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A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


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Academic background
Business, Health Sciences, Humanities, Sciences
Host campus
Bioethics Centre
Dr Mike King, Associate Professor Lynley Anderson


A fully-funded PhD with stipend is available to conduct PhD research into the ethics and social license of antimicrobials that are developed for use only in animals.

Currently many antimicrobials, such as antibiotics, are used to treat both animals and humans. This can lead to problems such as bacterial resistance to antimicrobials that affects both human and animal health. This PhD is part of a larger project that aims to tackle problems such as these through developing precision antimicrobials only for use in animals. These could break the link between human and animal health when they are used to treat infections in animals.

The research for this PhD will involve investigating the ethics of antimicrobial resistance, and of developing and using animal-only antimicrobials – what ethical reasons there are to do or not do this, and, if it ought to be done, how.

The project will also involve empirical research. This will be speaking to stakeholders such as veterinarians, companion animal owners, Māori, farmers, and government regulators and professional bodies about their views of this strategy for disease treatment and antimicrobial stewardship. This will address the 'social license' of these antimicrobials – whether these stakeholders would use, accept or permit them, and why.

This PhD research would place you at the forefront of science and bioethics in a vitally important area intersecting with human and animal health and well-being.

Ideally, candidates will have completed a Masters degree, and must have completed a thesis or dissertation in a relevant subject or discipline: ethics/bioethics, or sociology. If you are not certain, get in touch and we can discuss whether your background is a good fit. It is possible that the PhD focuses more on the ethics or the sociology aspect, depending on the candidate – we can discuss this with you.

Please get in touch with Mike or Lynley if you are interested in this opportunity, providing your academic transcripts and up-to-date CV if you have them.


Mike King
Tel +64 3 471 6130

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