Tuesday, January 28, 2014

[Comp-neuro] Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology at Imperial College London

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Neurotechnology for Life and Health


Ten fully funded PhD studentships are currently available for the 4-year postgraduate research training programme in Neurotechnology at Imperial College London.


Neurotechnology is the use of insights and tools from engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology to investigate neural function and treat dysfunction.  Brain-related illnesses affect more than two billion people worldwide, and the numbers are growing. Reducing this burden is a major challenge for society. The Centre will train a new generation of multidisciplinary researchers at the interface of neuroscience and engineering, to address this challenge.


The Centre spans the Faculties of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Medicine at Imperial, with investigators from the Departments of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computing, Chemistry, Physics, Life Sciences, and the Division of Brain Sciences. Directed by Dr Simon Schultz, Prof Bill Wisden and Prof Paul Matthews, it intends to admit approximately 14 students per year. All research projects will involve a team of supervisors, each of whom will bring complementary expertise to the project. In addition to researchers from across Imperial College, the Centre involves twenty industry and charity partners, as well as satellite research groups at the Crick Institute and the University of Oxford.


Studentships will begin with an MRes in Neurotechnology, which forms an integral part of the four year training programme. During this year, student will take 3 months of taught courses specially developed for the CDT, followed by laboratory rotations as part of a single research training project. At the end of the first year, students enter the PhD phase having developed the interdisciplinary and technical skills to thrive in a cutting edge research environment, and make the most impact with their PhD.


In the current round, funding is available for the following ten projects:

  1. Wearable wireless sensor arrays to detect the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Prof Martyn Boutelle, Dr E M Drakakis and Prof Chris Shaw.
  2. High-resolution mapping of age-related functional changes in cortical connectivity. Dr Stephen Brickley, Dr Paul Chadderton and Prof William Wisden.
  3. Development of a bedside ‘hand-and-brain training’ rehabilitation aid for stroke patients. Prof Etienne Burdet, Dr Paul Bentley, Dr David Soto and Dr Caroline Alexander.
  4. Experimental and computational study of auditory receptive field properties and connectivity. Dr Claudia Clopath, Dr Paul Chadderton.
  5. High-throughput Visualization and Computational Consequences of Increased Synaptic Plasticity and Axon Regeneration in the Living Aged Brain. Dr Vincenzo De Paola, Dr Claudia Clopath, Dr Anil Bharath.
  6. Hilbert-Huang Transform (HHT)-based Automated Neonatal EEG Early Warning System. Dr E M Drakakis, Prof D Azzopardi, Dr E Eftekhar.
  7. Machine learning and human adaptability: towards a hierarchical model of executive cognition and brain function. Dr Aldo Faisal, Dr Adam Hampshire.
  8. Designing novel imaging probes for targeting inflammatory lesions in brain disorders. Prof Nicholas Long, Dr Felicity Gavins.
  9. Investigating Sports Related Concussion with a Wearable In-Ear System for Continuous Monitoring of Brain and Body Functions Prof D Mandic, Prof D Sharp. 
  10. Optical decoding of peripheral nerve signals. Dr Simon Schultz, Prof Mark Neil, Prof Thomas Knöpfel.

Further information on these projects is available from http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/neurotechnology/cdt/projects


Who should apply


Applicants should be seeking to undertake a multidisciplinary 4-year research training programme at the interface between neuroscience and engineering. Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class degree in an engineering or physical sciences discipline. Students with a biological or medical sciences background will be considered in exceptional circumstances, provided they can demonstrate substantial quantitative skills. Applicants would normally need to meet EPSRC eligibility criteria, however a small number of fully funded places may be open to EU students who do not satisfy these criteria.




Studentships will cover tuition fees and a tax free stipend of approximately £16,000 per year. A generous annual allowance will be provided for research consumables and for conference attendance.


How to Apply


To be considered for this round, you must apply via the CDT website by 5pm, Monday 24th Feb. For more information on the programme, for details on the projects available, and how to apply, please visit: http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/neurotechnology/cdt


We urge prospective applicants to contact project supervisors as soon as possible. Early application is encouraged and a number of early offers may be made.



Simon R Schultz
Royal Society Industry Fellow
Director, Centre for Neurotechnology
Institute of Biomedical Engineering & Department of Bioengineering
Imperial College London
Lab website: http://www.schultzlab.org
Centre: http://www.imperial.ac.uk/neurotechnology
EU ITN: http://www.neural-engineering.eu

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