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Self-organized collective patterns on graphs (ESR 3)

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  • Full or part time
    Prof M Hutt
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Over the last few years, diverse studies have established that many forms of dynamics self-organize on networks to give rise to large-scale collective patterns. The dynamical pattern is then a consequence of the parameters defining the dynamics as well as the network architecture. Examples include Turing patterns on graphs arising from reaction-diffusion systems, self-organized waves around hubs arising in excitable dynamics and synchronization of modules arising in coupled oscillators. In some cases, changing a parameter of the dynamics can trigger a transition from one pattern to another. These self-organized, collective behaviours are in the focus of ESR3. The work will involve studying such behaviours in model simulations and searching for evidence of such behaviours in the data available within the ITN for the diverse application projects in two example case studies.

Example 1:

To use anatomical connectivity to provide the spatial measure of propagation of activity from key nodes in a neuronal network in healthy (stimulus processing) and pathological scenario (epilepsy, schizophrenia) or severely impaired conditions (blind and paraplegic subjects); the analysis will use anatomical connectivity in a similar way the inclusion of air travel connectivity between cities helped to better understand the (wave-like propagation of) disease spreading. Here, MEG data will be provided by AI (AAISCS) and will relate to training provided in Advanced Courses 2 and 5.

Example 2:

To explore waves of sediment movement through river networks. This is affected by the connectivity between the channel and hillslope sediment sources, and also the downstream connectivity between different channel types (e.g. alternating alluvial and bedrock sections). For a given arrangement of channel reaches, how does the downstream sediment movement change as a function of the rate and type of sediment supply (continuous vs. episodic)? Here, spatio-temporal laser scanning datasets of river channels will be used and will be provided by RAH (UDur) and will link to those used in Advanced Course 5.

Expected Results

The project will provide a thorough theoretical understanding of self-organized collective patterns on graphs and facilitate the use of this knowledge in the various application scenarios. The results from these projects will not only provide a better understanding of the way brain activity propagates in the brain under specific task demands, but could also help develop novel learning biomarkers (developed from the knowledge accumulated through complex connectivity analysis of sophisticated data recorded with expensive instrumentation) derived from simple and widely available hardware.


Marie Sklodowska-Curie PhDs are paid a competitive gross salary of 3,270 € per month, adjusted for their host country, a Mobility Allowance of 600 € per month and, for researchers who have a family, a Family Allowance of 500 € per month. All amounts are subject to employers and employees deductions and taxes.

Family is defined as persons linked to the researcher by (i) marriage, or (ii) a relationship with equivalent status to a marriage recognised by the national legislation of the country of the beneficiary or of nationality of the researcher, or (iii) dependent children who are actually being maintained by the researcher; family status is determined at recruitment and does not evolve.

ESRs will also get access to funds covering Research, Networking and Training costs. ESRs will also be enrolled for PhD studies at institutions which are part of the consortium. Funding will cover the entire 36-month period. In addition to individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

Eligibility criteria

To satisfy the eligibility requirements set for an Early Stage Researcher funded by Marie Skłodowska-Curie and you must be eligible to be appointed as an Early Stage Researcher:

Should have — at the date of recruitment — less than 4 years of a research career, and not have a doctoral degree. The 4 years are measured from the date when they obtained the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a PhD, either in the country where the degree was obtained or in the country where the PhD is provided.

Trans-national mobility: The applicant — at the date of recruitment— should not have resided in the country where the research training takes place for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to recruitment, and not have carried out their main activity (work ,studies, etc.) in that country. For refugees under the Geneva Convention (1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol), the refugee procedure (i.e. before refugee status is conferred) will not be counted as ‘period of residence/activity in the country of the beneficiary’.

Satisfy the eligibility requirements to enrol on a PhD degree. This includes acceptable English language requirements if English is not your first language.

Selection process

All applications are to be submitted via the hosting institution.

Applications must include the following:

A copy of your CV
Degree transcripts
A motivation letter
Names of 2 referees

Please indicate in your motivation letter if you are interested in being considered for any of the other PhD positions in our network (and if you give us permission to share your application with the host of that project).

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