Date Posted
24 Jan 2024

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PhD Project
University College Cork

PhD Research Studentship in Microbiology

24 Jan 2024

NOTE: this position listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Position Description

PhD Research Studentship in Microbiology is available at the Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Ireland.
The PhD student will work with Dr Niall O’Leary, Prof. Jerry Murphy and Dr David Wall on optimisation/characterisation of bioreactor systems for mixed microbial sludge recovery of biopolymers (polyhydroxyalkanoates) from dairy wastewater derived VFAs at laboratory and pilot scales. An additional key component of the study will involve the application of metagenomic profiling techniques and in silico analyses to characterise the microbial communities underpinning system optimisations. The proposed research seeks to build upon recent successful work at the host institute in this area ( The successful applicant will need to demonstrate a strong potential to bridge the disciplines of microbiology/biotechnology and engineering. A high quality, relevant undergraduate degree is essential, while experience in bioreactor systems operation/characterisation would be advantageous. Applications by graduates with a master’s degree are particularly welcomed. The student should be highly motivated, independent, fluent in English and have excellent laboratory skills. The student will be enrolled in the UCC postgraduate degree programme. This is a 4-year post with a starting date of April 1, 2017.
The PhD-project will be part of the interdisciplinary NEWTRIENTS project, that will develop a circular economy approach to processing dairy industry wastewater, resulting in a paradigm shift from wastewater treatment to closed loop reuse of valuable components present in the effluent within the local and global economy.
The post provides an annual stipend and EU-fees.

How to Apply

Closing date for applications for the postgraduate positions is February 10, 2017. Applications should include a full CV, a covering letter describing the interest and background of the applicant relevant to the area of research, and contact details of two referees. The successful applicant will be asked to proceed through the Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC, for formal registration. Applications can be emailed to Dr Maria O’Mahoney at Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr Niall O’Leary (

Position Category: Medical & Biological Sciences. Position Type: PhD Project. Position Tags: microbiology and biotechnology/energy systems. Salary: €10'000 - €20'000.