PhD Studentship in Neural Engineering at University of Reading - The-Announcements.Com

PhD Studentship in Neural Engineering at University of Reading

PhD Studentship in Neural Engineering

The University of Reading – School of Biological Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Reading
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009 stipend plus tuition fees
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 11th June 2019
Closes: 15th July 2019

Project title:  Preservation of criticality in hypoxic, dissociated neural networks, via oestrogen triggered synaptic modulation.

Department/School: School of Biological Sciences

Supervisors: Dr Evangelos Delivopoulos, Dr Nandini Vasudevan, Prof. Slawomir Nasuto

Project Overview: Billions of interconnected neurons communicate electrically and form activity patterns in a critical state, finely balanced between order and chaos. Criticality is believed to underlie encoding and transferring of information, so it is a fundamental property enabling information processing in the brain but it can be disrupted when a traumatic event, such as an ischemic stroke, occurs. On the other hand, evidence has shown that specific biomolecules, such as oestrogen, can be neuroprotective, during traumatic events.

In this project, we will examine how oestrogen can salvage neuronal network activity, under neurodegenerative conditions. We will culture in vitro neural networks on multi-electrode arrays (MEA) and chemically treat them to emulate brain pathology. We will then examine how the structure of the neural networks (synaptic connections) and their activity patterns change under different conditions and investigate the neuroprotective effects of oestrogen. The project will conclude with the proposition of a model that links the transition of neural activity between critical and noncritical states and the mechanism of action of oestrogen.


  • Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor Degree (but preferably a 1st) or equivalent in biomedical/electrical engineering or strongly related disciplines.
  • Due to restrictions on the funding, this studentship is open to UK/EU students. EU applicants only qualify for a stipend if they have been resident in the UK for the 3 years leading up to the start of the PhD; if they have not, then they only qualify for fees-only support from the EPSRC DTP.

Funding Details:

  • Starts 30th September 2019
  • Ends 29th September 2022
  • Tuition fees plus a stipend of £15,009

How to apply:   

To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at

Please make sure to include a CV and a cover letter, explaining how your skill set aligns with this research position.

*Important notes*

  • 1) Please quote the reference ‘GS19-058 in the ‘Scholarships applied for’ box which appears within the Funding Section of your online application.
  • 2) “When you are prompted to upload a research proposal, please omit this step.”

Further Enquiries: 

Please note that, where a candidate is successful in being awarded funding, this will be confirmed via a formal studentship award letter; this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria.

For further details please contact Dr Evangelos Delivopoulos, email: [email protected], tel: 0118 3788615

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