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Improving Super-resolution Microscopy to Study the Nanoscopic Organization of the Centrosome

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  • Full or part time
    Dr N Olivier
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Imagine: Imaging Life (http://www.imagine-imaginglife.com/) is part of a Vice Chancellor-led strategic initiative, 2022 Futures, which provides a platform for ambitious research growth in areas that the University of Sheffield is recognised for internationally (e.g. advanced imaging techniques and their biological application). This scholarship, as part of the Global Strategic Alliance programme, will position the student in a thriving research environment that will provide international opportunities for training and career development. The studentship will be held in the newly established laboratory of Dr Nicolas Olivier in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

The imaging group at the University of Sheffield is looking for a Physics, Biophysics or Engineering graduate (prior experience in optics is preferred) for a PhD at the interface between optical microscopy and cell biology.

The main focus of this project is the development of new optical microscopy methods but it also requires interdisciplinary work covering a wide range of competences including cell biology, molecular biology and image analysis. It will involve multiple national and international collaborations, including the University of Geneva.

The goal of this PhD is to improve and further develop an existing optical super-resolution microscope and perform multicolor 3D imaging of biologically relevant structures. In particular, the developed method will be applied to create a nanoscale map of the components of a minute cellular organelle, the centrosome. This super-resolution imaging approach will be further combined to complementary approaches such as atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy to provide a quantitative atlas at the nanoscale of the centrosome throughout the cell cycle.

Please contact Dr Nicolas Olivier ([email protected]) before applying.

Award Details

• Full tuition fees (UK, EU or Overseas).
• An annual, tax-free maintenance stipend at the standard RCUK rate (£14,057 in 2015/16).
• A Research Training Support Grant to cover international travel, secondments and exchanges.
These scholarships fund up to 3.5 years full-time study, subject to satisfactory progress.


• You should have, or expect to achieve, a first or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent. This should be in a relevant area (e.g. Physics, Biophysics or Engineering).
• You should be applying to start your first year of study on a full-time PhD with the University in the 2016-17 academic year (i.e. after 1st October 2016, exact start date to be agreed).
• Awards are open to UK, EU and international applicants.

How to apply

Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis - applications are assessed on the basis of academic success and qualifications, experience, research background and a clear and well-articulated reason for being considered. The application process is as follows:

A) Complete the application form (click on the ’apply online’ button below)
B) Email the following documents listed below as a single pdf file to [email protected] In the subject box, please indicate ‘YOUR SURNAME – IMAGINE 2016 - NO’
1. C.V.
2. Degree transcripts
3. Supporting statement
4. Reference letters from two referees (these may be sent directly from your referees)
5. English Language certification (if applicable)

For more information about Imagine:Imaging Life, see http://www.imagine-imaginglife.com/.

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