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  Using super-resolution Imaging to image living cells in 3D

   Faculty of Biological Sciences

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  Prof M Peckham  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Our lab at the University of Leeds is looking for a PhD student with a strong interest in super-resolution imaging, and in imaging live cells, and to participate in a European Doctoral Network as a UKRI Guarantee Doctoral Network Student Researcher. This is an exciting opportunity to develop microscopy tools, use them to analyse cell behaviour and join an EU network of students.

In addition to carrying out research in our lab, the student will be part of the recently funded European Doctoral Network (DN) NanoRam: This network involves 19 organisations across 12 countries and will train 14 Doctoral Researchers (DRs). The interdisciplinary network combines physics, chemistry, biology and engineering to train a new generation of scientists in the development and application of newly developed manipulation and characterisation nanotools in soft matter research. DRs will be supervised by researchers across the network, will work on multi-disciplinary projects and be engaged in a comprehensive network-wide training programme. They will be exposed to different sectors via planned placements, attend summer schools, and contribute to and organise workshops and conferences. Candidates will also benefit from secondments to academic and industrial partners, which will emphasise an innovative, creative and entrepreneurial mind-set. The student will be fully funded for 3 years and will pursue a doctoral degree during this time.

This DR position is based at the University of Leeds and will involve expanding and developing our iSIM (instant structured illumination microscope) to improve on its imaging capability, and enable us to perform rapid imaging of living cells to investigate cytoskeletal dynamics. We will develop video rate super-resolution microscopy (SR) for high speed imaging and thus correlative SR microscopy for soft matter characterisation and handling.We are looking for candidates that are interested in technology development, cutting-edge nanotool and soft matter research, and specifically in high resolution light microscopy, optics and microscope construction and an interest in studying live cell dynamics. 


You should hold a first degree equivalent to at least a UK upper-second class honours degree or a MSc degree in a relevant subject.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence that their English language is sufficient to meet the specific demands of their study. The Faculty of Biological Sciences minimum requirements in IELTS and TOEFL tests are:

  • British Council IELTS - score of 6.0 overall, with no element less than 5.5
  • TOEFL iBT - overall score of 87 with the listening and reading element no less than 20, writing element no less than 21 and the speaking element no less than 22.

How to apply:

Unusually, you need to apply for this studentship via jobs at Leeds:

  • a full academic CV
  • degree certificate and transcripts of marks
  • Evidence that you meet the University's minimum English language requirements (if applicable).
Biological Sciences (4) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

  • At the date of recruitment, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc...) in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment to this project. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. To engage in paid employment you must have the necessary right to work in the UK. This may involve obtaining an appropriate visa and the University of Leeds will be able to offer support and advice to the successful candidate.
  • The project is fully funded


Nanoscale Pattern Extraction from Relative Positions of Sparse 3D Localizations (2021) Curd et al., Nanoletters. PMID 33253583
Construction of an instant structured illumination microscope (2015) Curd et al., Methods PMID: 26210400

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