Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a (fully-funded) PhD studentship. This Active gut microbiota, the missing link in treating colon cancer studentship is a joint project between Coventry University and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS trust.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the UK and the most common cancer amongst non-smokers that constitutes around 12% of total cancer cases in the UK in 2014. 

The etiology of the disease is multifactorial and environmental factors, including inflammation within the intestine and most recently gut microbial communities (microbiota) alongside genetic mutations have been shown to be critical in the development of colorectal cancer. The Active gut microbiota, the missing link in treating colon cancer programme is offered by Coventry University.

A missing link

These factors are creating genotoxic stress within the intestine and promote both genetic and epigenetic alterations resulting in 95% of CRC being sporadic, developing in individuals who are non-genetically predisposed to the disease. Bacteria from the human intestine have recently shown to be critical to both tumour development and the immune system, which in turn is also able to trigger and sustain cancer cell growth.

Interestingly, microbes can exist in two different states, dormant and active, the significance of this to cancer development is yet to be established. Alarmingly, the composition of colon cancer associated bacteria in the intestines remains elusive. Hence, characterisation of the cancer related microbiota (active and dormant) and understanding the mechanisms by which they affect CRC at the molecular level is imperative. 

This will lead to the development of novel combinatorial treatments based on standard surgery supplemented with transplantation of specific bacteria that will prevent cancer cell growth, thus significantly reducing the rate of mortality.

Detailed Programme Facts

Programme Structure

  • The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills
  • All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: Upper Second Class

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to Upper Second Class on the UK Honour scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on the UK Honour scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average


  • Experience in University undergraduate molecular microbiology research (involving work with gut microbiota) is essential.

Tuition Fee

  • EU/EEA

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 GBP per year and a duration of 42 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Coventry

  • 656 - 1060 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


The fully funded PhD includes a tax-free stipend (£15,009 per annum) for three and a half years, tuition fees, consumables (£10,000 per annum) and annual travel allowance (£1,000).

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


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