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3D computer modelling of growing plants (SMITHJ20DTP)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, November 25, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The Smith lab is looking for a motivated computer scientist that would like to apply their skills to
fundamental questions in plant development. Working with in-house finite element method (FEM)
software and geometry libraries, the student will develop 3D cellular level models of growing plant
tissues, controlled by genetic networks and cell-cell signalling. The goal of these models is to understand how genes control growth of cells, resulting in emergent form. A particular focus of this project will be to research methods to implement 3D cell division, while preserving the current mechanical state of the system.

During the project, the student will be exposed to cutting edge techniques in plant modelling. The Smith lab has a focus on spatial and biomechanical models, with a particular interest in models where patterning interacts with growth and cell division. The project will position the student well for a postdoc in developmental modelling, an area currently in high demand.

The skills required to be successful in this project are similar to those required for physically based
simulation in computer animation. If you like programming, have excellent spatial intuition, are drawn to computer animation and dynamic systems, then this could be the PhD project for you.

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the Norwich Biosciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NRPDTP). Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed as part of the studentship competition. Candidates will be interviewed on either the 7th, 8th or 9th January 2020.

The NRP DTP offers postgraduates the opportunity to undertake a 4-year research project whilst enhancing professional development and research skills through a comprehensive training programme. You will join a vibrant community of world-leading researchers. All NRPDTP students undertake a three-month professional internship (PIPS) during their study. The internship offers exciting and invaluable work experience designed to enhance professional development. Full support and advice will be provided by our Professional Internship team. Students with, or expecting to attain, at least an upper second-class honours degree, or equivalent, are invited to apply.

For further information and to apply, please visit our website:

Funding Notes

For funding eligibility guidance, please visit our website: View Website. Full Studentships cover a stipend (2019/0 rate: £15,009pa), research costs and tuition fees at UK/EU rate and are available to UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements.

Students from EU countries who do not meet the UK residency requirements may be eligible for a fees-only award. Students in receipt of a fees-only award will be eligible for a maintenance stipend awarded by the NRPDTP Bioscience Doctoral Scholarships. To be eligible students must meet the EU residency requirements.

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