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Development opportunities for early career researchers

Biotechnology YES

Biotechnology YES is a truly excellent opportunity for researchers to get a crash course in what commercialising a research finding would entail. This is experiential learning that will help researchers identify how they can make the most from their research findings. It can also help researchers think about the broader range of career options that might be suitable for them.

Book a place on the Biotechnology YES information session on the 10th May to learn more about the Scheme and meet last year’s successful participants.

Three Minute Thesis competition

The 3MT challenges doctoral candidates to present a compelling spoken presentation on their research topic and its significance in just three minutes.  The competition is open to all research students and is a fun way to network and focus on communicating research to a knowledgeable but non-expert audience.

Book a place in the competition. Deadline for entries: 9th May

For more information about any of the above please contact: Richy Hetherington, Postgraduate Skills Co-ordinator (, 0191 208 7874)

Lunchtime Mindfulness Sessions: Spring 2016


A new series of lunchtime Mindfulness meditation sessions begins in May 2016

These sessions are designed to introduce participants to a range of mindfulness practices they may find helpful in their everyday lives, at work and at home; practices that may help them to find ways to reduce stress and develop a better sense of well-being.
The sessions are open to everyone, with or without prior experience of meditation, and are designed so that people can dip in an out if they wish to. The sessions will be led by Michael Atkinson and Dr. Lucy Harrison. Please contact Michael Atkinson in the School of Medical Education at if you would like more information.
Each session will involve some meditation practice as well as some discussion around each theme. Each session will last for 45 minutes, but you are welcome to come for as little or as long as you wish. Sessions are held in the Graduate Training Suite (MG207, near the Medical School main entrance).
Details of each session are listed on the flyer. To book a session go to the list of forthcoming workshops.

British Science Week Mitochondria debate

As part of British Science Week 2016 Simon Woods contributed to the Mitochondria: exploring the science debate at EXPLORE, on Saturday 12th March in Newcastle city centre. The event was chaired by Dorothy Stainsby, Chair of the EXPLORE board.

EXPLORE is a lively, ambitious programme of talks, workshops and visits and is run by The Joseph Cowen Lifelong Learning Centre, a Community Interest Company with an elected board of directors. 

Alongside Simon, the panel of speakers included members of Newcastle University’s Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research team Felix ChanDr Lindsey Butterworth and Dr Julie Murphy.

CIVI Seminar Series Spring-Summer 2016

Our Spring-Summer Seminar Series 2016 will start on Friday 8th April 2016 and information can be found on our seminar pages

For more information, please contact Sandra Blackwood (

PhD Studentship in Cellular Medicine - Mitochondrial epigenetics; a molecular link between ageing and age-related disease

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £14,296.  Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

September 2016 for 3 years.

Application closing date

30 June 2016


Interested in how the ‘ageing process’ drives the development of age-related diseases? This project will investigate epigenetics mechanisms which may explain the relationship between ageing and age-related diseases.

Ageing is the main risk factor for most non-communicable diseases, including hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This risk is modified by lifestyle, and notably diet. We hypothesise that changes in mitochondrial epigenetic patterns with ageing contribute to the development of age-related disease and that dietary factors can ameliorate these effects. We will examine mechanisms that underlie ageing and their modulation by specific nutritional factors, and lay the basis for strategies to delay the development of age-related diseases.

The PhD student will develop knowledge of mitochondrial biology, ageing, age-related disease, genomics, epigenomics, nutrition, and the molecular techniques that will be used within the project, such as DNA/RNA extraction, pyrosequencing for analysing locus-specific DNA methylation, transfection using lipofectamine, and commonly used in vitro cell culture techniques. The PhD student will also learn bioinformatics tools for use in analysing the acquired DNA methylation data.


Research Excellence Academy, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr H M Byun, Human Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Cellular Medicine
Professor J C Mathers, Human Nutrition Research Centre, Institute of Cellular Medicine

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in biomedicine, physiology, microbiology or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous.

The award is available to UK/EU and international applicants.  If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 6.5, or equivalent.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.

Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

  • insert the programme code 8300F in the programme of study section 
  • select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Cellular Medicine' as the programme of study 
  • insert the studentship code 08MREA in the studentship/partnership reference field 
  • attach a covering letter and CV.  The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code 08MREA and state how your interests and experience relate to the project 
  • attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.


For further details, please contact:

Dr H M Byun, Human Nutrition Research Centre
Institute of Cellular Medicine

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