Diet and Neuroinflammation: A link between Metabolic Health and Parkinson’s Disease?


An exciting opportunity to apply for a fully funded PhD position in the College of Health, Science and Society.

Ref: 2324-OCT-HSS04

The expected start date of these studentships is 1 October 2023.

The closing date for applications is 16 June 2023.


Studentship details

This is an exciting opportunity to study for a fully funded PhD in Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience within the thriving Centre for Research in Biosciences at the University of the West of England.

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease worldwide, and the fastest growing. The reasons for this are not known, but recent studies have suggested a link between diet, the gut microbiome and the risk of developing PD. Many studies highlight the importance of neuroinflammation in the development of PD, and this project will study how diet and the gut microbiome can influence neuroinflammation and lead to the pathologies associated with PD.

You will be using cell culture models of human neurones and astrocytes to specifically investigate these links, together with assays such as Western Blotting, IncuCyte morphology analysis, RT-PCR and fluorescent microscopy. 

This will enhance our understanding of how diet and the gut microbiome influence inflammatory processes in the brain and, in turn, how this results in the pathological changes observed in Parkinson’s Disease. As such, it has great potential to uncover novel disease mechanisms and identify therapeutic targets.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Tim Craig at


The studentship is available from 01 October 2023 for a period of three and half years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £18,622 per annum. 

In addition, full-time tuition fees will be covered for up to three years. 


Applicants must have at least a 2:1 or equivalent degree in Biomedical Science, Neuroscience, Cell Biology or a related discipline and ideally will have or be working towards a postgraduate, research-based qualification (or equivalent experience). Knowledge of cellular/molecular neuroscience and cell culture techniques would be an advantage.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2324-OCT-HSS04 .

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your cover letter, all your degree certificates and transcripts and your proof of English language proficiency as attachments to your application, so please have these available when you complete the application form.

References: You will need to provide details of two referees as part of your application. At least one referee must be an academic referee from the institution that conferred your highest degree. Your referee will be asked for a reference at the time you submit your application, so please ensure that your nominated referees are willing and able to provide references within 14 days of your application being submitted.

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is 16 June 2023.

Further Information

It is expected that interviews will take place on weeks commencing 17 July 2023. If you have not heard from us by the end of June 2023, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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