PhD Student in Biological Mathematics – Healthy guts: More than what you eat

PhD Student in Biological Mathematics – Healthy guts: More than what you eat


The Organisation

AgResearch is a leading Crown Research Institute charged with delivering science and innovation to benefit New Zealand and its wider economy. Our internationally recognised scientists are dedicated to this mission and we collaborate with world leading science organisations and universities to achieve exceptional science delivery. We are proud to be unique organisation that is driving prosperity by transforming to better equip our future generations to come.

The Role

We are seeking a PhD candidate who is an enthusiastic learner and has demonstrated academic excellence across disciplines to undertake research modelling the effects of the commensal microbiota and nutrition on the development of the human gut. The metabolic activities of the microbiome shape this ecosystem and influence the human host systemically, and hence are essential functions related to human digestion and health. Modelling provides an opportunity to bridge knowledge from multiple disciplines to explore hypothesis and determine mechanisms of action. Model development and validation will require a combination of computational approaches including ordinary and partial differential equations.

The three year will be undertaken within the Food Nutrition & Health team at AgResearch Ruakura in Hamilton, New Zealand. The project is funded by the Riddet Centre of Research Excellence. Appointment will be subject to successful enrolment with Massey University (Palmerston North) as a PhD student.


  • See Job Description for a comprehensive list of duties.

The Ideal Candidate Must Have

  • An equivalent to a NZ University Masters or Honours degree in pure or ;
  • OR work experience in modelling or degrees in mathematically intensive subject (e.g. physics, , engineering, and );
  • Excellent communication skills (IELTS score of 6.5 required if English is not first language);
  • Demonstrated competence in at least one modern programming language;
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills;
  • The ability to learn and retain information, work independently and collaboratively, adapt to change, and plan, organise and implement projects in a timely manner;
  • Demonstrated high ethical standards, diligence, integrity, professionalism, politeness and courteousness, and work effectively in a diverse community.


  • Includes an annual tax-free stipend of NZD$30,000, tuition fees and consumables.

How to Apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter (1-2 pages), explaining your interest and why you are suited to the position
  • CV (summarising education, employment, scientific outputs, names of 3 referees)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records (translated to English). Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system.

All applications (including relevant documents mentioned above) must be submitted online via—Healthy-guts-More-than-what-you-eat,19648.html.

If you would like to know more about this opportunity, please contact Associate Professor Nicole Roy by email

The intended start date for the project is 01 February 2017, or as soon as possible after this date. The closing date for applications is 15 November 2016.

This post is not valid after Wednesday November 16th, 2016

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