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Multivariate analysis of human craniofacial geometry (ref: SF18/APP/EVISON)

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  • Full or part time
    Prof M Evison
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Understanding of variation in the geometry of the face and skull is valuable in clinical applications, such those involving surgical interventions undertaken in response to trauma or disease. In forensic science, the proliferation of images from CCTV, mobile devices and social media has led to a demand for scientifically-based methods of forensic facial comparison. Understanding of craniofacial geometry also underlies forensic facial reconstruction, as applied to identification in ‘missing persons’ cases in criminal or coronial investigations and in human rights related work. Understating of variation in craniofacial phenotype is also important in supporting the investigation of genotype-phenotype relationships, in curiosity driven research and in studies of clinical (e.g. syndromes affecting craniofacial development) and forensic (e.g. estimation of externally visible characteristics) significance. The aim of this project is to use Principal Components Analysis and related multivariate approaches to characterize the relationships between a number of hard and soft tissue points collected in 2D and 3D, from facial surface and volume MR images of living subjects in large and unique datasets, with the aim of answering a range of questions of clinical, forensic and anthropological importance.

Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications should include a covering letter that includes a short summary (500 words max.) of a relevant piece of research that you have previously completed. Applications that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF18/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 1st July 2019 for October 2019 start, or 1st December 2018 for March 2019 start
Start Date: October or March

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers

Funding Notes

This studentship is only open to self-funding candidates. Self-funding candidates are expected to pay University fees and to provide their own living costs. University fee bands are shown at
Projects in Applied Sciences are typically costed at Band 3 or Band 4.


Machado, C.E.P., Flores, M.R.P., Lima, L.N.C., Tinoco, R.L.R., Franco, A., Bezerra, A.C.B., Evison, M.P. and Guimarães, M.A. (2017) A new approach for the analysis of facial growth and age estimation: Iris ratio. PLoS One, 12(7), e0180330. ISSN 1932-6203 (Online) doi: [Web]

Evison, M.P. Dryden, I.L., Fieller, N.R.J., Mallett, X.G.D., Morecroft, L., Schofield, D. and Vorder Bruegge, R.W. (2010). Key parameters of face shape variation in 3D in a large sample. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 55(1), 159-62. DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01213.x

Mallett, X.G.D., Dryden, I.L. and Evison, M.P. (2010). An exploration of sample representativeness in anthropometric facial comparison. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 55(4), 1025-31. DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01425.x

Evison, M.P. (2017). Facial enigma. CSEye, May 2017, 2-5. [Web]

Evison, M.P., Iwamura, E. S. M. and Guimarães, M.A.G. (2016). Forensic facial reconstruction and its contribution to identification in missing person cases. In Morewitz, S.J. and Sturdy Colls, C. (eds.), Handbook of Missing Persons, New York: Springer, p. 427-41. ISBN 978-3-319-10197-3 (print), 978-3-319-40199-7 (online) doi:10.1007/978-3-319-40199-7_28 [Web]

Evison, M.P. (2014). Forensic Facial Analysis. In Bruinsma, G. and Weisburd, D. (eds), Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, New York: Springer, p. 1713-29. ISBN 978-1-4614-5689-6 (Print), 978-1-4614-5690-2 (Online) doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_170 [Web]

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