Research Studentships

Full-time Studentship in the Faculty of Science and Technology starting in September 2017

The scholarship is offered on a full-time basis to Home/EU students over 3 years. It will cover fees and includes a £10,000 annual stipend and bench fees/consumables of £2,700. The scholarship is made possible thanks to Brion Research Institute of Taiwan (Sun Ten Group) and Herbprime Co., Ltd.

The studentship offers an opportunity to work within a Taiwanese pharmaceutical company who specialize in the analysis of Chinese medicinal plants. There will also be opportunities to visit China Medical University, Taiwan. It is expected that part of the time spent at the pharmaceutical company will include visits to the collection / cultivation sites in mainland China.

Traditional Chinese Medicines are widely used in the UK and across Europe but the quality of such medicines continues to be problematic. While there has been some research carried out on quality control using different analytical strategies to test raw materials and products, little research has been carried out on the supply network for these medicines and the quality parameters that are employed at the different stages of production.

This 3 year PhD programme will focus on analyzing the supply chains of selected medicinal plants and developing strategies for effectively controlling the quality of products at different stages, beginning with wild collection or cultivation. Different analytical techniques will be used depending on the information sought, which is likely to be different for different medicinals. However, adulteration by incorrect species, aflatoxins, pesticides and heavy metals are known to be problematic and so are important areas of interest.

This is an interdisciplinary project, with input from different universities and research institutions, it will be expected that the student will spend some time in China and Taiwan, involved in method development and supply chain analysis fieldwork.

Results from the project will be disseminated through publication in high impact journals, interviews with interested parties and through presentations at national and international conferences.

The findings will have an educational impact, in that buyers and users of these medicines will have a better understanding of the issues involved in supplying high quality medicines and there will also be an impact on the producers of different products with implications for future production strategies and initiatives.

The student will receive training in relevant techniques/technologies and gain expertise in a number of key project planning and analytical research and subject specific skills. The student will also take part in the University Graduate School and Faculty Doctoral Research Development Programme (DRDP) including transferable skills (e.g. presentation skills, scientific writing and employability skills) which aid in their future career progression. The student will also be encouraged to join relevant learned societies, which provide excellent support for students in terms of training opportunities and meetings to disseminate and publish their research.

Research in the Faculty of Science and Technology, Departments of Biomedical and Life Sciences, encompasses a wide range of disciplines from pure to applied science, integrating areas from structural biology, molecular genetics, applied microbiology and biotechnology at one extreme to human performance, Chinese medicine, public health nutrition and wellbeing at the other. Research in the Department of Psychology covers theoretical and applied research. This benefits both the discipline and wider society in areas including social and environmental psychology, neuroscience, teaching and learning, health psychology, psychobiology, psychophysiology, and business/organisational psychology.

In the latest Research Excellence Framework (2014), the research outputs of a number of staff were judged to be at the levels of World Leading (4*) and Internationally Excellent (3*). Research is undertaken in the University of Westminster's Cavendish site's laboratories using state-of-the-art instrumentation, neuroscience laboratory (with transcranial magnetic stimulation and EEG systems) and in the University Polyclinic. Experienced and research-active staff in the Faculty work in close collaboration with bio-industry, the NHS, research institutions within the UK, Europe and the US.

Eligible candidates will hold at least an upper second class honours degree and preferably a Master’s degree. Candidates whose secondary level education has not been conducted in the medium of English should also demonstrate evidence of appropriate English language proficiency, normally defined as 6.5 in IELTS (with not less than 6.0 in any of the individual elements).

Successful candidates will be expected to undertake some teaching duties.

Prospective candidates wishing to informally discuss an application should contact Dr Anthony Booker, [email protected], T: +44 (0)20 7911 5000ext 64602 or Dr Stephen Getting, [email protected].

The closing date for applications is 5pm on 21 August 2017.

Applications should be made to the Pharmacology, Toxicology & Pharmacy MPhil/PhD programme and you should clearly state that you are applying for this Studentship.

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