Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dorothy Hodgkin PhD Studentship in Food Biosciences UK

Dorothy Hodgkin PhD Studentship in Food Biosciences for Students from Developing World - University of Reading
Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award

Food Biosciences

Start Date: October 2008

The Department of Food Biosciences at the University of Reading has been awarded a Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate PhD studentship for research within the remit of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The aim of the studentship is to enable outstanding students from India, China, Hong Kong, South Africa, Brazil, Russia and the developing world to come and study for PhDs in top rated UK research facilities. Funding is jointly provided by EPSRC and Clasado UK and will cover overseas fees and living expenses for three years starting in October 2008.

The stipend for living expenses for 2008/2009 is £12,940.

Applicants must be from eligible countries; the eligible countries are all those found in Part 1 of the attached list plus Russia and Hong Kong

The topic of the studentship is the development of a novel process for the bioconversion of agricultural wastes to prebiotic functional food ingredients.

Prebiotic oligosaccharides are non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by regulating its gastrointestinal ecosystem and its function. The aim of this project is to develop a novel continuous process for the production of galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) using a mixture of recombinant galactosidases as the biocatalyst, and to employ the process for the conversion of food processing wastes, namely whey permeate, to functional GOS. The rationale is that whey permeate, a by-product of the dairy industry, is a very promising alternative feedstock to lactose, as it is in abundance, it contains high levels of lactose and relatively small amount of impurities, and is significantly more cost effective. Furthermore, a continuous process will be more robust, produce GOS of higher purity, produce less waste, and provide significantly higher yields and productivities due to the lower levels of product inhibition.

The PhD candidate will develop expertise in a range of techniques and methodologies including enzymology, bioreaction engineering, process design, membrane technology, preparative and analytical chromatography, and develop experimental design and data analysis skills.

The applicants must hold a high-grade qualification in Food/Bio Technology or Biochemical Engineering, with the equivalent of at least a UK first class honours degree, from a prestigious academic institution. The applicants should also have a strong interest in bioprocess engineering and preferably some practical experience in bioreactors and/or membrane processing.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Dimitris Charalampopoulos in the Department of Food Biosciences.

Applications should include the University of Reading Postgraduate Application form (, a CV, and a short covering letter, and should be sent to Ms Yvonne Harewood, Department of Food Biosciences, PO BOX 226, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6AP, United Kingdom. E-mail:

Closing date for applications: 30 May 2008.