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Optimising intestinal health and functionality of meat poultry fed non-standard feed materials

  • School: School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
  • Starting: 2022 / 2023
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / Fully-funded


An exciting PhD studentship opportunity has arisen through joint research project between AB Vista and Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

Primarily based at the University’s Brackenhurst Campus. The poultry nutrition team at NTU is a well-established, vibrant research group with superb facilities and immense technical and academic expertise in poultry nutrition and health. We have been commended by Research Councils UK for the pipeline of high calibre scientists emerging from our group.

AB Vista is an animal nutrition technology company offering pioneering products and technical services to the global animal feed industry. With its headquarters in the UK, the company employs over 200 staff globally and currently supports around 30 PhD students worldwide. Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is renowned for leading edge research, strong links with industry and excellent teaching that shapes lives and society. NTU is one of the most sustainable universities in the world — ranked 3rd in the UK by the People and Planet University League, and 5th globally in the UI Green Metric.

As we seek to minimise global resource use and environment impact in animal production, the importance of using crops in poultry diets that minimise the environmental impact of food production grows evermore. Precision in nutrient supply is essential to ensure the health of the 900 million meat birds reared annually in the UK alone. A key element of optimal nutrient supply is ensuring the target animal is enabled to use all digestion resources as efficiently as possible. In this project, we will deeply examine the biological processes supporting optimal intestinal health and functionality and identify the effects of interventions such as diet supplementation with exogenous enzymes or altered feed format. Preliminary objectives of this project are to explore the possible roles of exogenous enzymes in supporting use of non-standard feed materials such as rye; to identify the products derived from enzyme application that may have prebiotic function; and to determine the optimal growth stage in meat poultry for application of enzymes identified in earlier objectives.

The PhD programme will allow the applicant to experience a wide range of established and emerging techniques that underpin research in animal production and develop their practical skills in a supportive environment.  The work will provide much scope for independence, publication and attendance at scientific conferences and would be expected to lead to high impact outputs.

Application deadline: Friday 5 August at Midday
Interview date: Friday 12 August

Entry qualifications

To be eligible to apply, you must hold an MSc or BSc Hons (2:1 or above) in Animal Science or a relevant discipline and also must be classed as a UK Home or EU student. Applicants should outline in the application form how their skills and attributes will help them to achieve the objectives outlined in the research proposal document. The ability to drive in the UK would be advantageous in this studentship to maximise opportunities for engagement with the industrial sponsor. For informal discussions, please contact

How to apply

Applicants are required to submit a completed application form and a research proposal document of not more than 1000 words including references that academically contextualises this research field and explains how current and emerging techniques may be used to address the objectives outlined above.

Interviews for this studentship will conducted 12th August 2022

Fees and funding

This is a Directly Funded Project for European/UK Students, with funding provided via Nottingham Trent University and AB Vista.

Guidance and support

Find out about guidance and support for PhD students.

Still need help?

Emily Burton