Postgraduate funded opportunities

Project details

Hull York Medical School 3-year PhD scholarship in Immunology:

Project title: Regulation of myeloid cell activation during infectious and inflammatory disease

For informal inquiries, please contact:

Project description

Macrophages and related myeloid cells play a central role in immune homeostasis, the induction and regulation of acquired immunity and the resolution of inflammation. Using animal models of infectious and inflammatory disease, including but not limited to leishmaniasis, this project will explore the ways in which macrophage activation is regulated through transcriptional and epigenetic regulation. In our previous studies1,2, we have conducted unbiased screens to identify key molecules (transcription factors, receptors) to uncover new pathways regulating myeloid cell activation and that may serve as novel targets for immunotherapeutic intervention in infectious or inflammatory disease. In this project, a subset of these targets will be subjected to more in-depth analysis, taking a multiscale approach spanning single molecule to tissue. Research methodology will include characterisation of myeloid cell activation at the molecular/cellular level in vitro (e.g. RNA-Seq, ATAC-Seq, flow cytometry), use of CRISPR/Cas for gene modification / knock-out, and advanced imaging (e.g. intravital microscopy, digital spatial profiling) to evaluate cellular function in a tissue-specific context. At the end of their PhD, the successful candidate will be well-equipped to continue their research career in infectious disease or any other sub-discipline in immunology.


The successful candidate will join a world-leading laboratory that has research programs in leishmaniasis spanning molecular aspects of macrophage function through to vaccine trials and clinical research in disease endemic countries. Based in the newly created York Biomedical Research Institute (YBRI), which brings together researchers working in Immunology, Haematology and Infection, Neuroscience and Molecular and Cellular Medicine, the student will also have access to the range of facilities and training opportunities provided by the renowned Biosciences Technology Facility. The successful applicant will be trained in conducting animal research, statistical methods and 3Rs principles and will be required to hold a Home Office licence. In addition to subject-specific training, we offer a wide range of transferable skills training, as well as a strong pastoral and support system.  All students have an assigned a Training Advisory Panel that monitors progress and progression, in conjunction with the formal supervisors. 


Hull York Medical School’s unique partnership brings together the expertise of both the Universities of Hull and York and offers a thriving environment in which to conduct world-leading research. Strong partnerships with NHS Trusts and community health organisations offer a wide clinical base and help focus research efforts toward impact in terms of improved health nationally and globally. The research will be conducted within YBRI laboratories on the York campus, co-located with colleagues in the University of York’s Department of Biology.

Named academic

Professor Paul Kaye, Professor of Immunology, York Biomedical Research Institute.


This full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship will include fees at the ‘home/EU' student rate and maintenance based on UK Research Council stipend rates (~£15,000 in 2019/2020) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Start date

1 October 2019

Qualifications required

In order to qualify for this scholarship, you will require an undergraduate degree, awarded with at least a 2.1 or equivalent in a relevant subject.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate an awareness of current research in immunology, have some experience of conducting research and have an inquisitive and challenging mind. You should be able to work independently, but also within a team, supporting both individual and collective goals.

How to apply

All applications must be submitted to the Hull York Medical School via the online application, choosing option PhD in Medical Sciences 2019 October, full time.

The deadline for applications is the 29th January 2019.

Please quote Hull York Medical School with the scholarship title when applying. In order for the Panel to get a sense of your academic background, commitment and interest, you are required to complete the application form in full and provide an outline of your academic interest and what you aim to gain from PhD studies. Personal statements may be used in selecting applicants for interview. If you have any queries on how to apply, please email

Interview date

Interviews will be held on 19th February 2019.

Applicants who are shortlisted for interview will be sent details of the date, time and venue via email within a week of the deadline. If you are not invited for the interview, it means that your application has not been successful. Please note that we do not offer feedback to applicants who are not invited to the interview.

Interview outcome

As soon as reasonably practicable after the interviews have taken place Hull York Medical School will write to the successful applicant offering him/her the post. Upon receipt of formal written acceptance of the post we will write to notify unsuccessful candidates. Whilst we try to do this in as effective and efficient manner as possible, sometimes the process can take longer than is ideal. We apologise for any delay and inconvenience caused in these circumstances.


1. Ashwin Tissue and host species-specific transcriptional changes in models of experimental visceral leishmaniasis. Wellcome Open Res. 2018 3:135. doi: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14867.1. eCollection 2018.

2. Beattie A transcriptomic network identified in uninfected macrophages responding to inflammation controls intracellular pathogen survival. Cell Host Microbe. 2013. 14(3):357-68. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2013.08.004.