Detection of urinary volatile compounds to determine antibiotic resistant bacteria in urinary tract infections


An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the College of Health, Science and Society, UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by the UWE Bristol.

Ref: 2223-APR-CHSS05

The expected start date of this studentship is Saturday 1 April 2023.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 12 February 2023.

Studentship details

The World Health Organisation (WHO) state that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the top 10 global threats to humanity. Specifically mentioned in a 2021 report is resistance to ciprofloxacin an antibiotic used to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs). Rates of ciprofloxacin resistance in Escherichia coli were up to 92.9%. This research group has a piloted studies that propose the use of volatile compounds as a rapid and non-invasive diagnostic tool in the detection of antibiotic resistant UTI infection.

Previous studies have focused on in vitro work, this project will look to expand upon this and use in vivo samples collected from a clinic, or inoculated urine. The successful candidate will need to work closely with external parties to fully achieve the objectives of this project. This project will combine elements for microbiology and analytical chemistry, particularly the use of mass spectrometry (training will be provided).

The proposed PhD project will look to build upon the previous work of this group. We will attempt to rapidly detect AMR bacterial infection directly from the urine of patient undergoing clinical investigation for UTI.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please contact Oliver Gould at


The studentship is available from Saturday 1 April 2023 for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £17,668 (2022/23) per annum.

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


Applicants must have completed or nearing completion of a degree in biomedical sciences, chemistry, or similar, and ideally will have an appreciation or basic understanding of analytical chemistry.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted use the reference number 2223-APR-CHSS05.

Supporting documentation: You will need to upload your research proposal, 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 Sunday 12 February 2023.

Further information

It is expected that interviews will take place on the week commencing Monday 6 March 2023. If you have not heard from us by this date, we thank you for your application but on this occasion you have not been successful.

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