By Mike Pomranz
Updated February 13, 2017
Chocolate PhD
Credit: © Chris Ryan / Getty Images

They may have laughed when you told them you were going to college to study chocolate. They may have laughed when you said you were going to continue your chocolate education by getting a Master’s degree. But no one will dare laugh at you when you officially become Dr. Chocolate: A university in the UK has announced it is offering a fully-funded PhD program in the field of chocolate.

The University of the West of England, Bristol is seeking to fill a postgraduate research opportunity in “Metagenomic Studies of the Microbiota of Fermented Cacao Beans – Application for the Chocolate Industry.” Though the name may sound a bit clunky, this three-year PhD program that comes with an annual tax-free stipend of £14,296 is an opportunity to dive headfirst into paid chocolate research.

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But though that may sound like a sweet opportunity, applicants are going to need to have some serious experience under their belt beyond simply a decade of Halloween trick-or-treating. According to the description of the studentship, the chosen candidate will have a number of high-tech goals including evaluating “how the microbiota involved in the fermentation process lead to specific chocolate flavor” and “identifying farm-specific DNA markers characterising the microbiota on the surface of fermented cacao beans” to help track certified cacao products. If you have to ask why eating chocolate isn’t on the list, you’re probably not qualified.

Applications are being accepted until February 27, so interested candidates should wipe the chocolate stains off their list of references and get their paperwork in sooner than later.