Defining organoid models for the investigation of repurposed/novel therapeutics for the treatment of EBV+ associated carcinomas

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International (including EU at international rates from Sept 21)

Duration: Full time - between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 18 March 2023

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023 or January 2024

To find out more about the project, please contact Dr Hannah Bridgewater


Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship in the Research Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences (CSELS).

Project details

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human herpesvirus associated with the development of both lymphoid and epithelial tumours. NPC and EBV-GC are two epithelial tumours and were the cause of 1.6 million deaths worldwide in 2020. This demonstrates the need for effective therapeutics.

Dr Hannah Bridgewater with lead the project in collaboration with virologist Dr Phillip Gould and cancer biologist Dr Steven Foster at Coventry University.

This project will investigate how to model EBV+ tumours as 3D organoid cultures. Organoid models are more representative than traditional 2D cell culture models. The organoid models will then be utilised to test therapeutics.

Through this project the candidate, would gain skills in cell culture, RNAseq and analysis, confocal, flow cytometry and sectioning. As well as transferable skills and writing skills.


Tuition fees and a bursary.


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. 

The candidate will be based in the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences (CSELS) Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). The CSELS DTC programme is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, which enables the doctoral researcher to fast-track chartered biologist (CBiol) status upon graduation. The successful candidate will be encouraged to engage with all development activities and opportunities across the university at university and faculty level.

Candidate specification

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

 For further details please visit:

Additional requirements

Applicant should have a keen interest in virology and cancer biology, as well as willingness to learn or some experience of R programming and command line.

Experience is molecular biology techniques such as qPCR, immunofluorescence and flow cytometry is preferred.

How to apply 

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Hannah Bridgewater, Assistant Professor (Research).

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter and an up-to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

Details of all available research opportunities at Coventry University can be found via

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