Paratyphoid Mary? Salmonella Paratyphi A transmission and characterisation of carrier states (LANGRIDGE_Q22MMB)

Applications Close: 17 January 2022

Salary: MRC stipend

Contract Length: 4 years

Salmonella enterica serovar Paratyphi A (SPA) causes paratyphoid fever, a severe infection increasing in regions of Asia. Between 2016 and 2019, cases per year have increased 17.3% in England, with a strong association of travel to South Asia. Benefitting from a unique set of isolates with associated metadata and short-read sequencing data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the carrier state of SPA will be investigated by assessing strain transmissibility and comparing metabolic network composition with other serovars including Salmonella Typhi (typhoid fever).

The project will provide training and support to develop both laboratory (sequencing, metabolic phenotyping) and computational/analytic skills (metabolic pathway analysis, phylogenomics, transmission tracing). The methodologies are in place at the Quadram Institute and UKHSA and the successful transfer to SPA presents an ideal opportunity to gain experience in both experimental and computational areas.

During the PhD programme, the student will spend time at UKHSA, thus gaining experience of working between an academic and public health institution in a multidisciplinary team to translate research into practical methodologies impacting public health outcomes.

Located on the Norwich Research Park, the Quadram Institute is a new, state of the art building with outstanding facilities. The student will join a diverse community of microbiologists and informaticians, alongside a cohort of graduate researchers with exceptional training opportunities.

You can email Dr Gemma Langridge (QIB) for Informal enquiries.

The Microbes, Microbiomes and Bioinformatics (MMB) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is open to the UK and international candidates with an undergraduate degree relevant to the scope of the programme for entry in October 2022 and offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year PhD research project funded by the UKRI Medical Research Council to advance the training of students in microbiology, with an emphasis on microbial bioinformatics.

The distinctive training offered by the programme aims to ensure that students feel comfortable running sophisticated computer analyses alongside laboratory work whilst enhancing problem-based learning in microbial bioinformatics and professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. All students will undertake a Professional Placement lasting up to 12 weeks.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the MMB DTP programme. Interviews for shortlisted candidates will take place on Tuesday 15 February or Wednesday 16 February 2022.

This MMB DTP is committed to equality, diversity, widening participation and inclusion in all areas of the programme. We encourage enquiries and applications from all sections of the community, regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, and transgender status. We value an aptitude for computer-based analysis, curiosity, and independence of thought, plus a commitment to work across the boundaries between the laboratory and bioinformatics to deliver high-impact research. We welcome applicants from low- and middle-income countries.

You can find more information on eligibility and how to apply on the Partnerships in doctoral training page.

Primary Supervisor: Dr Gemma Langridge (QIB) –
Secondary Supervisor: John Wain (QIB)

Entry Requirements

At least UK equivalence Bachelors (Honours) 2:1 or UK equivalence Master’s degree. English Language requirement (Faculty of Medicine and Health equivalent: IELTS 6.5 overall, 6 in each category).


This project is awarded with a 4-year Microbes, Microbiomes and Bioinformatics (MMB) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) PhD studentship. Studentships include support for:

•    A maintenance stipend, provided over four years, and funded according to the MRC stipend scale;
•    Full tuition fees which will be paid directly to the University;
•    Research and training costs.

Studentship funding will not normally cover costs associated with visa or health surcharges, or additional costs associated with entry to, and living in the UK.