Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship (CRANIUM): Quantitative functional MRI: measuring the brain’s consumption of oxygen (PhD Studentship)
Reference Number: R467
Key Studentship Information
Applications are invited for inter-school PhD studentships under Cardiff University’s prestigious President’s Research Scholarship Scheme: CRANIUM – Cardiff Research into Advanced Neuroimaging Methods.
This is a Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship, part of a new £4M investment to coincide with the inauguration of Professor Sir Martin Evans (Nobel Prize for Medicine 2007) as Cardiff’s new President. All of the University Schools and Research Centres offering opportunities under the programme have demonstrated the real potential of the Scholarships to contribute to research excellence through significant, challenging and original PhD research projects and excellent PhD supervision and support. Other attractive features of the Scholarships include the presence of multiple President’s Scholars in each of the research areas and the guaranteed exposure of President’s Scholars to innovative technologies, theories, methodological approaches, and debates. More information on the President's Research Scholarships scheme is available on their website.
Project Title: Quantitative functional MRI: measuring the brain’s consumption of oxygen
Quantitative neuroimaging is being used increasingly in neuroscientific research, healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. The PhD project will be experimentally focussed and will be funded for 3 years.
The project is entitled “Quantitative functional MRI: measuring the brain’s consumption of oxygen.” It will be based around the development of new MRI-based brain imaging methods for measuring how much oxygen the brain is using and therefore how much work it is doing. This would be a significant step forward in our ability to quantify brain activity and will make fMRI a more clinically useful technique. Being able to image the brain’s rate of oxygen consumption and blood flow will allow us to better study brain diseases, the effects of drugs or treatments and the effects of learning and brain plasticity. The proposed project would use MRI Physics to investigate neurological disease and in particular epilepsy, aiming to study regions of brain which are functioning abnormally and which may be a target for surgical intervention.
The project would first involve the development and testing of new experiments to calibrate fMRI signals and measure blood flow, working closely with Richard Wise and Kevin Murphy (both MRI Physicists at CUBRIC, School of Psychology). We would then aim to apply these methods in conditions of chronically altered brain function such as epilepsy, or drug treatment, working with Prof Liam Gray (Neurosurgeon and School of Biosciences) and Dr Khalid Hamandi (Epilepsy specialist). The experiments would involve conducting MRI studies in human volunteers.
We are looking for candidates with a strong quantitative background in order to work with the MRI, but the candidate should also have a strong interest in brain function and good interpersonal skills. The project would, therefore, suit a physicist/physical scientist interested in MRI and brain physiology or a physiologist comfortable with physical methods and computing. Prior experience in functional imaging, data analysis and Matlab (for example) would be an advantage. The student would conduct most of their work in Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) and would be jointly registered in Cardiff University’s School of Psychology (where CUBRIC is based) and School of Biosciences.
Dr Khalid Hamandi
Start Date: October 2012, or January 2013 at the latest.
Awards are available including full UK/EU tuition fees plus a doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum (£13,590 for 2012/13).
Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open for applicants of any nationality. Non UK/EU students would be required to cover the difference between UK and Overseas fees themselves.
Academic Criteria: We aim to attract the highest quality numerate graduates who are motivated to apply their skills to neuroimaging research questions. We are pleased to consider a broad range of graduate backgrounds including, but not limited to: physics, engineering, bio-engineering, physiology and neuroscience. We require a First Class Honours degree or a 2.1 plus a postgraduate Masters degree at Distinction level (or their equivalents).
How to Apply
CV and Covering Letter PREFERRED in the first instance (see contact details below).
Consideration is automatic on applying for
Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology) (Oct) – RFPDPSYA
Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology) (Jan) – RFPDPSYB
Applicants should submit an application via the University's Online Application Service.
Please ensure you mention in the funding section of the application that you are applying for this particular studentship with Prof Wise as supervisor (“President’s Scholarship: CRANIUM. Supervisor: Prof Wise”).
You do not need to submit a research proposal as such but we do encourage you to explain why this studentship appeals to you and how it relates to your areas of study and expertise.
Application Deadline: 24 August 2012.
Informal Enquiries can be made to:
Prof Richard Wise
Phone: +44(0)29 208 70358