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PhD opportunities 

PhD scholarships are available for talented students interested in studying the interactions between phages and bacteria.

The overarching theme of our research is the interactions between bacteria and their bacteriophages with a major focus on CRISPR-Cas and abortive infection/toxin-antitoxin resistance mechanisms. Our research utilises molecular genetics, bioinformatics and biochemistry to gain molecular insight into phage-host biology. PhD projects are available in CRISPR-Cas bacterial immunity, toxin-antitoxin/abortive infection systems and the use of phages as antimicrobial agents. The group has a strong track record in these areas and the positions will provide the student with excellent opportunities to build their scientific career in these exciting areas.

The University of Otago is one of the top research universities in New Zealand and includes excellent facilities available for our research (e.g. genome sequencing, proteomics, microscopy etc.). The Department of Microbiology and Immunology has recently been refurbished and the Fineran laboratory is new (2012) and well equipped. The group actively collaborates with researchers nationally and internationally. There is an thriving post-graduate community within the department.

Successful candidates will hold a BSc(Hons) or MSc in Molecular Microbiology, Biochemistry, Genetics or a related discipline and be highly motivated about research. If interested, please contact Assoc. Prof. Peter Fineran providing an explanation of your interest in the project, a CV and details of 2-3 academic referees (peter.fineran@otago.ac.nz). Please include a copy of your full academic transcript (and if applicable) an explanation of content. Starting dates are flexible.

The PhD position requires the applicant to be eligible for admission to the PhD programme at the University of Otago and to be eligible for a scholarship (http://www.otago.ac.nz/study/scholarships/index.html). A GPA of 7.5 or greater and demonstration of proficiency in English are essential.

Funding for the PhD scholarship is NZ$28,000 pa for three years. This scholarship is tax free and tuition fees are waived.

International PhD students pay tuition fees at the New Zealand domestic rate, provided that the students reside in New Zealand and study under a New Zealand student visa.