PhD Studentship in Crop Science opportunity

Posted on: 06/08/2019

The University of Reading and Mondelez have an opportunity for a PhD studentship in crop science, working on wheat breeding.

The project title is: “Understanding protein impact on soft wheat flour functionality: Identification of protein markers for soft wheat breeding”.

This is a fantastic opportunity to work at pre-breeding of soft wheat, specifically targeting its processing quality for the bakery sector. The project is funded via a BBSRC-CTP and the research will be carried out in collaboration with Mondelez, where the student will take up a placement during the course of the studentship. Milling wheat is categorised into two commercial classes, soft and hard, according to the milling energy required to produce the flour. Soft wheat produces flour with low starch damage, which is ideal for the production of bakery products such as biscuits and crackers, but the quality of different soft wheat products is underpinned by different protein networking characteristics. For example, the manufacturing of crackers requires the formation of a strong, elastic gluten while this could be detrimental to the manufacture of cookies, since it may cause excessive shrinking, compromising s their size and shape. This project seeks to identify specific gluten protein subunits/clusters responsible for the formation of either extensible or strong/elastic gluten in a soft wheat background. This will be achieved via quantitative genetic dissection of the relevant biochemical and functional traits in field-grown grain samples of a multi-parent mapping population expected to have a high degree of variability at the loci encoding for gluten proteins using industry standard dough functionality prediction tests and advanced proteomics.

Individuals with a background in plant science and a strong interest in wheat processing quality and genetic research are especially encouraged to apply for this unique PhD opportunity.


  • Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree (or equivalent) or a Masters degree in a relevant subject.
  • Due to restrictions on the funding this studentship is open to UK/EU students. EU students are eligible for fees only funding.

Funding Details

  • Starts October 2019
  • 4 year award
  • Tuition fees (¬£4260/year) plus stipend (¬£14,777/year) and consumables (¬£5000/year)

How to apply

To apply for this studentship please email your CV and covering letter to (subject: Mondelez PhD).

Application Deadline: 10th September 2019

Further Enquiries

For further enquiries please contact Dr Paola Tosi at or on +44 (0)118 378 8119.

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