New doctoral research initiative launched to tackle antimicrobial resistance

The Departments of Biology and Chemistry at Oxford University have partnered with the Ineos Oxford Institute for Antimicrobial Research (IOI) and University of Cambridge to train the next generation of cutting-edge antimicrobial resistance researchers.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – when microbes, such as bacteria and viruses, outwit our medicines and cause untreatable infections – is already a huge and growing health problem around the world. Recent data published in The Lancet suggests that there may have already been nearly 5 million global deaths related to drug resistant infections in 2019. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that by 2050, this figure will increase to 10 million, overtaking the number of cancer related deaths and making antimicrobial resistance one of the most pressing health problems faced by humanity today.

The shared vision of the partners for the new doctoral training initiative is to nurture a new generation of outstanding scientific champions that will be equipped to tackle the global challenge of drug resistant infections.

The successful candidates will be fully funded for three and a half years, and whilst registered at either Oxford or Cambridge will have the opportunity to work on collaborative projects that span both universities, on opportunities such as using cutting-edge biophysics to combat drug resistance in different microbes and new genetic technologies to support the discovery of new drugs.

Applicants are invited to go to to find out more about the projects and how to apply, with a deadline of 30 June 2022 for applying for a place for October 2022.

The Ineos Oxford Institute (IOI) was founded at the University of Oxford in 2021 to combat this pressing global challenge – bringing together world-class talent from the Departments of Biology and Chemistry together to develop innovative solutions to slow and reverse the spread of drug resistant infections. Based at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, where penicillin was first developed into a viable drug, the IOI is working with the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge to harness their combined expertise as globally recognised centres of excellence for health science research by funding six new doctoral (PhD or DPhil) places in leading antimicrobial research teams.

Head of Chemistry at the Ineos Oxford Institute, said:

This new doctoral initiative represents an exciting step towards training the brightest talent to help combat antimicrobial resistance. The first doctoral initiative of its kind in the field, it shows the commitment of both of these leading universities to collaborate on tackling one of the world’s most urgent medical problems.