
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas. 

This is a potentially ground-breaking research project aiming to investigate the effects of nutrient ratios and concentrations on bacterial performance from a macromolecule perspective. The outcome of this project will be the creation of a framework that could be applied to any bacteria-reliant industry, with potential applications across a variety of business sectors. 

Biotechnology harnesses the versatility of microbes for industrial processes, from beverage production to waste treatment. In order for the microbes to perform at their best, the nutrients they consume must be optimised. Nutritional research in microbes currently only considers the surroundings in terms of individual elements (such as carbon and nitrogen) whereas animal research looks at macromolecules (such as proteins and fats)Recent studies suggest that the concentration and ratio of macromolecules in animal nutrition is crucial for optimal performance, but currently little is known about this field in microbes. This project seeks to address this knowledge gap. 

This is an exciting project for candidates with a 2:1 or first degree in microbiology, biochemistry or another relevant subject. You should have a strong microbiological or biochemical background and capability or a strong interest in ecological principles and statistical analysis. Experience of working in a laboratory would be advantageous. 

This PhD will be supervised by Professor Kenneth Wilson whose research looks at host-pathogen interactions and agro-ecology and is based at the Lancaster Environment Centre 

Active Bacterial Solutions is a waste-water company interested in the production of non-pathogenic bacteria-based products for waste-water treatment and remediation. The company aims to provide biological solutions for in situ treatment, reducing environmental damage caused by existing chemical and mechanical methods. 



Deadline: Extended to Wednesday 30th September 2020
Start:  October/ASAP 2020


This project is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Download application documents here