Author: Claire Doherty

PhD ‘Design, Chemical Synthesis and Evaluation of Nucleoside Analogues’

Supervisor: Dr Gavin J Miller, Keele University, UK

Project Description

All viruses, irrespective of the disease they cause, have to replicate in order to survive. Drugs that block viral RNA or DNA replication by mimicking the natural building blocks of RNA and DNA (A, C, G, T/U) are known as nucleoside analogues. There are three distinct features of nucleosides that make them the preferred treatment for an infectious disease where a nucleoside is available: high barrier to resistance,broad spectrum of activity and high efficacy. This can be observed in the treatments of HSV (Aciclovir and Ganciclovir), HIV (Tenofovir, Zidovudine, Abacavir Emtricitabine and Lamivudine), HBV (Entecavir, Tenofovi, Adefovir, Lamivudine and Telbivudine) and HCV (Sofosbuvir).

Your PhD project will involve the design and chemical synthesis of a new class of nucleoside analogue, focusing on mimetic modifications to the ribose ring. You will also be involved in applying the mimetic nucleoside within the synthesis of current anti-viral drugs. You will receive training in organic synthesis, carbohydrate chemistry and medicinal chemistry. Transferable skills such as reporting of results orally and in writing, time management, project planning and management will be also developed.

Find out more & apply here

Supergen Hub Leaders Consultation – final event

RCUK plans to invest £5M in a multi-disciplinary Supergen Bioenergy Hub to act as a focal point for UK bioenergy research. The Hub will connect academia with industrial and policy stakeholders to focus on sustainable bioenergy development. Prof. Patricia Thornley from The University of Manchester has been appointed to lead the Hub and is currently carrying out a consultation to establish the research priorities that the new hub will address from 2018-2022 and to identify appropriate research partners and stakeholders.

We would like to invite you to our final consultation event which is taking place in Cardiff on Thursday 16th November 2017. There will also be a session supporting Early Career Researchers.

Register by 10am, Thursday 9th November here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/research-priorities-in-biomass-conversion-tickets-37369082933

House of Commons Science & Technology Inquiry

NEW INQUIRY ANNOUNCED: SCIENCE BUDGET AND INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY

The 2016 Autumn Statement provided an extra £2 billion a year for the science budget by the end of the Spending Review period, including funding for an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. In 2017, the Government committed to “meet the current OECD average for investment in R&D—2.4% of GDP—within ten years, with a longer-term goal of 3%”.

The Industrial Strategy Green Paper, in January 2017, included proposals for an ‘Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund’ and envisaged sectors making the case for ‘sector deals’. The Government has since announced the first investments from the fund, including the Faraday Challenge for battery development focusing on electric vehicle applications.

The Green Paper also highlighted a Government review of practices of universities’ Technology Transfer Offices; an independent Review of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) by David Connell; a possible expansion of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) or of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships; the “importance of place”, with “increasing our focus on commercialisation and later stage development … likely to increase the opportunities for catch-up in more parts of the country”; a “review of government and research council laboratories and their potential to drive local economic growth”.

More recently, the Government announced plans for a ‘Knowledge Exchange Framework’ to compare universities’ engagement with businesses; a third wave of ‘Science and Innovation Audits’ to map local research, innovation, and infrastructure strengths; and allocations from a ‘Connecting Capability Fund’.

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) will be operational from April 2018. It will bring together bodies that are currently separately responsible for research and innovation spending.

The Committee would welcome written submissions, ideally by Monday 30 October, on:

  • The coherence and links between the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the ‘sector deals’;
  • The model adopted by the Faraday Challenge and its suitability for future investments in other sectors under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund;
  • The rationale and coherence for the distribution of funding:
  • between the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (and its individual ISCF schemes) and the rest of the Science budget;
  • between the various initiatives to financially support innovation and commercialisation of research;
  • between the two arms of the ‘dual support’ system—funding via the research councils and funding via Research England;
  • between innovation and research.
  • The balance between different parts of the country in Government funding of research/innovation, the effectiveness of such place-based financial support, and how planned place-based funding might affect that balance in future;
  • What further measures the Government should take to use its spending and facilities to strengthen innovation, research and associated ‘place’-based growth.

Submitting written evidence

Submit written evidence via our inquiry page.

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act. We may also ask you to comment on the process of submitting evidence via the web portal so that we can look to make improvements. If you have any queries or concerns about the collection and use of this information or do not wish your details to be used for the purpose of collecting feedback, please advise the Committee at scitechcom@parliament.uk providing your full name, address, and if relevant your organisation.

Each submission should:

  1. a) be in Word format with as little use logos as possible
    b) have numbered paragraphs
    b) include a declaration of interests.

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases. 

 

Post-Doctoral researcher sub-group call

The Bioscience Skills and Careers Strategy Advisory Panel (BSC) has received input from a Bioscience Skills and Careers Postdoctoral Researcher Subgroup since March 2013. Membership of the subgroup is currently being refreshed to ensure it continues to have the necessary skills and expertise to provide input into topics highlighted by the subgroup’s recently updated terms of reference.

BBSRC is looking to appoint eight postdocs to the subgroup. Applications are sought from postdocs working in academia, including those based in research institutions, as well as those in government laboratories or industry (Postdoc in the industrial context meaning someone with a PhD carrying out a research role, but who is not directing a research programme / who does not have significant management responsibilities)

Further information can be found here: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/people-skills-training/2017/170703-n-call-for-bioscience-skills-careers-postdoctoral-researcher-subgroup-members/

GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs

Research Councils UK invites proposals from eligible UK research organisations to establish and lead a number of challenge-led and impact-focused GCRF Interdisciplinary Research Hubs which meet the aims of Official Development Assistance.

The Intention to Submit survey must be completed by 29th September 2017. Outline proposals must be submitted via Je-S by 16:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on 9th November 2017

Further information can be found here: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/gcrf/interdisciplinary-research-hubs-to-address-intractable-challenges/

Global Engagement Meetings

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is running a series of international Global Engagement Meetings. The application form to attend the Meetings is now open and can be found at the link below. Applications are open to UK and non-UK academics and non-academics who have an interest in international development research.

More details about the Meetings and application form can be found here: www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/gcrf/gcrf-global-engagement-events/

The aim of these large scale events is to showcase the opportunities available through the GCRF; to bring together developing country and UK researchers and representatives from other organisations to forge networks; and to discuss opportunities for maximising the contribution of GCRF research into policy and practice.

The Meetings will be held on the following dates and locations:

  • Colombia (Bogota) Wednesday 4th-Friday 6th October 2017
  • India (Delhi) Tuesday 7th-Thursday 9th November 2017
  • South Africa (Pretoria) Tuesday 5th-Wednesday 6th December 2017

Applications are open until Thursday 27th July, and successful applicants will hear in early August. Please circulate this to your contacts.

If you have any queries please contact gcrf@rcuk.ac.uk