MARIE CURIE EARLY STAGE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP (FULLY FUNDED PHD) IN FORENSIC SCIENCE (GENETICS/CHEMISTRY)
A fully funded PhD research fellowship in Forensic Science (Genetics/Chemistry) at the University of Leicester, part of the Marie Curie Initial Training Network “Interdisciplinary Training and Research Programme for Innovative Doctorates in Forensic Science” (INTREPID Forensics).
The INTREPID Forensics programme provides opportunities for early stage researchers to pursue innovative PhD research degrees focusing on areas relevant to the forensic sciences. The projects are supervised by leading academic researchers from a variety of disciplines, and are designed to overcome traditional boundaries between the physical and social sciences. The United Kingdom, and the University of Leicester in particular, has a strong history of world class forensic research and innovation and this innovative doctoral programme aims to attract high quality early stage researchers to investigate forensic technologies with the potential to impact crime across Europe and globally. In collaboration with European universities, forensic industry partners, and police agencies, the INTREPID Forensics programme provides the recruited researchers with a unique opportunity to experience forensic science research and innovation through exciting research projects in a variety of disciplines.
The researcher will be carrying out research on producing innovative methods of recovering DNA material from surfaces subjected to environmental extremes (ESR3).
The researcher will be supervised by Dr Jon Wetton (Genetics) and Professor Rob Hillman (Chemistry) at the University of Leicester. They will also actively participate in the INTREPID Forensics training programme, undertake secondments to partner organisations and contribute to other project related tasks as required. It is expected that the researcher will publish several journal articles and attend conferences to present their research as well as actively engage in dissemination activities such as researcher blogs and social media.
The recovery and analysis of DNA from surfaces that have been subjected to environmental extremes, such as in an explosive device, is problematic as the DNA is likely to be degraded. This project will investigate a variety of means of recovering DNA from surfaces such as bomb fragments and spent shell casing, repairing the DNA enzymatically and then maximizing the information content using current and emerging DNA analysis techniques, ranging from STR profiling to Next Generation Sequencing. The researcher will fabricate a range of materials to mimic evidential samples and devise methodologies for depositing control DNA samples that will enable accurate quantification of DNA recovery. Where possible methods will be devised that are also compatible with the recovery of fingerprint evidence and this will be tested on surfaces exposed to environmental extremes.
- To carry out research into the topic described above, while giving due consideration to the requirements of the INTREPID Forensics community.
- To meet the objectives of the INTREPID Forensics project in a timely manner in collaboration with the European associate partners, including managing own research time, exchanging knowledge and data within the team, writing up research results and communicating with other partners.
- To develop close collaborations with the INTREPID Forensics associate partners.
- To prepare written material for INTREPID Forensics reports (deliverables) in a timely manner as required by the European Commission.
- To write draft manuscripts for publication of research outcomes in peer-reviewed journals of international standing
- To ensure that all research activities undertaken are in compliance with the ‘Research Code of Conduct’ in general.
- To attend all INTREPID Forensics local training activities and network events agreed at the start of the project
- To undertake research secondments of up to 3 months at the relevant associate partner institution.
- To participate in teaching activities as part of professional development and give lectures, practicals and seminars to students.
- To attend team meetings and to participate in other activities within the team where appropriate.
- To write a Personal Career Development Plan and monitor research training progress.
- To ensure full compliance with ethical and health and safety requirements in all aspects of work.
The University is actively working toward achieving an Athena Swan award in recognition of excellence in employment and better representation of women in science.