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Application of a novel mathematical modelling approach for paediatric formulation development.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited from ambitious, self-motivated candidates with an interest in studying the application of machine learning for pharmaceutical process development. The successful candidate will join the active research groups of Prof Afzal Mohammed, Dr Affiong Iyire and Dr Randa Herzallah. This opportunity is open to UK and EU students who have at least an Upper Second Class Honours degree in a biological science or a related subject.

Stationary bed coating developed at Aston is a novel paediatric orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) formulation technology that, for the first time, will permit tablet coating for weak and fragile tablets through meticulous precision engineering that involves application of vacuum and controlled deposition of coating solution. Explicitly, our approach for using machine learning methods, such as radial basis function networks for automated response surface methodology, has never been applied before in formulation development. It is superior to existing machine learning approaches of response surface methodology and swarm optimisation in terms of speed of convergence and accuracy of solution, and has the advantage of not being limited to locally quadratic surfaces. The proposed project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between physical sciences (LHS) and mathematics (EAS). The proposal aims to develop a novel mathematical machine learning approach to predict the impact of formulation processing on dosage form performance.


Aston University was ranked in 5th of 94 UK Higher Education Institutions for research in Allied Health Professions (REF 2014) and was ranked 1st for research environment. Additional information about research in the School can be found at https://www2.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research Informal enquiries can be made to Prof Afzal Mohammed at:

Application Requirements:

● Eligible Applicants should hold at least a Bachelor (Hons.) Degree of either 1st Class/ 2.1 or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.

● EU Applicants will need to demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills, with a minimum overall score of 93 (Internet Based) (with a minimum score in each section of: R: 18, W: 23, L: 19 and S: 19) in TOEFL or IELTS with minimum marks of 6.0 in each section and an overall band of 6.5.

● Informal enquiries should be addressed to Prof Afzal Mohammed (E-mail: ) or Dr Affiong Iyire ( )

●To apply please complete the on-line application form at:
https://www2.aston.ac.uk/lhs/research/postgraduate-research/apply quoting ‘EPSRC_Afzal’ on all applications

● The Closing Date for applications is: Friday, 31st January 2020.

Funding Notes

Home/EU students will receive funding to cover full tuition fees and a tax-free stipend will be provided at the current RCUK rate of £15,009 p.a. The studentship is available for three years, subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, with an anticipated registration date of 1st April 2020.

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