Funded PhD OpportunityComputational approaches to the analysis of microbial communities
Subject: Computer Science and Informatics
Background and Challenges
As one of the most complicated anaerobic microbial ecosystems in nature, the rumen provides an environment with stable and favorable physiological conditions for microbial growth and fermentation. A better understanding of the composition of rumen microbial communities and the association between host genetic and microbial activities has important applications and implication in bioscience. Our recent research indicates that integrated metagenomics and network analysis holds great promises in this endeavour thanks to their abilities to reveal the full extent of microbial gene diversity and complex microbial interactions. It is envisaged that inter-disciplinary, inter-institutional and industrial collaborations provided by ongoing projects will support the development of the project. During the lifetime of the project there will be opportunities to spend period of secondments to some other partners with a top–up allowance of up to €2,000 per month to support travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.
Aim and Objectives
Based on the collaboration with members within the MetaPlat consortium (http://www.metaplat.eu), this project aims to develop a computational pipeline for the analysis of rumen microbial community. The main objectives include
(1) to understand the relationship between host genetic and microbiome composition and
(2) to identify networks of microbial genes associated with certain traits such as methane emissions.
Anticipated Research Outcome/Impact
A computational pipeline for network-based analysis of metagenomics data will be developed. The research will lead to both journal and conference publications. In addition, completion of the project will equip the student with a combination of programming, biomedical and data analytical skills that are highly sought after in industry and thus can significantly enhance the employability.
- Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed equivalent via UK NARIC)
If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.
- First Class Honours (1st) Degree
- Masters at 70%
Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)
The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of not less than £14,553 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.
Department for the Economy (DfE)
The scholarships will cover tuition fees at the home rate and, for applicants with UK residence only, a maintenance allowance of not less than £14.553 per annum for three years. EU residents may also apply but, if successful, will receive fees only.
Launch of the Doctoral College
Current PhD researchers and an alumnus shared their experiences, career development and the social impact of their work at the launch of the Doctoral College at Ulster University.Watch Video