Petplan Charitable Trust PhD Study
to Investigate Feline Infectious Peritonitis-Specific Nucleotide Motifs


A three-year study, leading to a PhD, is being funded by the Petplan Charitable Trust and is available to commence on 1st February 2011 in the School of Veterinary Sciences, Langford at the University of Bristol.  The aim of the project is to define nucleotide sequence motifs in feline coronaviruses (FCoVs) associated with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and to then develop a diagnostic test for the confirmation of FIP.  The applicant will gain extensive experience in molecular-based techniques and bioinformatic analysis.  Furthermore, the applicant will receive training in the design, conduct and presentation of research. Practical work will be done in the School of Veterinary Sciences, Langford and the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Bristol. The work will be jointly supervised by Professor Stuart Siddell and Drs Chris Helps and Séverine Tasker, supported by collaborators both within the University of Bristol and in other Universities.  Good computer skills are essential, and some experience of molecular research and feline medicine is desirable.  The successful applicant will have a high level of literacy and numeracy, good organisation skills and a willingness to learn and develop research skills to a high standard.  The successful applicant will also have excellent communication skills and confidence in making contact with cat owners and veterinary surgeons.


Applicants must possess, or expect to obtain, a first class, or good upper second class, degree in a biological related subject, or a degree in a veterinary science, and be able to demonstrate a clear interest in FIP.  This project is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK) who have been resident in the UK for a period of 3 years or more.


Informal enquiries about the project are encouraged and can be made to Dr Séverine Tasker (email:


To apply, please send a CV, cover letter, and the names and addresses of two referees to Alison Foxwell, Head of Department’s Office, School of Veterinary Sciences, Langford House, Langford, North Somerset, BS40 5DU (email:, quoting reference SCH/10/09, by December 15th 2010.

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