Research Studentships

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New Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-food Robotics

The world's first Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) for agri-food robotics is being established by the University of Lincoln, UK, in collaboration with the University of Cambridge and the University of East Anglia. Applications are now open for PhD studentships at the CDT starting September 2019. Apply via:

Current Studentship Opportunities

Use the dropdown menus below to browse current funded and part-funded studentship opportunities at the University of Lincoln, listed by academic College. 

College of Science

Exploring Microbiological Decontamination Strategies for Fresh Produce


Project Title: Exploring Microbiological Decontamination Strategies for Fresh Produce

Location: Holbeach Campus

Anticipated Start Date: 1 July 2019 or as soon as possible after this date.

Duration of Award: 3 years

Hours: Full-time

Application Closing Date: Midnight on Sunday 12 May 2019 (GMT)

Project Summary: Globally we face one of the most difficult times regarding foodborne disease outbreaks related to fresh produce, with an increase in the number of reported outbreaks associated with food of non-animal origin (FnAO) (European Food Safety Agency, (EFSA) Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), 2013). Also the supply of fresh produce on an industrial scale has become a major challenge due to foodborne outbreaks from contaminated fresh produce increasingly reported in many parts of the world.

Physical and chemical intervention strategies have been developed for pathogen inactivation on produce for sale, however, the use of these techniques may be limited in their impact on the quality of the fresh produce. Also pathogen adhesion to the surface of the produce and internalisation can limit the usefulness of the conventional processing and sanitising methods.

Understanding of the complex biology of pathogens that contaminate and survive in the supply chain of fresh produce is just beginning to be understood. Also, due to the problem of adhesion and internationalisation of these pathogens, control strategies that help significantly reduce the likelihood of pathogen contamination and the susceptibility of fresh produce as a vehicle of transmission of pathogens are still needed: on the farm, during processing, and during packaging. (Allende & Ölmez, 2015).

This research seeks to tackle current food industry problems. Foodborne disease presents a consistent but frequently preventable threat to public health, and is responsible for an estimated 2.2 million deaths worldwide annually. The problem with fresh produce, such as lettuce and spinach, is that many people eat it fresh, so it misses the cooking step which would kill most pathogens, one reason why companies have relied on chlorine washing before sale. However the chlorine, commonly used in the agriculture industry to decontaminate fresh produce, can make foodborne pathogens undetectable according to new research.

The overall aim of this research is to review currently available and applied decontamination strategies in fresh food products, study the attachment process and internalisation of pathogens on fresh produce, review and identify effective microbial decontamination strategies at different stages of the supply chain, and review the impact of different microbial decontamination strategies on antimicrobial resistance in fresh produce.

Research Location:

This PhD studentship will be located at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), Holbeach. NCFM is a satellite campus of the University of Lincoln and it is a major resource for the UK’s food industry with over 250 major companies accessing courses, technical services, and research. Clients include the major national and global food manufacturing businesses and we collaborate with many international partners and universities.

Project Time Scale: From July 2019 to July 2022.


The successful candidate will receive a tax-free stipend of £14,777 per annum.

Funding notes:

This project is fully funded by the National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM), University of Lincoln. The studentship covers both Home/EU and International tuition fees and a stipend at the RCUK 2018/19 rate of £14,777 per annum for a total of 36 months. The studentship is open to UK, EU and International students.

Supervisors: Dr Bukola Onarinde, Mr Mark Swainson, Dr Ron Dixon

PhD Candidate Specification/Eligibility criteria:

All candidates must satisfy the University’s minimum doctoral entry criteria for PhD studentships and must hold a first-class BSc degree or MSc/MRes degree in Food Microbiology, Food Science, or closely related science degree.

A minimum IELTS (Academic) score of 7 (or equivalent) is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

Successful candidates should possess excellent communication skills and a strong problem-solving abilities. The candidate should be creative, diligent, resilience, enthusiasm, as well as have an interest in food microbiology and the application of scientific knowledge to the food industry.

How to Apply:

Candidates should submit their CV (including names of 2 academic referees), a one page covering letter, and personal statement outlining their interest, academic qualification and relevant research experience to Dr Bukola Onarinde (CC: & The application deadline is Sunday 12 May 2019 and the interviews are planned to take place shortly after the deadline.


Applicants seeking additional information should contact Dr Bukola Onarinde ( to discuss the project in more details. Please quote (Advert/Job reference) in the subject of all email correspondence.

PhD fee waiver scholarship – Recovery of metals/raw materials from wastes, residues and ashes produced through the thermochemical conversion of phytomined biomass

Heavy metal contaminated land covers a large expanse throughout Europe and is often considered unsuitable for agriculture.  Certain biomass crops have been identified as capable of phytoremediating such land (including Miscanthus).  This presents great opportunities, in terms of land utilisation and remediation, but also poses interesting challenges with the production of a now contaminated biomass fuel. The heavy metal uptake of this fuel makes it unsuitable for traditional thermochemical use.  There is also an excellent opportunity to recover metals and raw materials from this fuel, which would aid in the EU’s challenge of finding new sources of raw materials and also render this contaminated fuel usable once again.

This PhD project will focus on the following issues:

  • Metal uptake by biomass from contaminated land (efficacy of uptake, determination of which metals are absorbed, metal concentrations and partitioning within the plant).
  • Partitioning and fate of metals within waste streams from typical thermochemical conversion routes (pyrolysis, combustion and gasification). 
  • Development of novel methods for metal recovery from untreated fuels as well as from each of the waste streams through the use of molecularly imprinted polymers.
  • Development of online sensors to aid in the detection of the metals in the different treatment streams.

Funding Package

The scholarship covers tuition fees for the PhD up to the value of the UK/EU fee level. Overseas students may apply and the student will be responsible for the difference between the UK/EU, and overseas fee level. The grant holder will also be exempt from paying bench fees.

As living costs are not covered by this award, it is assumed that the grant holder will be applying for a PhD loan from the government (£25,000) for the three years research in order to guarantee a steady income to support themselves during their studies. However, candidates may secure other funds to pay for their living and maintenance during their PhD.

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Jose Gonzalez-Rodriguez ( or Dr Abby Samson ( for further information and to discuss details of the application.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have an appropriate Master’s degree. Suitably qualified candidates worldwide may apply, although International students must self-fund the difference between the International and UK/EU fee rate. 

How to apply

To submit an expression of interest, applicants should submit: 1) a 2-page CV including a short summary of academic qualifications; 2) a 500-word section outlining their approach to the project and explaining how their qualifications and experience meet the requirements.  This should be e-mailed to Please quote reference ENG008 on all correspondence.

Applications are open until the vacancy is filled.


Open for UK, EU and Overseas Students

Tuition Fees included (capped at UK/EU level) 

Living expenses not included
Start date 7 January 2019
Duration: 36 months



Fee Waiver Scholarships

The School of Pharmacy is delighted to offer three Fee Waiver scholarships (UK/EU only) for its Masters of Science (MSc) by Research Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. This is a fantastic opportunity for postgraduate progression while tuition fees are covered by the School of Pharmacy.

The three available scholarships are for students interested in applying to work on the following research projects:

Design of emulgel drug delivery system of sorbitol derivatives gelators to improve the skin permeability of hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs.

Supervisor: Dr. Tamim Chalati 

Synthesis and evaluation of water-soluble macrocycles for the recognition, differentiation and sensing of methyllysines.

Supervisor Dr Tobias Gruber 

Chemical and biological studies on antibiotics to Target Bacterial Cell wall Synthesis.

Supervisor Dr Ishwar Singh 

Cat Banner

“I am currently halfway through my PhD research in which I am exploring the nature of wandering cats and cat management in the UK; paying close attention to electronic containment fences for cats and assessing their potential welfare implications. Through my work with the School of Life Sciences, I had the chance to appear on a BBC documentary in which the team and I were filmed exploring the hidden life of the domestic cat. This provided a great opportunity to disseminate our research to the broader public and the programme was well received by a national audience. I came to Lincoln as I was interested in joining a university that is making incredible gains. The University puts in a lot of effort to provide tailored support for its postgraduate students.”

Kevin Mahon, PhD student in the School of Life Sciences

The Doctoral School

 at the University of Lincoln provides a highly collegiate setting where our postgraduates can enjoy support for their research studies, as well as acclimatise and integrate into academic life. It is a dedicated department for postgraduate students promoting the opportunities for postgraduate activities and championing the interests of postgraduate students throughout the University. The Doctoral School offers education and training courses for both students and academic colleagues, monitors student satisfaction, hosts networking and social events, and organises an annual Postgraduate Student Conference. Our aim is to fully engage the postgraduate community and support and enhance the student journey.


Dr Michael Mosley

Dr Michael Mosley gave a recent talk at the University of Lincoln as part of our Great Lives series. He is a science presenter, writer and executive producer and his work includes BBC2’s The Story of Science, The Truth About Exercise, and Eat, Fast & Live Longer – which led to the hugely popular 5:2 diet.

Join Our Community

To find postgraduate research opportunities to suit your academic strengths and interests, you can browse the studentships listed above. Alternatively, you may wish to search our Staff Directory, Research Showcase, or Research Repository to identify academic experts or research centres with specialisms aligned to your chosen research topic.

Studentship Terms and Conditions

Contact Us

If you'd like to find out more about postgraduate study at the University of Lincoln or have any questions, please contact our Enquiries team who will be happy to help.

Postgraduate Team
University of Lincoln

Brayford Pool
+44 (0)1522 886644