One year Scholarship for Masters by Research

School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham

One Year Masters by Research into Mathematical / Computational Analysis of Phenotype Responses of Brewers’ Yeast

Applicants are invited for a one year MRes co-sponsored by the University of Nottingham and an industrial partner into mathematical / computational analysis of phenotype responses of brewers’ yeast. The project will be under the supervision of Dr Dov Stekel and Professor Katherine Smart and will be part of the MRes in Brewing programme. It will be located in the attractive Sutton Bonington campus, and the researcher will be part of dynamic research communities in both brewing and mathematical/computational biology. The studentship would particularly suit someone with a strong mathematical or computing background with an interest in becoming engaged at the interface with high impact biological research.

Specifically, the research will include: (i) constructing mathematical models using ordinary differential equations for fitting data from Biolog™ phenotype arrays; these models may include complex lag phases, diauxie and other biological phenomena. (ii) Development of an inference scheme to identify model parameters and enable robust automated model choice; this will include use of Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques. And (iii) application of these methods to data derived from Biolog™ phenotype arrays applied to brewers’ yeast in collaborative projects aimed at improving beer fermentation.

Applicants must hold or be about to complete a first degree in a relevant quantitative subject, for example mathematics, statistics, computer science or bioinformatics, with a minimum grade of 2.1 or equivalent. They should be familiar with ordinary differential equations and knowledge of probability or statistics would be helpful. Applicants must also be able to evidence aptitude for computer programming in a suitable high level language (e.g. C++ or Java) and/or a statistical programming language (e.g. R). This Masters project will require the person appointed to be highly motivated to become engaged in biological research, to work independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team, and be willing to learn. Excellent English language written and oral skills are also essential (minimum level for overseas students IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.0 in each element or TOEFL score of 550, 212 for computer based tests, with at least 4 in the Test of Written English. For this scholarship, preference will be given to candidates with scores well above the minimum requirements).

We are able to offer a full scholarship to a UK or EU student that would cover all fees and include a stipend of £13,590 for the year. Candidates from outside the EU will need to find funds for the additional fees costs.

Candidates should send a detailed CV, including university grades and predicted grades, together with the names and contact details of two referees, to dov.stekel [AT] by 13th May.