First listed on: 08 November 2017

PhD Student - Agent X - AgResearch

The Organisation

AgResearch is the Crown Research Institute tasked with delivering cutting-edge agricultural science and innovation to benefit the wider New Zealand economy.  Our internationally-recognised scientists work across the agricultural sectors in collaboration with a range of stakeholders both nationally and internationally, putting science and innovation at the forefront. We are proud to be a unique organisation that is driving prosperity by transforming agriculture.

The Project

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship which has been established to identify and characterise novel or existing antimicrobial peptides from enriched media and investigate their inhibitory profile against key pathogens and spoilage bacteria. The outcome of the study will be to develop new bio-control strategies for extending shelf-life and improved food safety based on novel antimicrobial peptides produced by Clostridium spp. during growth in cooked meat media.

The research will be undertaken within the Food Assurance and Meat Quality team based at the Hopkirk Research Institute, AgResearch in Palmerston North, New Zealand. The PhD candidate will be enrolled at Massey University, and have supervisors from both Massey University and the Food Assurance team. The project is funded by SSIF, AgResearch.

The Successful Candidate will have:

  • A relevant Masters in microbiology or biochemistry
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills (IELTS score of 6.5 required if English is not first language)
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Diligence, resilience and enthusiasm.

To read more about the Hopkirk Research Institute go to 

Previous experience working in a microbiology and/or biochemistry laboratory would be advantageous.

The intended start date for this project is 1 February 2018, or as soon as possible after this date.


As a student with an A Grade average or better the three year studentship offers an annual stipend ($30,000) and covers University fees and operating costs. It is important that the candidate is able to fulfil the requirements for initial and continued enrolment in a PhD programme at Massey University. 

How to apply

If you are interested in this opportunity, please apply on-line via the link provided and include a covering letter detailing why you feel you would be suitable for this project.

Applications close: 4 December 2017

For more information or for a confidential discussion please contact: Dr Tanu Gupta, Scientist via email on or phone +64 6 351 8365.


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