The EDESIA: Plants, Food and Health PhD programme is funded by Wellcome Trust to advance major aspects of plant-based nutrition and health, from crop to clinic.  The programme draws on the world-class, interdisciplinary research expertise of the Norwich Research Park (UEA, John Innes Centre, Quadram Institute and Earlham Institute). 

The EDESIA programme combines scientific excellence with a commitment to improving the working environment and transition support towards future employment for trainees.  

Through a four-year, rotation-based PhD, EDESIA students will have the opportunity to train in a wide range of disciplines across the translational pathway of nutrition research, ranging from plant science and the mechanistic understanding of nutrition, to clinical trials, population-based studies and public health.

The single geographical location of our partnership provides doctoral researchers with access to an exceptionally wide range of expertise and facilities for research into plant-based food and health, including:

  • Metabolic engineering of plants which enhance or optimize concentrations of specific nutrients
  • State of the art approaches to breeding and genome editing of crops
  • The function of the gut microbiome in the absorption of plant-based foods and their further metabolism by human tissues
  • Use of the latest ‘omics’ technologies to measure changes in metabolism and gene expression
  • Biochemical, genetic, cell biological and functional analysis of plant metabolites
  • in vitro analysis of the biological activity of key metabolites in model tissues and cell cultures
  • Investigation of mechanisms of action in animal models of disease
  • Innovative approaches to bioinformatics, mathematical biology and metagenomics
  • Complex statistical analyses of large prospective cohort datasets
  • Human intervention studies

Search our current PhD opportunities