Open positions and how to apply
Interested in joining us? Great! First please read on for more information about applying and answers to some common questions. Interested students and postdocs are then welcome to contact Helen Alexander with informal enquiries. Please attach your CV and explain why you are interested in joining the group. We welcome diverse scientific backgrounds - e.g. mathematics, physics, biology - in our interdisciplinary group.
University of Edinburgh students
Honours and Master's projects will normally be offered and allocated through your program's centralised organisation. The projects we offer will vary from year to year, but may include Honours projects across the Biological Sciences (with priority to Ecology, Zoology, and Evolutionary Biology programs), MSc in Computational and Applied Mathematics, MRes Infectious Diseases, and others. If you are particularly interested in joining our group for your project, you are welcome to contact Helen Alexander in advance to discuss a project proposal.
You are welcome to contact Helen Alexander to discuss possibilities for summer projects, Master's thesis rotations, etc. Please explain what sort of topics you are interested in studying, and attach your CV. However, please note that we have limited capacity to offer student projects, and University of Edinburgh students typically have priority. Further practical information for short-term visiting research students is available from the School of Biological Sciences.
Now recruiting PhD student(s) to start October 2024! We are advertising projects on:
- collective antibiotic tolerance in bacterial populations (modelling and/or experiments)
- stress-induced mutagenesis in bacteria (modelling)
Several competitive funding routes are available for both UK and international students. For further details of the projects, funding and application process, please see the following:
- General information, eligibility checklist, and project listings: Apply for a PhD, School of Biological Sciences
- EastBio doctoral training programme: project "Evolutionary consequences of pulsed mutagenesis in bacteria" (application deadline 27 November, 2023)
- E4 doctoral training programme: project "Predicting and quantifying bacterial population responses to antibiotic treatment" (application deadline 4 January, 2024)
- Darwin Trust scholarships: project choice is flexible, please see the general description "Studying bacterial evolution with mathematical models and experiments". Application packs are available to download from the Darwin Trust website until 5 January and applications must be submitted by 17 January, 2024.
If you are interested in applying, you are strongly encouraged to get in touch as early as possible (email Helen) to discuss funding options and the application process. When contacting me, please summarise your academic background, attach your CV, and explain which project(s) interest you. You will have the best chances of a quick, positive response if you send a *specific* email showing that you have already done some background reading and explaining why you are interested in doing a PhD in our group.
Please note that applications are also now open for the Wellcome Trust PhD programme in Hosts, Pathogens, and Global Health (deadline: 11 January, 2024). In this case, you apply to the programme and candidates are evaluated by a committee independently of the future supervisors. The first year of the programme involves course work and rotation projects, and the PhD supervisor is decided by the end of the first year. There is potential to join our group via this route, and you are welcome to get in touch to discuss the possibility if you are interested. However, supervision cannot be guaranteed at the application stage, and I am not involved in selecting candidates to join the programme.
PhD projects will normally be advertised around October to November, with application deadlines ranging from late November to early January, to begin studies the following October. If you have your own research ideas, within the scope of our research interests, please get in touch as early as possible to discuss potential projects.
PhD scholarships (covering a stipend and tuition fees) are available on a competitive basis for both UK and international students. In most cases, funding is for 4 years. We commonly recruit through the following programs:
- EastBio doctoral training program
- NERC E4 doctoral training program
- Darwin Trust Scholarship
- Wellcome Trust PhD programme in Hosts, Pathogens, and Global Health
If you are considering an external scholarship (e.g. from your home country), please get in touch as early as possible to discuss feasibility.
There are currently no funded positions available.
We welcome candidates interested in applying for externally funded postdoctoral fellowships to be hosted in our group. If you want to develop your own project, broadly within the scope of our research interests, you are welcome to contact Helen Alexander to discuss the possibilities.
Important notes: Many fellowships have only one application round per year, and the process from application to starting a position can take up to a year. Please check eligibility requirements when identifying potential fellowship(s). Institute-level support will generally be required for applications, so please get in touch early to discuss.
Potential funding sources include:
- BBSRC Discovery Fellowship
- Human Frontier Science Program Postdoctoral Fellowships
- Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowships
- Royal Society Newton International Fellowships
- Schmidt Science Fellows
- Wellcome Early Career Award
- University of Edinburgh Cross-Disciplinary Fellowships (XDF)
- You can also try searching the funding database at ECR Central or looking for fellowships offered by your home country.