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Magnetic design of a prototype FFA Gantry for rapid delivery of proton therapy

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Proton therapy is the most rapidly-expanding method of radiotherapy, with a number of new proton treatment centres being established around world that are primarily based on high-intensity isochronous cyclotrons; an example of this is the recently-installed 250 MeV Varian cyclotron at which a research beamline has been installed where Dr. Owen and Dr. Appleby are carrying out research into rapid beam delivery.

Although proton therapy is now well-established clinically with over 100 treatment rooms presently in operation, their beam delivery systems are limited in terms of the speed they can vary the treatment depth in the patient. Future rapid treatments will need a full range of depths to be achieved ideally in less than a second, faster than conventional magnet systems can vary. New magnetic focusing schemes pioneered by Drs. Sheehy, Owen and Appleby have shown the potential of so-called FFA (Fixed-Field Accelerator); a carefully-tailored magnet array can avoid the need to vary the magnetic field during treatment delivery whilst maintaining a large depth range that can be delivered at the patient. Coupled to new, more intense particle sources this technology is needed to deliver the next generation of fast proton treatments; moreover, there are recent indications that these rapid (so-called FLASH) treatments may also deliver groundbreaking treatment advantages for the patient.

Our design will be informed by the significant experience of the supervisors, who have all worked extensively on FFA systems that include the PAMELA medical FFA project. Our current work with the CBETA FFA project gives us hands-on experience with an operating FFA system, and we are working with several commercial partners to develop their technologies in other areas too.
Travel funds will be used to facilitate visits to the UK to gain experience at existing proton therapy centres, and to augment the student’s experience through working with other researchers in the Cockcroft Institute and our collaborating partners, who carry out a large programme of related projects in medical accelerators.

Principal investigator at Manchester: Hywel Owen
Principal investigator at Melbourne: Suzie Sheehy
For more details, email (Lead supervisor)

About the Manchester-Melbourne Golden Awards, Dual-award between The University of Manchester and The University of Melbourne
The University of Manchester has existing, highly productive links with the University of Melbourne and now wish to extend this relationship to our Global Doctoral Research Network (GOLDEN) by establishing collaborative postgraduate research projects.

This dual-award programme offers candidates the opportunity to apply for a project with a strong supervisory team both in Manchester and in Melbourne. A dual award is a PhD programme which leads to separate awards from two partner institutions. PhD candidates will be registered at both Manchester and Melbourne and must complete all of the requirements of the PhD programme in both the home and partner university.

PhD candidates will begin their PhD in Manchester and will then spend at least 12 months in Melbourne. The amount of time spent at Manchester and Melbourne will be dependent upon the project and candidates will work with their supervisory team in the first year to set out the structure of the project.

PhD candidates on a dual-award programme can experience research at two quality institutions and applying for a dual-award programme will support you to develop a global perspective and will open the door to new job opportunities. Boost your intercultural skills and experience the opportunities studying in Melbourne and Manchester by applying to one of our available projects.
The University of Manchester has ten studentships available and is now offering candidates the opportunity to apply to one of the following projects to start in September 2020.

You will spend at least 12 months at each institution and will receive a dual PhD at the end of the 3.5 year programme.
Funding for the programme will include tuition fees, an annual stipend at the minimum Research Councils UK rate (around 15,000 for 2019/20), a research training grant and student travel to Melbourne.
Contact for further information:

How to apply:

Anticipated Start Date: September 2020 for 3.5 Years

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