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NIAB DTP Studentship - applications now open

last modified Dec 05, 2014 11:01 AM

Deploying effector and genomics approaches to genetically dissect disease interactions between necrotic pathogens and wheat.

NIAB (Cambridge, UK) and the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, in conjunction with Curtin University (Australia), are offering a PhD Studentship working on pathogen-effector wheat-resistance interactions, commencing 1st October 2015. This fully funded four year BBSRC DTP Targeted Studentship includes a stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£13,863 per annum for 2014/15).

Project description

Pathogen: Effector-based approaches represent a paradigm shift in the field of phytopathology, providing tools to break down quantitative host sensitivity phenotypes into constitutive components. Three effectors have been cloned from the target pathogens, with further effectors being investigated. Strains of Parastagonospora nodorum and Pyrenophora tritici-repentis lacking all known effectors are available at Curtin University, exposing remaining effectors.

Crop: NIAB has recently developed a wheat Multiparent Advanced Generation Inter-Cross (MAGIC) population (8 parents, 1,000 progeny). MAGIC and effector resources will be combined with high-density genetic marker arrays and genome sequence resources. Collectively, these will allow efficient characterisation of the underlying wheat resistance mechanisms.

The PhD will be undertaken at NIAB, and will be supervised by Dr James Cockram (NIAB) and Prof Richard Oliver (Curtin University). The successful applicant will be registered at the University of Cambridge, and will undertake the DTP training schedule in the first six months, and two rotation projects (one at NIAB and one in a University of Cambridge laboratory). Additionally, a 12-week Professional Internship will be undertaken sometime within the last three years of the PhD.

How to apply

Please send a covering letter, CV and contact details of two academic references to the HR Office, NIAB, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE, Email: by 15th February 2015. Interviews will take place in March.

Applicants must be from the UK, or an EU citizen with UK residence (resident in the UK for 3 years prior to project start). Students from EEA countries who do not meet the BBSRC residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. See

For further information email:


The successful applicant will then be asked to make an online application to Cambridge University (GRADSAF) and will need to meet all University conditions, including proven proficiency in English.