PhD Studentship in Human Development and Health

University of Southampton Southampton General Hospital

PhD Studentship: Characterising the metabolic impact of early life undernutrition and enteric infections and their downstream effects on development and health

Human Development and Health

Location:  Southampton General Hospital
Closing Date:  Sunday 28 March 2021
Reference:  1337221AF

Lead Institute / Faculty: University of Southampton / Faculty of Medicine

Main Supervisor: Jonathan Swann

Duration of the award: 36 months, full time.

Funding information: Stipend at UKRI rate of £15,609.00 plus fees at UK rate

Project description: 

The additive effects of nutritional deficiencies and enteric infections in early life have a substantial impact on the developing biological system of infants. Such alterations induced by these insults have long-lasting consequences for the physiological, immunological and neurobehavioural status of the individuals. This project will use metabolomics/metabolic phenotyping to broadly characterise the biochemical modulations in infants resulting from undernutrition and infection with various pathogens. We will explore this in low-middle income countries by analysing samples collected from infants across a variety of locations, as well as exploring our existing comprehensive datasets. In addition, we will examine the role of the intestinal microbiota in mediating such effects and the potential for interventions (nutritional, behavioural, antimicrobial) to reduce the immediate and long-term consequences of these pressures.

 Please contact:  Professor Jonathan Swann (

 Person Specification:  See below.

An opportunity has arisen for a PhD student to join our laboratory in the Faculty of Medicine based at Southampton University Hospital Trust. The successful candidate will join a collaborative team of researchers with a strong international reputation in metabolomics, nutrition, and global health. This research group sits within the School of Human Development and Health, which is recognised as a world leader in the field of human development. As part of this project the student will be trained in analytical chemistry (mass spectrometry, NMR spectroscopy), gastrointestinal microbiology, and bioinformatics. The successful candidate should have experience in one or more of the following fields, analytical chemistry, infectious diseases, global health, bioinformatics, human development, biomedical sciences, and/or nutrition.

The successful candidate is likely to have the following qualifications:

  • A 1stor 2:1 degree in a relevant discipline and/or second degree with a related Masters.

Administrative contact and how to apply:

Please complete the University's online application form, which you can find at 

You should enter Jonathan Swann as your proposed supervisor. To support your application provide an academic CV (including contact details of two referees), official academic transcripts and a personal statement (outlining your suitability for the studentship, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date).

Informal enquiries relating to the project or candidate suitability should be directed to Jonathan Swann (

Closing date: 28th March 2021

Interview date: 14th April 2021.