Investigating the link between the oral microbiome and cardiovascular health in regards to nitrate/nitrite metabolism

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2021.

To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Health Studies, then clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Health Professions and name the project at the top of your personal statement.

Online application

Take a look at the Doctoral College's general information on applying for a research degree.

Project description 

The production of nitrite from nitrate-reducing bacteria have profound implications on the cardiovascular and oral health of the human host and it is of great relevance to understand better the main factors modulating the composition of the oral microbiota and abundance/activity of nitrate-reducing bacteria. This project will be focused on the effect of diet and oral care treatment on the abundance and activity of oral nitrate-reducing bacteria in humans with different health status. It can also be potentially extended to explore the effect of physical exercise on the oral microbiota. The successful candidate will be using gold-standard methods to analyse nitrogen species in biological fluids as well as abundance of bacteria and metabolites in saliva samples within Dr Bescos lab (School of Health Professions). Research skills on bioinformatics will also be developed through the project. The candidate will closely collaborate with staff members of the Oral Microbiome Research Group and the Peninsula Dental School. The project also involves collaborations with national and international researchers in Sweden (Karolinska Institute) and Spain (Institute for Research in Biomedicine of Barcelona and Open University of Catalonia).


Applicants should have (at least) a first or upper second class honours degree in biomedical sciences, biology, dentistry or other relevant subject, and preferably a relevant MSc or MRes qualification. 

The studentship is supported for three years and includes full home tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,609 per annum (2021/22 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover international fees will have to cover the difference between the home and the international tuition fee rates (approximately £12,697 per annum).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact However, applications must be made in accordance with the details shown below.

General information about applying for a research degree at the University of Plymouth and to apply for this position please visit:

This vacancy will involve working with children and/or vulnerable adults and any appointment will be subject a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Please mark it FAO Doctoral College and clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship within the School of Health Professions.

For more information on the admissions process contact Doctoral College,

The closing date for applications is 12 noon on 30 April 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview in May. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by 31 May 2021 should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.