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From Plant to Plate Biotransformation of Functional Polysaccharides. at The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is pleased to invite applicants to apply for a new opening PhD position in biotechnology. The funds for this position are available for two years. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020.

UK/EU Applicants are invited to apply for this exciting fully funded 4-year PhD studentship studying in both the UK (UK scholarships) and Australia. Designing sustainable foods, pharmaceuticals, and biomaterials requires novel plant-based hydrocolloids for controlling texture, processing, and product's functionality in the body. This calls for discovery and development of new materials that combine polymer functionality with particulate microstructure. Flour milled from mucilage producing seeds offers a new sustainable source of such materials and, additionally, opens new avenues for designing foods with targeted dietary fibre functionality. This project seeks to discover and develop new methods for controlling the water holding capacity and mechanical properties of mucilage seed flour. Within this project we will utilise new genetic and biochemical insights of the germination process in mucilaginous plants and combine these with advanced physical characterisation techniques and novel processing methods in order to enable selective manipulation of polysaccharide composition, structure and complex molecular architecture to target desired hydrocolloid properties and material functionality. The outcomes of this project will enable development of new flour materials for use as ingredients in gluten-free baked products, specialised and medical nutrition, dried vaccine formulations, as well as 3D printed biomaterials. The student will be co-supervised by staff at both The University of Nottingham and University of Adelaide and will undertake two years research at each institution. The doctoral scholar will be based on the Sutton Bonington campus in Nottingham when in the UK, and at the Waite Campus in Adelaide when in Australia. Both campuses are renowned for their world-leading research in plant, food and beverage, and biomaterials sciences, and their outstanding facilities for research and teaching. PhD graduates will obtain jointly awarded degrees from the University of Nottingham and the University of Adelaide. The studentships will cover PhD tuition fees, plus a stipend corresponding to the standard research council rate. Details of the partnership can be found at nottingham.ac.uk/global/partnerships/partnership-pages/adelaide.aspx

All students should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or good 2:1/2A honours degree and/or a high distinction, distinction or high merit at the Masters level in a biologically related subject areas, including food science, biotechnology, plat science, biochemistry, biophysics (biophysics scholarships) or similar.

To apply send your CV, unofficial transcripts (details of University grades/predicted grades) together with the names and contact details of two referees to the principal project supervisor (gleb.yakubov@nottingham.ac.uk). Please also provide a covering letter to indicate your interests, why you are applying to the "Joint Nottingham-Adelaide Programme" and what attracts you to this PhD research. Informal enquiries should also be directed to the same e-mail address.
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