13 April, 2018

Undergraduate research experience placement: Bacterial functional screening for plant growth promoting traits in the rhizosphere of ancestral and domesticated wheats grown in different soil managements.

A funded opportunity is available for an undergraduate student (subject to eligibility, see below) to be part of the molecular microbial ecology group (MMEG) at Rothamsted Research’s site in Harpenden during the summer of 2018. The placement will last between 8 and 10 weeks, begining mid-July and is expected to end September (exact dates are flexible.) This is a funded opportunity offering a student stipend of £200 per week supported by the soils training and research studentships (STARS) NERC-BBSRC scheme. The selected candidate will develop key laboratory and bioinformatic skills, whilst gaining an insight into anthropogenic impacts on microbial soil communities. A combination of basic microbial culture and molecular analysis will be carried out to assess the functional ability of Pseudomonas fluorescens communities isolated from the rhizosphere of ancestral and modern wheat varieties grown in different soil managements.

This is a great opportunity to gain skills in a laboratory setting and experience working within a research team. If you are interested in microbiology and wish to develop your CV whilst earning money over summer, please send a short (less than one A4 page) application letter explaining your motivation to Heather Ruscoe ( by the 31st May 2018. If you need more details, or wish to discuss the opportunity further, please feel free to email any questions to Heather before applying.


Please note the following eligibility criteria. Applicants should:

  • be studying for an undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline outside of NERC’s scientific remit (e.g. mathematics, statistics, computing, engineering, physics) • be applying for a placement in a different department to their undergraduate degree, • be undertaking their first undergraduate degree studies (or integrated Masters), • be expected to obtain a first or upper second class UK honours degree, • be eligible for subsequent NERC PhD funding (i.e. UK, EU or right to remain in the UK.)