Research course

Developing a sustainable 'lure-and-kill' control system for disease-carrying sandflies

Lancaster University · Lancaster University

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a 2:1 or higher undergraduate degree in chemistry and/or biology.

Application deadline: 21st of April 2017

Months of entry

October, September, August, July, June

Course content

3 Year Industry-led Funded PhD: Ref No CGE52

This doctoral project is about developing a biorational “attract-and-kill” product for controlling sandflies. Leishmaniasis, a fatal or disfiguring parasitic disease of humans and animals in the tropics and sub-tropics, is transmitted by blood-feeding insects. It affects the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged people. There is no vaccine and therapeutic drugs are expensive and have unpleasant side effects. Disease control therefore relies on insecticides but their sporadic use is ineffective and environmentally damaging.

The product will be capable of delivering a reduction in sandfly numbers and human and animal disease. At the same time the product will reduce the widespread environmental spraying of insecticide and this will deliver significant environmental benefits. The use of insect attractants to monitor and control insects as a part of integrated pest management programs is widespread in the agricultural sector where they contribute significantly to reduction or elimination of insecticide use.

Applicants would identify attractants for sand flies from plants, combine them in a controlled release device with insecticide and test them as a “lure-and-kill” device in laboratory and different field experiments.

This doctoral research project will be supervised by Lancaster University and Russell IPM Limited. Russell IPM is a leading manufacturer of pheromone-based monitoring and control systems in the UK and largest in Europe. It has developed over 150 insect pheromone lures and bio-rational pesticides for controlling insect pests. The company has been awarded Queens Award for innovation and international trade in 2012 and 2011.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language, we need you to have an appropriate qualification in English i.e. A score of 6.5 in IELTS (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component), or a minimum overall mark of 93 in TOEFL.

Please also note that tuition fees of £12,964 per year will need to be paid upfront by international students.

Fees and funding

UK students
Fully funded for UK/EU students
International students
For non-EU students, fees of £12,964 per year apply.

This position is fully funded for UK/EU students, meaning that the tuition fees are paid for by the partner business. Fees for Non EU/UK graduates are subsidised from £17,085 per year to £12,964 per year.

You will also receive a tax-free stipend of £15,000 per year (regardless of nationality).

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months

Course contact details

Centre for Global Eco-Innovation