Bacterial and Viral Infection

Antimicrobial resistance

At a glance

National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research

Lead researcher

Dr Matthew Avison


University of Bristol



Amount awarded


Last updated



We have committed £4 million to create the UK’s only national multi-disciplinary PhD training programme in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is training the next generation of researchers to tackle this urgent global health challenge.

Antibiotics transformed healthcare in the 20th century and are still considered one of the greatest medical achievements of the era. Today, we still rely on antibiotics to treat everything from minor cuts to life-threatening bacterial infections and to prevent infection after surgery. These drugs have drastically improved our quality of life and increased lifespan.

In the 21st century, antibiotic overuse and misuse has led to antibiotics rapidly becoming ineffective. Antimicrobial resistance, specifically antibiotic resistance, now poses a global threat to human life. We need urgent action to halt resistance and to accelerate new treatments for bacterial infection.

The Medical Research Foundation’s National PhD Training Programme in Antimicrobial Resistance Research has been designed in response and the University of Bristol is leading this cross-institutional training programme.

The first cohort of 18 students have taken up their four-year multidisciplinary PhD studentships, hosted at 13 universities and institutions across the UK, and the second cohort will commence their projects in autumn 2019.

Each PhD student will have two supervisors drawn from different research disciplines, and will learn to look at the problem of drug resistant infections from multiple angles. Potential supervisors include microbiologists, biochemists, chemists, ecologists, engineers, veterinary scientists, animal geographers, population health scientists, social scientists and designers.

The programme also provides a number of training and network-building activities and events, including a three-month placement, online training resources, summer residential training weeks and annual AMR conferences. These training and network-building activities are being offered to over 200 further UK PhD students training in AMR-related research.

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