For all those chocoholics’ and high witted students, The University of West England has just what suit your preferences. The chance to collaborate your intellect with your taste buds. UWE is looking for a candidate to fill the fully funded PhD program devoted towards research in chocolate. The three year program is fully funded which means zero tuition fee; it’s an annual £14,296 tax-free stipend. The study is about the genetic factors that influence the flavor of cocoa to chocolate. The chosen candidate will study how the fermentation of cocoa beans will turn into variety of chocolate flavors given in their prospectus. The urgent news you need to adhere to is that you have until 27th February 2017 to apply to the university’s Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences in Bristol. The program begins on 1st may 2017 and through 1st April 2017.

The three-year program is created in response to demand from the chocolate industry for more forensic knowledge of different cocoa strains. Studies at UWE Bristol shows that all specific microbial species involved in the fermentation process of cocoa can be characterized from the DNA extracted from fermented cocoa beans, roasted beans and finished chocolate products. The DNA sample will enable us to assess how the macrobiotics involved in the fermentation process lead to specific chocolate flavor. This will also help us in developing of fermentation in a way that targeted inoculations might produce specific flavored chocolate, or to make the large number of small-scale fermentation more reproducible.

The program aims to:

  • Develop chloroplast-based marker screening approaches of chocolate-derived material in order to identify location of small cooperative producers.
  • Identify farm-specific DNA markers characterizing the macrobiotics on the surface of fermented cacao beans from chocolate samples via Next Generation Sequencing.
  • Develop molecular specific assay for diagnostic SNPs of specific cocoa origin.
  • Correspond with the chocolate industry to assess the potential of these molecular screening methods for tracing sustainable certified cacao products.

The lucky PhD student will join The Center for Research in Bio sciences (CRIB) which networks the world-class multidisciplinary, collaborative research with focus on the following themes: bio medicine, bio-sensing and analytical, agri-food, plant science and environmental science. CRIB addresses the basic and applied aspects of research. Adjoining links with national and international academic partners, health organisations and industry ensure that this research has real social and economic impact.

Along with that the PhD student will be a member of the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, which provides a program of training and support to PhD students. This includes access to any relevant UWE Bristol modules, or external university modules/courses to meet their specific training needs for 60 Master’s level credits. Additional short courses are available free of charge to all postgraduate research students through the Graduate School Researcher Development Program, which is delivered by the UWE Bristol Graduate School.

This also brings you close to a novel chance of a job offer as a part-time chocolate taster by Mondelez International the cooperation behind some of the world’s most famous sugary treats like Cadbury, Milka, Prince and Oreo. So one student’s world is going to be turned into life of chocoholic’s heaven and it is better than studying any other basic PhD program.

Although this is not the first time Britain has given an opportunity to become the doctor of chocolate, in 2014 Cambridge University started a PhD in chocolate. It was a limited edition program that was on a challenge to research to stop chocolate from melting. The would-be doctor of chocolate was expected to “investigate the various factors that melt chocolate. Chocolate has a melting point close to that of the human body, to remain solid and retain qualities sought by consumers when it is stored and sold in warm climates”.

The research was a project aimed towards “experimental techniques”, but according to the post required good mathematical skills.

If you are interested in becoming doctor of chocolate you need to make sure you fall into the criteria of the PhD program.

To be eligible for this program one should have:

  • A good honors degree (2.1 or equivalent) with experience in molecular biology, microbiology and next generation sequencing analysis.
  • A Masters qualification is desirable, but not essential if the applicant has relevant research experience.
  • A recognized English language qualification is a must.

To apply fill the application form:

http://www2.uwe.ac.uk/services/Marketing/research/doc/graduate-school/studentships/Application_Form_Studentships.doc

Send it to:

http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/research/postgraduateresearchstudy/contactuwegraduateschool.aspx

Make sure to include the title of the research project you propose to undertake, explain briefly why you are interested in undertaking this PhD project and what relevant knowledge, experience and qualifications you would bring to the research.

Completely fill the following document as well

http://www2.uwe.ac.uk/services/Marketing/research/doc/graduate-school/Application/Equal_Opportunities_Form.doc\

Complete the first section of the Application reference sheet

http://www2.uwe.ac.uk/services/Marketing/research/doc/graduate-school/Application/Reference_Sheet.doc

Send it to nominated referees.

For any informal discussion about the studentship you are advised to contact Dr Joel Allainguillaume Joel through the following contact information:

Joel.Allainguillaume@uwe.ac.uk

Interviews will held within the week commencing 13 March 2017 and if you haven’t herd until the date than you can just stick to snicker bars for a few weeks of feeling blue.