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Studentships 2019

The Pirbright Institute has formed partnerships with a number of different universities and companies in the UK to offer a selection of exciting studentships studying viral infections of animals.

These partnerships offer students an exceptional opportunity to obtain a broad view of infectious disease research in a rich, stimulating and unique research environment. Students will have the opportunity to work with the different partners involved in their project, thereby giving them access to novel ways of tackling the problems of livestock diseases through interdisciplinary, cross-institutional approaches. This will be coupled to core skills training at the student’s host institutions, providing flexible training options and experiences that will support a wide range of career choices.

Applications are therefore invited for these studentships as detailed below.

UK PhD Loans:

Doctoral loans are now available.  A doctoral loan allows you to borrow up to £25,000 to study a UK PhD in any subject in 2018-19.  Students in receipt of Research Council funding are not eligible.  For full details please visit:

Residential Guidelines for Research Council Studentships:

For further information on residence eligibility for studentship funding please refer to Residential Guidelines for Research Council Studentships


Ref number Project title Supervisors Abstract
2019-16 DK/DH

PhD Studentship: Forecasting the next panzootic foot-and-mouth disease lineage: informing virus fitness from in vitro studies and genomic data

Closing date: 04.08.19

Dr Don King (The Pirbright Institute), Dr Dan Horton (University of Surrey), Dr Lidia Lasecka, Dr Andrew ShawDr Toby Tuthill (The Pirbright Institute)

We seek a highly motivated student with the enthusiasm and drive to pursue an engaging question in the field of virus emergence and epidemiology.  Foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes a highly contagious disease of cloven hooved livestock with potentially devastating economic consequences. Whilst the different ‘serotypes’ of FMDV are highly variable, only a relatively small number of viral lineages successfully spread to have distributions covering multiple continents (attaining ‘panzootic’ status). This project aims to address the question of what drives a FMDV strain to become panzootic and supplant the existing strain(s). The ability to forecast whether a novel lineage is likely to become panzootic would profoundly improve our ability to prepare for and respond to outbreaks where multiple strains are circulating.  Full project details

The Pirbright Institute also has the following studentships which should be applied for through our partner organisations:  

Partner Organisation/s Project Title Applications

Further information

The studentship provides for tuition fees and stipend depending on eligibility (see full project details accessible through the tables above).

How to apply

See the 'how to apply' section for further information.

General enquiries can be emailed to

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