Cold plasma applications for safe and sustainable meat production

Introduction

An opportunity to apply for a funded full-time PhD in the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, UWE Bristol. The studentship will be funded by the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences. Reference: 2022-JAN-HAS02.

The expected start date of this studentship is 1 January 2022.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 5 September 2021.

About the studentship

Over the past few decades, the food sector has experienced an increase in the demand for meat and meat products, which has resulted from a rise in household incomes. However, in the food sectors, there has been an increasing concern among the consumers regarding food safety and meat safety in particular. Despite advances in food safety and processing, incidents of meat acting as a vehicle for human health microbiological hazards are increasing. In order to ensure that the growing demand for safe and high-quality meat products is successfully met, it is necessary to develop advanced technologies for the meat industry.

Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma is a novel non-thermal technology that has been attracting an increasing attention in various fields. Plasma (the fourth state of matter) is described as a gas that is completely or partially ionised by electrical discharges. It mainly comprises of such chemical species as reactive oxygen, nitrogen species and quanta of electromagnetic radiation (e.g. UV photons). Cold plasma shows a broad-spectrum rapid antimicrobial activity, while remaining close to ambient temperature.

The overall aim of this project is to develop, optimise and validate a Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma technology (gas plasma and plasma activated water), which can rapidly and effectively eliminate microbiological risks from the meat supply chain and,  thus enhance quality and shelf life of meat.

This research will form a platform for the development of new strategies for production of safer food and therefore will be of direct benefit to consumers and meat industry. The new technology will also reduce the healthcare and economic burden of foodborne diseases. The successful applicant will benefit from multidisciplinary training and will gain extensive experience in cold plasma technology as well as different state-of-the-art microbiological and biochemical techniques.

For an informal discussion about the studentship, please email Dr Alexandros Stratakos (Alexandros.Stratakos@uwe.ac.uk).

Funding

The studentship is available from the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences for a period of three years, subject to satisfactory progress and includes a tax exempt stipend, which is currently £15,609 per annum.

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

Eligibility

Applicants must have a BSc Hons (2:1 or above) or equivalent degree in a Biological Science-related discipline. An MSc in a relevant subject (e.g. microbiology, biochemistry) is desirable.

Experience in microbiology and biochemical techniques is desirable but not essential, as training will be provided. The successful applicant will be expected to work in a professional manner in a multi-disciplinary team and engage with academic and industry partners. This studentship is open for UK, EU and International applicants.

A recognised English language qualification is required.

How to apply

Please submit your application online. When prompted, use the reference number 2022-JAN-HAS02. Applications which do not include a studentship reference number cannot be considered for shortlisting.

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. Applications which are incomplete at the application deadline will not be considered for shortlisting.

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 5 September 2021.

Further information

Interviews will take place on Friday 29 October 2021. If you have not heard from us by that date, we thank you for your application but, on this occasion, you have not been successful.