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New strategies of NSPase supplementation in broiler chickens PhD studentship (three years)

Animal Production, Welfare & Veterinary Sciences

As per advert
Closing Date:   Friday 14 June 2019
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  RD-PHD-37VP

Harper Adams University (HAU) has the above research studentship available in the Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences Department.  The project is funded by AB Vista Feed Ingredients and Harper Adams University.

Poultry do not produce effective quantities of endogenous xylanase (XYL), the enzyme that can break down non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) in diets.  As a result, supplementation of poultry diets with commercially produced XYL is routine.  The benefits from the breakdown products of NSP generated through the supplementation with XYL may also be linked to modulation of specific gastrointestinal microbiota.  The objective of this project is to determine whether supplementation with XYL (and resulting products) to maize-based diets influences production performance, fermentation patterns, and the establishment of the gut microbiome when fed to broiler chickens.

The studentship wlll be supervised by Dr Vasil Pirgozliev. 

Applications should be made through the HAU website: where further details of the project can also be found.

The deadline for uploading completed applications is midnight UK time on Friday, 14 June 2019. 

Further information can be found on the HAU website at and on the research training provided and PhD progression requirements in the Postgraduate Research Students Handbook at:

For informal enquiries on general aspects of research degrees at HAU, applicants may contact Mrs Viv Slann, Postgraduate Research Students Administrator ( For informal enquiries on the project, applicants may contact the Director of Studies named above through the staff directory:

The studentship includes tuition, bench and writing up fees and a tax-free stipend at the RCUK rate (£15,009 per annum, 2019-2020 rate).

This studentship is only available for UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements. All applicants must have a minimum of an upper second class UK honours degree, or equivalent, in Biochemistry, Animal Sciences or a related biological science.  An MSc degree in Biochemistry, Animal Sciences or related biological sciences, with a lower second class UK honours degree at BSc level is acceptable.  Applicants are also expected to have a good knowledge of poultry/animal physiology, biology, biochemistry and microbiology.  A good working knowledge of statistics and statistical analysis software is also required.  This project will give training and experience in practical methods of poultry feed evaluation and formulation.  Consequently, there would be good future job prospects in ths area within the UK and elsewhere.

Please note that if you are an EU applicant, you will need to demonstrate that your English level is at B2 on the CEFR.  Please see the following link for details of quaifications accepted by the University:

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Harper Adams University is one of the premier UK Higher Education Institutions focused on the land-based and food supply chain sector.

With 2800 undergraduate students, plus those completing postgraduate, research and CPD programmes, Harper Adams is the UK's largest single provider of higher education for these subjects.  Programmes fall into eleven broad subject areas – but none operate in isolation. Community and collaboration are key at Harper Adams, meaning everyone, including staff, students and industry partners, benefits from a close network of knowledge and opportunity exchange

Situated in Shropshire, the campus and the surrounding area provide an excellent working and living environment for staff and students alike.

Harper Adams is consistently positioned highly in a range of national ratings, performance measures and league tables. Its current graduate employment rate is 98% (the joint top rating in England) and student satisfaction stands at 93% (National Student Survey 2017).

Harper Adams is ranked as the UK’s Best Modern University by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018; was named University of the Year in the 2016 and 2017 Whatuni Student Choice Awards and holds a Gold (highest level) award from the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework.

In 2018 Harper Adams University will receive the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education, part of the UK honours system.

Applied research is at the heart of the university’s activity, with the work of a thriving academic community underpinning both teaching and work with the industries allied to Harper. The 2014 Government Research Excellence Framework rated all of the university’s research as “of international quality”, and more than half was deemed “world leading” or “internationally excellent”.