A fully funded research masters (24 months) position is open in the de Menezes research group at NUI Galway to study the importance of extracellular DNA (exDNA) as a reservoir of antimicrobial resistance genes (ARGs) in the environment. This project is part of the FED-AMR One Health European Joint Programme consortium (https://onehealthejp.eu/jpr-fed-amr/). The focus of the FED-AMR consortium is in establishing the role of exDNA in ARG transmission across ecosystems and species boundaries. ExDNA is ubiquitous in the environment and may represent an important yet understudied reservoir of ARGs. The consortium partners in several European countries are collecting exDNA samples from which the AMR gene diversity and abundance will be studied by shotgun metagenomics and quantitative PCR. A wealth of associated AMR data, such as the abundance and diversity of AMR bacteria and background antibiotic levels are also being determined. The research masters position available will focus on a) collecting samples from wastewater, wild animal faeces and farm soil in County Galway; b) isolating AMR bacteria; c) extracting total and extracellular DNA from environmental samples; d) determining the ARG diversity and abundance through high-throughput DNA sequencing. This MSc project will focus more specifically on determining the mechanisms of AMR gene transmission in exDNA through the analyses of ARG genes and mobile gene elements in the metagenomic DNA datasets. This project is suited to candidates with interests in microbiology, molecular biology and bioinformatics. Funding covers stipend (18,000 per year) and EU fees in addition to research consumables. Candidates are advised to send their CV and a motivation letter to Alexandre de Menezes (alexandre.demenezes@nuigalway.ie). The position will be open until filled and research activities are anticipated to start in July 2020. 

Application deadline:
Start date: Open until filled
Location: Galway, Ireland