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PhD Studentship in Computing Science - Data Driven Computer Modelling of Brain Injury Recovery

   School of Computing

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  Dr Peter Taylor  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Number of awards:

Start date and duration:
Start date is flexible, but before September 2018. Duration is 3 years funding.

Application closing date:
Recruitment is ongoing until a suitable candidate is found.

Acquired brain injury (e.g. due to trauma or stroke) is a leading cause of death and disability amongst children and young adults.
Traumatic brain injury in particular typically involves the disconnection of brain areas – i.e. the structural connections between brain areas are disrupted. Considering the brain as a network of regions and connections is useful as this allows it to be formally, and thoroughly, investigated using established computational techniques.

In this PhD we will use mathematical and computational models to investigate recovery from brain injury. We will compare different recovery mechanisms and relate to clinical outcomes. We will use a data driven approach to this, using neuroimaging data to constrain the computer models. Ultimately we will aim to infer optimal rehabilitation strategies, given an improved understanding of rehabilitation-independent recovery.

This project will be heavily computer based. Candidates with the following backgrounds are particularly encouraged to apply: computer science, mathematics, physics, medicine.
+ Good programming experience
+ An interest in neuroscience / neurology
+ Experience in neuroimaging (e.g. FreeSurfer, FSL, SPM)
+ Programming experience in Matlab
+ Knowledge of graph theory
+ Knowledge of dynamical systems theory, neural population models.

The successful candidate will be based in the new £58 million state of the art Urban Sciences Building, School of Computing Science. The student will work in the Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems (ICOS) group; one of the largest computational biology groups in the UK, with over 20 other PhD students.
The supervisory team consists of Dr Peter Taylor, an expert in developing computer simulations of brain dynamics, and Dr Rob Forsyth an expert in brain injury and consultant neurologist.

Funding is available to cover a tax free stipend at RCUK rates (currently £14,553 per year), tuition fees at UK/EU rate, and consumables for three years. The candidate should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent before starting.
Start date is preferably October 2017, but this is negotiable.
For enquiries please contact Peter Taylor: [Email Address Removed]

School of Computing Science, Newcastle University

Name of supervisor(s):
Dr Peter Neal Taylor (main supervisor) ( and Dr Rob Forsyth (co-supervisor) (

Eligibility Criteria:
You should have either a First class honours degree or 2.1 in Computing Science, Mathematics, Electrical and Computer Engineering or other relevant science or engineering subject. A distinction level Masters degree in a related subject will be a plus. Equivalent experience will also be considered.

How to apply:
You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application form. Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

Insert the programme code 8050F in the programme of study section
select ’PhD Computer Science (Computing Science)’, as the programme of study
insert reference CS059 in the studentship/partnership reference field
attach covering letter, CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of English language qualifications. The covering letter must state title of studentship, quote reference CS059 and describe how your research interests fit with the topic of research project outlined in the advertisement (maximum of two pages).
please send your covering letter and CV by e-mail to [Email Address Removed].
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