51 Fully Funded PhD Programs at University of Cambridge, England

Are you holding Master’s degree and looking for PhD positions? University of Cambridge, England inviting online application for funded PhD Programs / fully funded PhD positions. 

Interested and eligible applicants may submit their online application for PhD programs via the University’s Online Application Portal.

1. 10 PhD Position in Sensor Technologies

Summary of PhD Program:

These are four-year studentships funded through the Cambridge EPSCR Centre for Doctorial Training in Sensor Technologies for a Sustainable Future. It an interdisciplinary and research focused training programme which introduces our students to the breadth of sensor technologies and applications while providing depth in key topics. The programme ranges from the physical concepts of sensing via the interpretation and management of sensory data to modern developments in sensor applications.

The programme is structured as a one year Master of Research (MRes) course followed by a three year PhD research project. Throughout the course students are part of a student cohort which offers extensive peer-to-peer learning opportunities and exposure to cutting-edge R&D in academia and industry. In addition to developing their technical and scientific knowledge our students receive continuous training in research, team and leadership skills.

Last Application Date: 5 January 2023

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2. PhD Position in Future proofing roads digital twins

Summary of PhD Program:

Within the built environment, a digital twin is a realistic digital representation of assets, processes, and systems. An ecosystem of connected digital twins which can enable system optimisation and planning across sectors and organisations (CDBB, 2020). All the benefits promised by this technology rely on the ability of digital twins to evolve and be future-proofed.

The infrastructure sector and in particular roads will have to solve a multitude of challenges posed by eg. autonomous driving, smart materials and climate change. The research aims to provide the needed geospatial reference model for digital twins enhancing reality capture, 3D reconstruction, asset certainty, and overall spatial context and understanding via integration with existing national data holdings.

Last Application Date: 30 November 2022

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3. PhD Position in Sensor-driven durable low carbon concrete infrastructure

Summary of PhD Program:

The project is funded in collaboration with National Highways, a government-owned company charged with setting highways standards, operating, maintaining and improving motorways and major A roads in England. One of the major challenges we face in our efforts to maintain the functionality and resilience of our current infrastructure is corrosion.

Steel corrosion is the largest and most costly deterioration problem in reinforced concrete, with a UK annual budget of >£1 billion. National Highways are responsible for corrosion protection of reinforced concrete structures on the road network. Very early stage detection of reinforcement corrosion would provide significant benefits in protecting existing assets and optimising maintenance regimes.

Last Application Date: 1 December 2022

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4. PhD Position in Sensor development for autonomous large-area monitoring and fault detection in expressways

Summary of PhD Program:

Early fault detection and maintenance can significantly improve the lifespan of expressways. The student will first investigate different sensing modalities (acoustic, optical and electromagnetic, etc ) and their feasibility in the given application with project partners. Characterization and modelling of individual sensors will then be performed.

Optimal distribution and placement of the sensors will be studied to reduce production cost and maintain robustness to damage. Data-driven algorithms for detecting and differentiation onset of damage from normal load conditions will be developed. Finally, the framework will be tested in real-world conditions and possibly extended to other application domains.

Last Application Date: 1 December 2022

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5. PhD Position in Design for Manufacturing: retrofit all UK homes in 28 years

Summary of PhD Program:

All of the UK’s 28 million homes must be retrofitted to the highest levels of energy performance in the 28 years remaining to deliver the UK’s legal commitment to zero emissions. A small number of expensive and slow one-off projects have demonstrated that this can be done, with Victorian buildings retrofitted to performance near to that of new Passiv Houses. However the costs of these projects has been very high and they have taken a long time.

Converting from expensive one-off delivery to mass market coverage requires that we deploy the design and production skills and technologies of contemporary manufacturing to the practices of one-off small-scale construction. This project is is focused on specification, covering the assessment of the existing building and identification and evaluation of all possible options for retrofit, including material specification and the configuration and integration of equipment and systems. Informal enquires about this post can be made to Prof Julian Allwood (jma42@cam.ac.uk ).

Last Application Date: 1 December 2022

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6. PhD Position in Modular Basements: off-site modular construction for the underground space

Summary of PhD Program:

Traditional basement construction occurs primarily on-site and therefore misses out on the speed, precision and quality control of off-site manufacturing. It is also common for structural elements (e.g. liner walls) to be treated independently, rather than to work compositely with the retaining structure. Soil unloading during excavation causes the surrounding ground to swell or ‘heave’ which, in turn, can exert significant pressures on underground structures.

The timing of basement construction becomes critical: (a) too fast ‘locks-in’ stresses from the heaving process leading to onerous structural requirements, (b) too slow causes project programme (and therefore cost) increases. Achieving an optimal balance remains elusive due to uncertain soil-structure prediction models.

Last Application Date: 1 December 2022

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7. PhD Position in Digital Basements: optimising basement construction using real-time monitoring and digital twins

Summary of PhD Program:

Urban basement construction is an increasingly challenging and high-risk activity. As the industry is forced to reuse old inner-city foundations, monitored structural health will be become critical: (a) to make a convincing case for reuse and (b) to inform the design of the new superstructure. For the first time, this PhD project will develop digital twins for basements to enable design and construction optimisation. The project will develop autonomous connections between 3D design models, structural (e.g. finite element) models and state-of-the-art real-time site monitoring.

Close collaboration with industry partner Laing O’Rourke will enable uncertain parameters in the design process to be identified. This will inform an optimal site monitoring layout to target these uncertainties. The monitored data will feed back into the design process ‘on-the-fly’ and life-time monitored behaviours will be stored in the digital twin to inform future foundation reuse. The workflow will be validated on a candidate construction project in the UK.

Last Application Date: 1 December 2022

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8. PhD Position in Performance-Based Concrete as a Route for CO2 reduction

Summary of PhD Program:

Cement production is responsible for 5-7% of man-made CO2 emissions. A rapid transition to lower carbon concrete is an imperative and the pathway relies on the urgent implementation of performance-related thinking. Design, procurement, performance and standards are intrinsically inter-linked and are key enablers individually and collectively. A robust digital evidence base for accurate prediction and measurement of concrete performance coupled with strategies to incentivize performance based design are fundamental strands to overcome the challenges of lower carbon concretes.

Last Application Date: 1 December 2022

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9. PhD Position in Cancer Research

Summary of PhD Program:

A PhD studentship in genetic epidemiology, statistical genetics or computational sciences is available which is funded through the Cancer Research UK programme: “CanRisk: Personalising cancer risk prediction for prevention and early detection”. The objective of the CanRisk multidisciplinary programme is to enable cancer risk prediction within front-line healthcare, to facilitate the identification and management of at risk individuals and to promote cancer prevention and early detection.

CanRisk aims to address three key research questions: (1) What improvement can be achieved in personalised cancer risk prediction that takes advantage of recent discoveries in genomics and epidemiology and that is clinically valid across populations? (2) How can we optimise user-friendly tools to facilitate the use of multifactorial cancer risk prediction in routine clinical practice? and (3) How can we operationalise multifactorial cancer risk assessment in primary care and in clinical genetics?

Last Application Date: 18 November 2022

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10. PhD Position in Cancer MRes

Summary of PhD Program:

The first year MRes degree comprises two research rotations, a weekly ‘Lectures in Cancer Biology & Medicine’ series, together with a week of intensive teaching in genomic medicine, and a one- to two-week placement in a patient-facing setting. This placement will enable insight into the rewards and challenges of cancer research and development of diagnostics and treatments.

Project write-ups, oral presentations and development of a PhD proposal are also integral to the programme. Successful completion of the one-year MRes programme will lead on to a fully-funded three-year PhD, usually in one of the rotation project host laboratories, which will allow in-depth study of a particular area of cancer biology.

Last Application Date: 15 November 2022

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11. PhD Position in Postwar Rome 1944-1951: Transnational flows and the culture of occupation and reconstruction

Summary of PhD Program:

The PhD student will carry out original research into aspects of the transnational cultural history of postwar Rome between liberation by the Allies in the summer of 1944 and the beginning of the 1950s. The specific focus of the research will be on the remarkable and complex transnational flows of individuals and groups, civilian and military, moving through Rome during this period.

Rome was a site of crossing populations, migrations, returns, transitions and cultural convergence and divergence, as it has been throughout its history as a global city, but with particular variety and unpredictability in the chaos of the postwar moment. This was also a time of dramatic national transformation and renewal for Italy. The PhD will explore the ways in which transnational flows and national renewal shaped each other and how both informed the Europe-wide postwar settlement.

Last Application Date: 5 January 2023

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12. PhD Position in Female Entrepreneurs in Eighteenth-Century London

Summary of PhD Program:

The studentship will investigate businesswomen in London over the long eighteenth century, to reconstruct their family situations, size of operation, training and networks. This collective biographical approach, which has been used in only a few individual case studies to date, will contribute to understanding how women created businesses and maintained them in a century when it is assumed that women only worked out of financial necessity. The project seeks to identify any distinctive characteristics of successful businesswomen and whether these changed over the period.

Last Application Date: 1 December 2022

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13. PhD Position in The Aclands of Killerton: Remaking Imperial Britain in the Long Nineteenth Century

Summary of PhD Program:

The studentship will investigate the Acland family of Killerton House in Devon. Research questions that the project might explore include the nature of a landed family’s involvement in antislavery or empire, from money and speeches to ephemera and music; the relationships generated by shared education, religion, politics and imperial employment; the emotional, professional or business interests that tied individuals together across time and space; the echoes of empire on a landed estate, its archives and artefacts.

Last Application Date: 1 December 2022

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14. PhD Position in Small Animal Surgery

Summary of PhD Program:

The ability to take up this Scholarship is contingent upon you being able to evidence your right to work in the UK, or through gaining the right to work via the UK immigration system. Evidence will need to be provided before an offer can be made. Regrettably, this Scholarship is not suitable for sponsorship via the Skilled Worker or Temporary Worker visa routes as the minimum requirements cannot be met.”

The Senior Clinical Training Scholarship provides an outstanding opportunity to study for a postgraduate qualification, and is available from January 2023. The Scholar will be trained in all aspects of small animal surgery, including soft tissue and orthopaedics. The training programme is approved by the European College of Veterinary Surgery.

Last Application Date: 27 October 2022

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15. 06 PhD Position in Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Summary of PhD Program:

Climate change is the defining issue of our time and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal to combat it. Students in the AI4ER CDT will be embedded in the outstanding research environments of the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey, and will learn both the scientific foundations and the practical skills that will help them address problems arising from climate change. Students will apply leading edge computational approaches to address critical global environmental challenges by exploiting vast, diverse and often currently untapped environmental data sets.

Last Application Date: 5 January 2023

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16. PhD Position in Score designs for the facilitation of music reading: Cognitive and artistic perspectives

Summary of PhD Program:

The project will be conducted in three strands. In the first, we shall compare reading fluency and accuracy on standard and modified scores using voice and piano, exploring whether modifications already found to be effective can be enhanced in their efficacy. In the second, eye-tracking will be used to investigate the temporal relations between visuo-physiological processes and the cognitive demands of reading standard and modified scores. Finally, the project will evaluate how advanced performance students and professional musicians might be equipped to manipulate scores so as to optimise them for a range of artistic purposes.

Last Application Date: 13 January 2023

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17. PhD Position in Molecular mechanisms of piRNA-guided transposon silencing

Summary of PhD Program:

There is an opportunity for a talented student to join the interdisciplinary laboratory of Professor Greg Hannon located at the CRUK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge. The Hannon laboratory as a whole has a long-standing interest in RNA biology and cancer research, and a strong history of developing new tools to address cutting-edge questions in these fields.

This studentship is embedded within a team of around ten people focused on RNA and chromatin biology, covering a wide range of areas, including transcription, export, and processing of non-coding RNAs, establishment and dynamics of chromatin marks, and ultimately repression of transposable elements. This project aims to uncover the molecular mechanisms that underlie the PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway using the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model.

Last Application Date: 14 November 2022

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18. PhD Position in Innate lymphoid cell crosstalk in the tumour and normal microenvironment

Summary of PhD Program:

The immune system plays a critical role in many different aspects of cancer. Some immune cells are efficient at detecting and killing tumour cells, while in other instances inflammation is the underlying cause of cancer. Our lab is focused on a newly discovered group of immune cells, called innate lymphoid cells (ILC). Importantly, we have discovered that ILC have potent immune-regulatory properties that are likely to be critical in tumourigenesis. For instance, we recently discovered that different ILC sub-types counter regulate each other in the lung, with profound effects on metastatic seeding (Schuijs MJ, et al., Nature Immunology 2020).

This project aims to delineate the fundamental mechanism that regulate “good” versus “bad” inflammation in cancer or normal tissues. This understanding is critical for both treatment and prevention. This aim will be achieved through cutting-edge immunology techniques and reagents, which span from in vitro tumour-killing assays to monitoring the effect of ILC on tumour development in vivo.

Last Application Date: 14 November 2022

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19. PhD Position in Highly multiplexed tissue imaging to dissect the spatial dynamics of breast cancer immunotherapy response

Summary of PhD Program:

Breast tumours are composed of a mixture of cancer cells and non-cancer cells that are highly organised in space1,2. The resulting network of cell-cell interactions is a major determinant of tumour behaviour but remains poorly understood. How this cell interaction network is changed by treatment is also unknown but may underpin which tumours respond and which harbour resistant cells. The challenge we now face is to precisely characterise tumour tissues in both space and time, and to establish how these dynamics drive response.

In the Ali group, we use highly multiplexed imaging by imaging mass cytometry together with quantitative image processing to precisely characterise the tumour microenvironment at subcellular resolution2. The aim of this project will be to develop quantitative computational methods to discover and characterise the dynamics of tissue architecture3 in breast cancer and its implications for treatment response.

Last Application Date: 14 November 2022

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20. PhD Position in From molecular recognition to enhanced drugs

Summary of PhD Program:

Our lab integrates machine learning and high-throughput biochemistry to study how proteins selectively recognise their substrates, how this process is perturbed in cancer and how it can be hijacked to find highly selective and mutant-specific drugs to overcome drug resistance. Aberrant protein kinase-driven signaling causally contributes to cancer and, in consequence, protein kinases are major targets for cancer therapeutics.

Therapeutic efforts have traditionally focused on targeting the ATP-binding pocket of protein kinases, however, these drugs often must be used in high concentrations to outcompete ATP, have low specificity, and the proteins often develop resistance.

In this project, by deeply studying and characterizing the substrate binding pocket with novel peptide display technology we have developed combined with machine learning and computational modelling, we will work towards developing high-specificity drugs that avoid the common and well-known mechanisms of drug resistance.

Last Application Date: 14 November 2022

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21. PhD Position in Epigenetic Features of the Genome

Summary of PhD Program:

The lab exploits both chemistry and biology to address fundamental mechanisms of genome function. While many genetic determinants of cancer are known, alternative nucleic acid secondary structures and chemically modified DNA (or RNA) bases can be epigenetic features of nucleic acids that are important to normal biology and in oncogenesis. The project will explore chemical modifications as epigenetic features and how these influence secondary structure formation and function in the genome of normal and cancer cells.

The scope of the project may include exploring the formation and dynamics of G-quadruplex structures and modified DNA bases in the genome and their roles in gene expression, DNA replication and genome stability. We have developed methods to show that G-quadruplexes are enriched in cancer-related genes and have a profound impact on transcription (e.g., Nature Genetics 52, 878, 2020; Genome Biology 22, 117, 2021; 22, 143, 2021; Nature Communications 13:142, 2022). We have also developed genome-wide mapping and sequencing of modified bases and are now exploring further base modifications (e.g., Genome Biology 18, 23, 2017).

Last Application Date: 17 November 2022

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22. PhD Position in Dissecting and Targeting Fibroblast Heterogeneity in Pancreatic Cancer

Summary of PhD Program:

In pancreatic cancer, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) have been shown to promote tumour growth, therapy resistance and immunosuppression by secreting ligands and extracellular matrix proteins. Recent evidence indicates that CAFs are characterised by different heterogeneous populations and that CAF composition changes with different cancer genetics.

This project will determine the interplay between cancer cells and fibroblasts in pancreatic cancer with diverse tumour genetic landscapes with the goal to better stratify patients and design effective combinatorial targeting approaches.

The research project will involve the use of in vivo organoid-derived transplantation mouse models and novel genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic cancer, in vitro three-dimensional pancreatic tumour organoid/fibroblast co-culture models, in vitro and in vivo CRISPR-based technologies, bulk and single-cell RNA-sequencing, flow cytometry, multiplexed immunohistochemistry, RNA in situ hybridization, and standard molecular biology and biochemistry techniques.

Last Application Date: 14 November 2022

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23. PhD Position in Developing novel treatments for rare childhood brain tumours

Summary of PhD Program:

Research within the Gilbertson laboratory uses novel genetically engineered mouse models and patient derived orthotopic xenografts of brain tumours to develop and test curative treatments for children with these rare tumours. This project aims to develop and characterise models of both Choroid Plexus Carcinoma and Supratentorial Ependymoma, this will include monitoring tumour growth using imaging as well as single-cell RNA sequencing approaches to characterise tumour heterogeneity and understand radiation resistance.

This project will be carried out through collaborations with the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) as part of the newly named Children Brain Tumour Centre of Excellence. The studentship will involve testing new chemical entities and natural products from high throughput drugs screens in a pre-clinical setting. The project is designed so that we are able to test the efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of candidate therapies in the context of ‘standard of care’ sequential, neurosurgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Last Application Date: 14 November 2022

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24. PhD Position in Decoding chromatin dynamics in development and disease

Summary of PhD Program:

The genetic information of eukaryotic cells is packaged into chromatin. Key to this process are histone proteins that are subject to various post-translational modifications. Chromatin modifications are essential for genome organisation and are dynamically regulated during development and disease. Understanding the highly dynamic interplay between multiple chromatin marks, transcriptional output and cell fate has been challenging in part due to the lack of high-throughput methods to profile these features simultaneously.

Research in our laboratory aims to address these questions using advanced chromatin profiling methods (CUT&Tag) and single-cell genomics approaches (scRNA-seq). In this project, you will use CRISPR to engineer cell lines and animal models that allow the modulation of protein activity with high spatio-temporal precision.

You will study the effects of the activation or depletion of chromatin-modifying enzymes using combined transcriptomics and histone mark profiling from single cells as well as by live imaging approaches. As part of this exciting project, you will have the opportunity to gain computational data analysis skills.

Last Application Date: 14 November 2022

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25. PhD Position in Decarbonisation of Heating

Summary of PhD Program:

The project will explore some of the challenges associated with the decarbonisation of heating through use of a combination of approaches of energy efficiency and use of renewable heat generation systems, with particular reference to challenging buildings such as in Cambridge Colleges, and with a view to establishing some general principles through modelling and data collection and analysis. Funding will be provided to cover the student’s full fees and student maintainence. Applicants should be willing to become a member of Clare Hall in order to qualify for the funding.

Last Application Date: 1 November 2022

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26. PhD Position in Avian iPSCs and Cerebral Organoids

Summary of PhD Program:

An opportunity exists for a driven and passionate student to undertake a Phd under the supervision of Prof. David Keays and Dr Madeline Lancaster on avian stem cells and cerebral organoids. This joint project will exploit the Keays lab’s expertise in Avian biology and the Lancaster Lab’s experience in self organising neural tissue. The project will aim to generate a library of avian iPSCs and ES cells for the generation of three dimensional neuronal cultures. The latter will then be employed to interrogate Avian specific aspects of neurodevelopment and sensory biology exploiting CRISP-Cas9 genome editing, single cell sequencing, and histological methods.

Last Application Date: 1 December 2022

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27. 07 PhD Programme for Health Professionals at the Universities of Cambridge and East Anglia and at the Wellcome Sanger Institute

Summary of PhD Program:

The Universities of Cambridge and East Anglia, together with the Wellcome Sanger Institute, invite applications for up to 7 fellowships in the PhD Programme for Health Professionals, to be taken up by the end of 2023. The fellowships provide funding for clinical salary, University Composition Fees and research consumables for 3 years. Prior to commencement, the Programme can provide up to three months of additional salary support, enabling successful applicants to experience research in different groups, before making an informed choice of project and supervisor.

Fellowships based in campuses in Cambridge or Norwich offer diverse research training opportunities with world-leading researchers in The Schools of Clinical Medicine and Biological Sciences at the Universities of Cambridge, Wellcome Sanger Institute and other MRC, Wellcome & Cancer Research UK funded institutes, Centres & Units in the wider Cambridge area, as well as the School of Health Sciences and Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia with other partners on the Norwich Research Park.

Last Application Date: 4 November 2022

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28. PDN SBS DTP PhD Studentship

Summary of PhD Program:

In collaboration with the School of Biological Sciences, the Department of PDN will offer a 4-year “PDN SBS DTP PhD Studentship” to a successful applicant for the PhD in Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. This award is aimed at students from low-income households with experience of educational disadvantage and students from under-represented groups, including Black, British Bangladeshi or British Pakistani, backgrounds who will be charged University fees at the Home or UK rate.

The award will provide a stipend for 4 years at the UKRI level; university fees at the home rate; and research consumables for 4 years (£18,000 in total). You will also undertake a 3-month long Professional Internship for PhD students (PIPS) at some stage during your study, and will participate in training and cohort-building events alongside other funded students.

Last Application Date: 5 January 2023

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29. PhD Position in Cancer Biology

Summary of PhD Program:

The CRUK Cambridge Centre is a dynamic collaboration of academic researchers, clinicians, and the pharmaceutical and biotech industries based in the Cambridge area. By being part of the Centre, students will have the opportunity to attend a number of lecture series, workshops and meetings aimed at facilitating and strengthening collaborations between complimentary disciplines and across different departments and institutes.

Last Application Date: 15 November 2022

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